I didn't have any coffee last night, or yesterday, or this morning. I haven't had any for days, I'm remembering. I feel uncoordinated, or woozy. There is a cafe near the bus stop. I need change for the bus. I walk into the coffee shop. The man behind the counter says, "Hello," in a Canadian accent. I ignore him, to speak Korean, "Anyong Haseyo." "What can I get for you?" he says, in his Canadian accent. "Eseupeuresso hana juseyo," I say, ordering espresso one give me please. "For here or to go?" he asked, in a Canadian accent. I am at the limit of my Korean. "To go," I say. "Here, " he says, in a canadian accent. "This is handmade." He hands me a small gingerbread man, but thick. "We are a new store, so this is a welcoming gift." "Kamsahamnida," I say, as a thank you. "Here is a discount card for the future, when you return. "Kamsahamnida," I say, again. "Thank you for coming." "Kamsahamnida." I say.

I climb on the bus. All the seats are full. A young woman gets up and offers her seat to an older man. Nobody gets up to let me sit, even though I want to. I grab the bar near the back door and feel in my pocket for my cookie. "This is going to be delicious," I am thinking. It is green and freckled with cinnamon maybe. It will be minty, with cinnamon, or perhaps Green Tea flavor. There is an old woman standing near me and she smiles when I pull out the cookie. I am deciding to interpret her smile as a glare, because some Koreans get upset about people eating in public. It's considered rude. "Fuck you!" I think about the old woman's smile, as I interpret it, "I eat where I want!" I unwrap my small, thick cookie. I thought about its shape as a man. I will eat it limb by limb and then its head and then the torso last. I bit off one leg, the right leg.

Oh, it tastes gross, first like ginseng or ginger, fucking Korean cookies, this is a sweet! Make it fucking sweet and don't put herbs in it! Fucking Korean cookies! "Handmade," he said, something told me. "Handmade." Handmade cookies, they taste like shit, I try to swallow it and choke a little bit. I want to vomit, over a cookie? My mouth starts to foam. "Handmade." In his Canadian accent, that man hadn't said "Cookie", had he. He said "Handmade". And what is a "Handmade" cookie? They're "Homemade", no? What kind of things are "Handmade"? Socks. Sweaters. Crafts, like a birdhouse. Soap.

Oh, soap. Oh, soap. Oh, this is soap in my mouth. Cookies foam less than this does, this soap. I look at the old woman. She is not looking at me. I hope she's not upset that I didn't offer her soap to eat. "You're lucky, old woman." I feel poorly for assuming about her. Now I've got the food in my mouth, and it's soap. I feel poorly. I don't want to sicken this woman, not after judging her. She, or I through her, has made me acutely aware of my primary social transgression. A part of me also doesn't want to admit that eating in public is dangerous, that this is a possible penalty for avoiding small social norms, soap in your mouth. I can't spit it out, then, doubly. It's only a small piece, anyway. When I was a kid, I had to eat soap when I sang a rhyming song about a "vagina" and a "penis", or once called an adult an "asshole". If I chew it, it will be much smaller, I reason. If I chew it and then pour the espresso over the small pieces, it might overwhelm them, or become a ginseng or ginger or soap tinge to espresso, only unpleasant, not horrible. I chew and drink, but the soap gets stuck in the angles of my teeth and the espresso makes the foaming worse, more elaborate. I want to vomit. I chew and chew and swallow, the motion of my throat produces more bubbles that fill my mouth. I salivate, the soap has coated the inside of my cheeks, I salivate and produce more bubbles. I press the button, the get off button. My mouth expands. If I swallow, I will vomit. Soap rings my teeth. I can feel it where I can't taste it. I push the button, the woman is still not looking at me.

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