Locmin For Senate (3 of 3)

So this is the last part of Locmin For Senate. I hope you’ve enjoyed the previous parts. As with all older writings I look back on this piece and think of what I could’ve or should’ve done. The story, however, is still good in my opinion. If you feel the same please use the media tools on the bottom to share it (or anything on this site) and let me know how you feel. To check out part 1 click here. For part 2 click here.

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Isaac turned away from Helen and, again, towards the RV window – unconsciously avoiding his wife’s talking points. From the interview Isaacs’s mind went back to replaying the funeral.

The priest told a story. “… He asked Simon to touch the holes in his hand. Simon had said he needed proof that Jesus had return. There it was. Because he lacked faith Jesus told him to look at his wounds, look at the scars he had been given so that humanity would be saved. Jesus than told us – that’s right, us as well as Simon – that blessed are those who believe without needing proof.

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Locmin For Senate (2 of 3)

This is the second part of a story that was intended to be read as a whole. Check out the previous part if you’re not sure what’s going on. It’s only a five minutes read and flows nicely to this one. If you like it then enjoy and let me know. Thanks
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Helen wore a softer version of Isaac’s outfit – with light beige replacing the navy blue. A homely looking woman, Helen had broad shoulders that were accentuated by her many business jackets. Isaac glanced at her with dull eyes before returning his gaze to the trees, bushes and mountain scenery flying past the window. He was glad he married her. She was smarter than him, and he knew it. Helen was the strategist behind Isaac’s campaign who did everything from writing his speeches and policy initiatives, to setting up promotional events and contacting the media.

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Twitter philosophy

This is a collection of some of my twits (yeah, that’s what I call them) and Facebook statuses over the last few I-don’t-know-how-long. They’re short little bits of what I thought were insightful, and pretty sounding phrases placed in a non-chronological order. Follow me at @alexclermont because I’m cool, just like you.

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If it wasn’t for your delicious Kimchi and easily accessible 노래방s, I’d hate you Korea.
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Sometimes I wish I was #gay or at least #Bisexual. Sex would be far less complicated. DAMN you Vagina and the hold you have on me!! grrr…

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Locmin For Senate (1 of 3)

This story first appeared last August in the short story collection “Every Second Sunday.” I own it though, so I can do what I like with it. That means it goes up here.

This is the first of three parts, as it is too big to post as one story that people would realistically read in a single blog sitting.

I hope you enjoy this bit of fictionalized commentary on the political system in the U.S. coupled with a message about the potential for personal growth we all have.
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Getting ready to speak, Isaac worked up a smile and asked, “Hey John, what’s our ETA?”

“We should be at the church at about 9:35 Mr. Locmin.”

Isaac nodded, “Thanks John.” John smiled back.

Isaac remembered John because of the hideous mole on his right jaw. He tried a similar trick to remember his other aides, but the fact that Brian had the shortest hair, or that Chris had the brownest eyes didn’t work as well as the blotch of ugly sickness on John’s face. For the most part separating his chorus of handlers from each other was a challenge that Isaac overcame with charm, and a guessing game that he was very lucky in. His handful of advisers were faceless and interchangeable men with unremarkable features.

After John turned away Isaac’s smile quickly disappeared and he looked out of the three by three foot square window to his left with a blank expression.

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Student after student during my speaking test

Student Q and A – “I get the money”

Some time ago I had to give my students a speaking test. It consisted of me asking them a series of questions to test there fluency in English. These are some of the questions – and some of the more interesting answers I received:
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QUESTION: Who is your favorite music artist? Why do you like them?

Answer: You know Hip-Hop? I like Nas because… he is very famous.

Answer: I like Lonely Island because they have very sexual content songs like “dick in a box,” “Jizz my pants” and whatever.

Answer: I like Girls Generation because they so cute. Ahh… [he adjusted himself in his seat and smiled] Yes, they are so cute.

Answer: My favorite artist is Kanye West, because his voice is very charming.

QUESTION: What school subject are you interested in? Why are you interested in it?

Answer: I like science because teacher is girl.

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Catching Butterflies

There is a story behind my writing this short story, but I won’t share it unless you ask me in person. What I will say is that this was the first short story in my life that I wrote with ease. It broke some mental barrier that I had put up and I was able to write without feeling an awkward and anxious agony, like I was trying to paint with my feet. This story did it. I thank it, and I thank you for reading it.
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I knew it was the wrong decision when I saw the butterfly.

It was dirt brown and amber, and fluttered an inch away from my face. If I had grabbed the thing I imagine it would have fit neatly in my palm. Instead I simply let it fly past, passively observing it as it flew from my left to my right, then into the bushes where it disappeared.

