Sonsengnim was back today. He had been away since last week and I had missed him. His laughter is infectious and he will try to talk to me despite the difficulty. When I came into the gyomoshil only he was there, in the back, mostly obscured by his computer monitor. “Where have you been?” No comprehension. “Where did you go?”
I asked why but his hesitation and the unusual timbre of his voice made me regret it. He said, I think, grandmother. I think she must have died. When he came out from behind the cubicle barrier, he was wearing traditional Korean dress. An orange, embroidered tunic top and loose black pants. He was less garrulous than usual.