Addiction. It's been years since you've mastered it - attended meetings, found support in a network of friends, resisted and then eventually succumbed to intervention. And somehow, despite the odds, you muster up the will to overcome. You think you're doing well. But how quickly we tumble off the wagon.
I sit here typing away at 3:57am, eyes bloodshot. And I want just one more fix, or that's what I've been telling myself for the past seven hours. One becomes two becomes three becomes eight.
It was never good for me. I saw the damage it did, but I didn't care. I took health sciences. We had D.A.R.E. at our school, and I saw the Rachael Leigh Cook commercial. You know the one:
This is your brain.
This is your brain on drugs.
(Partnership for a drug-free America.)
The drug of choice being Korean dramas.
I have been sober for almost ten years. With the exception of one weekend at home, when I was unwittingly lured by what I thought was my alma mater, UCLA, projected on screen (it was in fact, "Harvard"), I can honestly say I have been clean. I have this theory that Korean dramas do psychological damage, putting to rot the minds of fanciful girls in LA and greater Asia. And I had since made it my personal mission to lobby against said damage before it was too late.
My relapse began with a family visit. As my grandma can no longer remain on her feet for extended periods of time, we had an early dinner at EOS and called it a night, which meant Korean drama marathon. And so, this little family unit of mine took to the couches and bonded, Korean style. Although initially skeptical, the wonderment of the non-linear plot structure soon wore me down. It was better than any trainwreck I had ever seen.
The anatomy of a Korean drama is as follows:
The FORMULA is circulated around the production world. Give or take a few tweaks to the job here and various names for characters there. It doesn't change, but you didn't hear it from me. Mix in two parts crack cocaine, and voila! A miniseries is born.
My brother and I like to play up the drama, with exclamations of: "Ooooh.. He looks piiiiiiiiiissed!" This, of course, results in my mum shooting us a look, which we gleefully ignore. It's too much fun. My grandma, meanwhile, is dozing in and out of consciousness on the couch. Andy likes to break it down: "This is the common scene in Korean dramas - the ub bwoh joh* scene," he explains to me, knowingly. "You see, here, his preconceptions about her are changing." He knows because he has just moved back home, where K-dramas are a nightly fare.
My brother is also surprisingly analytical. "There is a strong foundation for a relationship, Erika. Take notes." He runs an exegesis on the composition of the scene at hand, noting: "Is there supposed to be some hidden innuendo about how they drive a white Hyundai Sonata?" I stare blankly at him and roll my eyes. "Isn't this thing called Winter Sonata or something?" My views of my brother are slowly changing. And I'm supposed to be the English major.
With symbolism like that, how can I resist?
* translates to piggy-back