With it gone I had to focus again on my dad and his friends as they played basketball at our local park. No, that’s not true at all. I wasn’t really focused on their game, but my anxiety about being next up to play. I didn’t play sports – I still don’t – but my father brought me along. In his words, “I just think you need to move your body a little more.” There was no meanness in his words, but they hurt nonetheless. I was standing on the sidelines of our local park’s basketball court out of guilt for being a quiet boy who watched life from his bedroom window and drew pictures of trees and hummingbirds. I was standing there because I told my dad I would play, but when I saw that butterfly I knew I made the wrong decision.

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My Eulogy

Wrote this during a writing workshop prompt earlier this week. Thought is was pretty good, that it was pretty sad, and unfortunately, that it’s probably pretty true.
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What can I say about Alex Clermont that everybody here doesn’t already know. He was 5 feet 7 inches. He was brown. He loved comic books, shrimp, and any joke that could convincingly fit the word penetration into it.

Alex was also a sucker for love. He loved the idea of love, and shared himself mind, body and soul with several of us crying here today. Love with Alex, however was never permanent, with every relationship of his having in it a fatal flaw. He never found what he was looking for either in love, or in life in general, but I think he was okay with that.

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Life Inc.

I wrote this piece as an exercise in writing in the second person. I had to think for a while about a subject. Something that I knew so well that I could walk you through it and point out details that bring out the point I wanted to make about consumerism in America. I have a bit of experience in retail so that did it for me. I hope this does it for you. If it does please let me know.
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In the middle of Main Street stands City Center Mall. It’s a relatively new mall, only having been around for a year, but business is constant, and its stores are always filled with shoppers. You walk pass the mall’s entrance and notice the huge banners hung on the front of the box shaped building. Words written in steel blue ask you to “Find What Defines You.” Along with the inviting words are images of happy and pretty people holding cheap and pretty solutions to their life’s problems. You take the invitation and walk in.

By far the mall’s most popular store is Widgets, an electronics franchise that prides itself on being the place where “shopping is fun again.” Entering the mall you head for Widgets by way of elevator. The first thing to catch your eye once you’ve reached the top floor is a huge display of the company’s logo. Positioned above the entrance the sign violently grabs your attention, and for a few seconds your stare is fixed.

The Widgets logo is a yellow star burst set against a navy blue background and containing bold black letters that spell out “WIDGETS.” According to consumer psychologists three is the optimal number of elements for a memorable logo – in this case a star burst, black letters and a blue background. It’s a conscious attempt by Widgets to invade your unconscious and stamp themselves into the consumer’s brain. After being stamped you snap out of the gaze and continue walking towards the automatically opening doors.

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Korean Quickie – Bad Teacher

I went to work a few weeks ago and saw a print out of my name near the front door entrance. The sheet of paper had some Korean characters on it. Not being able to read Korean I asked one of the school staff members about it: “Why is my name on this poster? Did I do something wrong?”

Based on stories I’ve heard about private academies (hagwons) in Koreaas, well as some of my recent experiences, I was concerned for my job. Jinny, the staff member, seemed pleasantly surprised however and said, “Really. Wow. You won the Cross Cafe contest.”

“The what?”

I had won a contest that honored the teacher who had most students participate in my Academy’s new project – an attempt to get kids to do more work outside of the classroom. Cross Cafe was an online platform that allowed students to post presentations and projects. They were also able to comment on the posts of other students…

I didn’t know I was even in a contest. Nodding at Jinny I said “okay,” and walked toward my classroom, quickly forgetting the sign and my temporary fear of joblessness.

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Korean Quickie – There is hope

The things in this story happened to me as I was beginning to come to terms with the fact that I lived in another country. It was an understanding that was great, but saddening at the same time. The kindness of many random Korean people was the great part. If you enjoy this story please use the social media tools below. Thanks.
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Throughout most of my life I’ve kept a relatively pessimistic perspective on things. A glance at my childhood pictures show cold stares sprinkled with regret. There was never a specific reason, and though I abhor the idea of blaming it on “my nature” (whatever that is), happiness was, and is, a elusive thing to me. The things I desired didn’t desire to be around me, so I grew up always expecting very little out of the life that I counted everyday of.

Moving to South Korea was an extension of that phenomenon. I wanted to be in the publishing industry just as mergers were allowing companies to fire their staff, and print media in general was walking the path worn out years ago by the Tasmanian tiger, the Bermuda Ern, and the eight track tape. During my internship as Farrar Straus and Giroux an assistant editor talked to me:

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