Kim Sun II

Kim Sun Il is allegedly still alive, being held hostage in Iraq. I am worried. He is 33, so I am his “noona,” older sister. In Korean culture, no matter what , everyone calls each other brother or sister, and the ranking is more important than your name. Being older, I am responsible for him, even though I am American, even though I don’t know him.

He is part of me. I saw his plea for life on the news video yesterday and cried, because it was wrenching and desperate. He is terrified and showing it – adamantly not Korean. We are a stoic and reserved race – at least as far as I know, and this unrestrained burst of fear and emotion, screaming even, is shocking and horrific. My little brother has lost his nation, not the one he lives in, but the Korea that lives in him. He is that scared. I am afraid. My stomach churns with denial and adrenaline. I am locked into Yahoo News, making my wrist swell up with overuse. My sleep is disturbed by visions of the apocalypse, with a kind of ridiculousness that wakes me.

I dreamt that I was attending high school that was under extremist Islamic law. There were jocks walking around with fingers missing, twirling the combination dials on their lockers, giving each other “High Fours” and singing to the tune of “Rock-n-Roll High School”

I don’t care about the sovereignty
Islam – Islamic High School
That’s not government to me
Islam – Islamic High School
Sunni or Shi’ite that’s okay
We all pray to Mecca five times a day
Islam – Islam – Islamic High School

Then in this disturbing, ignorant, racist dream, I saw myself open my eye and take my fingernail and scratch a long, red mark across the cornea, much like that infamous scene in Bunuel’s “Un Chien Andalou.” Then I woke up, realizing I had actually done it. Perhaps I have been living under this extremist Islamic law, which I made up myself and is not real, and I didn’t know it, because it was happening in the dream time.

I think I am so upset by my little brother being held hostage that I don’t wish to see it, and I would scratch my eyes out if I could. But I can’t.

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