It’s nearing the end of changma, Korea’s monsoon season, and the trees are alive with an electronic buzz that sounds like a cacophany of small power tools (grinders, transformers, the arcing of a broken power line, the far-off sound of jack-hammers) at a construction site, followed by the sound of a million cicadas.
It’s the deafening mating call of some insect. The males scream their overtures to the females, mate, and then die.
I read somewhere once that in India, more babies are born nine months after monsoon season than any other time of the year. I wonder if that is true in Korea, too. Everything is green and lush, everyone is trapped inside when it rains, and everyone can sense in their bones that the oppressive heat of summer will soon kick in and it will be impossible to stand the touch of another person/furnace. I wonder if love in Korea is seasonal: annual or perrennial. I wonder if there is love here or if mating is merely a social construct born of survival.
I wonder what next season will bring. I wonder what my new mate looks like in monk attire. I wonder if this thing we have is due to the end of changma; whether I should save him from an ascetic life, or whether an ascetic life can save him from me.