ENGLISH V.A.Mike chi
STORYHansaneega@Lee Jongbeom
Those who exist to make others laugh.They hide their sorrow in their dancing and lower themselves, making all who are tired laugh. Those in power and those who are not become equal when they laugh. My father passed away. -What? Is my story boring? He joked up until the moment he died. He joked in the faces of those who were crying. -Well, well. My life isn’t much I guess. Making my only son cry. Was it that boring? ‘What a crazy man.’ ‘Even if he was deeply in love with being a clown, how could he have said this kind of crap right up until his death?’ -Was it that boring? In the end, those became his last words. My god. “Hey, Kim!” After that, I gave up being a clown. Instead, I became a construction site worker. It might have been tiring physically, but emotionally, I felt comfortable. Unlike when I struggled to make others laugh even when I was sad, right now I just had to work. “Yes!” “Take a break!” “Oh, okay. Thank you.” “No need to thank me. You work so hard, unlike other young people these days, Kim.” “Oh… Well, I’m just doing what I have to do.” “Really? You really think so?” Hm. ‘What does he want to say?’ I just looked at the foreman. The foreman handed me a vein busting cup of milky, sweet packet coffee with even more sugar added to it. “But why do you look so down?” “What? Do I?” “Yeah. You look like you’re about to cry when you’re on a break, too.” “Uh… Me?” I had no idea. ‘My face really looked like that?’ I couldn’t understand what he meant even when I looked into a mirror. ‘Haven’t I always looked this way?’ -Brrr Then I got a call. It didn’t say who it was from, but it was a familiar number. It was a number I deleted the day I decided to quit being a clown. I thought I had even blocked it, but I guess I wasn’t that spiteful. “Oh, what’s going on?” “What do you mean what’s going on?! You disappeared all of a sudden! Do you know how much trouble you caused us?” He was a friend from the same team. ‘Do I have to call him a friend now?’ ‘No.’ ‘I think it would be right to call him an ex-coworker.’ This was just what I thought, because he was friendly as he kept talking. “There’s a charity performance coming up. You know that, right? The orphanage.” “Oh.” “You know the kids there like you the best. We said you couldn’t but the orphanage director said that wouldn’t do, so he said he’d compensate us generously.” “I’m not…” “Hey, just do it this once. It’s kids, kids.” “I…” “Think about it. Don’t just refuse right off the bat.” “Alright.” This was a problem. I was wondering how I should refuse when the foreman spoke. “You must have had something good happen.” “What?” That was a strange comment. “What…? “You’re grinning right now.” “Me?” “Look in the mirror. Look.” But the face I saw in the mirror was really grinning. ‘What?’ ‘I’m grinning like this even when I just saw that pathetic sight?’ I wanted to think it was a coincidence. But when I came to my senses… “I’m glad you’re here. The kids are really looking forward to it. You are it when it comes to martial arts. And martial arts is basically you.” “The…” “Your body got even better from your construction jobs. I know you said you wouldn’t because of your father. Thanks for taking on such a difficult request. Someday I’ll definitely…pay you back.” “Um…” “Still, your face looks good. You must really be suited for construction jobs.” “No, that’s not it.” My heart was pounding from before. It wasn’t because I was nervous. It was because I was excited. I was sure of it. I was sure I was excited. “Now, here’s the highlight of today’s event! It’s the martial arts team! Please welcome them with a big round of applause.” I was in a trance after I stepped onto the stage with our introduction and faced the orphanage’s children. I don’t remember what I did or how I did it. But what I do remember is their laughter. The laughter of children who were thrown away by their parents the moments they were born makes a clown dance, so it was a big enough source of strength. “You’ll do it agan? “Yeah.” “Are you not overdoing it?” “Nah.” Starting to long for others’ laughter wasn’t a sad thing. There was one day when I performed with tears brimming in my eyes. And yet, when I saw other people’s smiles, I found strength from an unknown place, no matter if they were rich or poor. -Ring Today’s another performance day. It was street performance, and the people I used to work with said they were coming too. And in particular, the foreman. When I told him I thought I really did have to perform, he was the one who was happy for me like it was his own good news and sent me on my way when I said I had to quit. -Ring I had to give a good enough performance so I didn’t embarrass myself. “Where… Where is this?” “Welcome, clown.” I was dragged to somewhere I’d never seen before. “You are free to choose in this space.” There was a stranger, too. It was the strangest situation. The man continued with what he wanted to say so easily. “Wait, wait. I have a performance soon.” “You will be able to go back safely depending on your choices.” “Wait, more than that why am I… here?" Listening to him, I felt like I knew where I was. The place where they said the world’s prominent figures came. It was really interesting, but at the same time, they said the platform had no connection to regular people. “You have been chosen.” “But I’m just…a clown?” “The talent for making people laugh isn’t given to just anyone.” “There are so many comedians who are more talented than me…” “But the one who was chosen was you, clown.” “Then… Then what do I… I don’t have any talents other than making people laugh.” “You don’t have to here. Don’t you have the power not to as well? Then I wish you a good fight.” He disappeared, leaving me disconcerted. There were a lot of reviews saying the guide was kind. But was that really because he had stood in front of incredible people? “This bitch…” Of course, that wasn’t important. I was left alone on the platform, this new place. “Dammit.” I couldn’t even see any people to make laugh. ‘Well, if I’m forced to…’ ‘The monster…?’ I could see the monster that I saw when I saved a coworker who got addicted to drugs. ‘Does that thing have emotions, too?’ ‘If it does, then I might be able to make it laugh.’