‘Falling’ Back Into Korea 2009


This, despite the fact I wasn’t even in Korea in 2009.

But, I was preparing to go back after my first aborted attempt four years before, the first of two attempts that I’ve talked about plenty of times and will probably talk about plenty of times in the future. For now, though, if you’re curious, you can read about it over at this old, dusty claptrap of a blog.

Now, I’m listening to “Power,” a song from Marillion’s 2012 album Sounds That Can’t Be Made. Again, I was planning on going back to Korea, except this time, it would finally stick. Listening to it now, in 2017, sends a shiver through me. Like a scent smelled when you were young that has become as part of the memory as the event itself, “Power” is a time machine back to 2012; “Falling,” back to 2009; or Stream of Passion’s “Deceiver” taking me back to a lonely apartment in Jinju awash in harsh, horrible flourescent light and drowning in cigarette smoke and bad writing in December 2005 (or In Flames’ “Eraser,” which I was listening to while trying to take a shit in a cold, cold elementary school bathroom in Mandeok, Busan, in March 2010. What, TMI?). They are time machines that take me to places that don’t exist anymore.

Sometimes, the places never existed. Now, I’m listening to Deep Forest’s remix of the Youssou N’Dour song “Undecided” which, I think, I was listening to while working part-time at Cherry Grove Farm between being laid off at the newspaper and heading to Busan with EPIK in 2010. But, I was thinking about Korea at the time? I was signing up for programs? I’m not even sure. Or, the song “Misery 24/7” that I associated with all the post-surgery pain I was experiencing after an abnormally-long gallbladder surgery in May 2010, which was the primary reason I’d abandoned that second attempt at Korea. I wasn’t even thinking about Korea, I was thinking about how much pain I was in and whether or not the nurse was going to give me more painkillers! But, I attached them both to my super self-indulgent Korea Chronicles soundtrack, so they remain in ancient “John Dunphy in South Korea” lore, which still gives me those shivers, despite having listened to hundreds of other songs in the past four years I’ve actually lived here.

Fantasy is often more fantastical than reality. But, it’s still fantasy. But, it’s still fun. I enjoy popping back in from time to time. But, not too often; it wouldn’t be as special if I did.

What are some of your time machine songs? Where do they take you? Do they still give you the same shivers they did when they attached themselves to your memories, making them as important as the memories themselves?


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