• Naeri Gas Station can be seen in the Run graphic lyrics book!

    • I finished with the gas and went in, but something brushed against my face and fell. Surprised, I took a step backwards and looked down. Lying at my feet was a crumbled bill. Reflexively, I bent down and reached out. The people in the car burst into laughter. I stopped for a moment. Seokjin hyung was watching me from a distance. I couldn't lift my head. What do you do if you make eye contact with people who ride in expensive cars and put down and ridicule others? You have to face them. If you think what they're doing is unjust then you have to face them. It's not a matter of bravery, or pride, or equality. It's something you have to do.

      But this was a gas station and I was a part-time worker. If a customer threw trash I had to clean it, and if they cursed I had to listen, and if they threw a bill on the ground I had to pick it up. My body trembled with humiliation. I clenched my fist. My fingernails bit into my skin.

      At that moment, someone's hand picked up the bill. The people in the car muttered as if the fun was gone and left the gas station. Even after they were gone I couldn't lift my head. I lacked the confidence to look Seokjin hyung in the eyes. It wasn't like hyung didn't know about my cowardliness, my poverty, my circum-stances. But even so, I didn't want to show him this explicitly. Hyung stood at the end of my gaze and didn't move. He didn't approach me and didn't speak.


      The gas station owner spit on the ground as he left. I laid down on the ground in the same position I'd crouched in. I had been doing graffiti on the back wall of the gas station, only to get caught, and the owner had hit me while asking what I thought I was doing, drawing on someone else's wall. I rolled around on the floor. Getting hit was both something I was used to and something unfamiliar.

      I had started doing graffiti a long time ago. I took a spray can that someone had tossed away and tried drawing on a wall. I think it was yellow. I sprayed it however and then looked up at it. I looked at the clear yellow paint on the grey wall, then picked up another spray can. For a long time I sprayed unthinkingly on the wall. Only when all the spray cans were empty did my hands stop. I threw the can away and stepped back. My breath came as if I had been running with all my might.

      I didn't know what the colors on the wall meant. I didn't know what I had done or why I had done it. But I had done it, and I could guess that they were expressing my feelings. I had spewed my heart out onto that wall. At first I thought it was ugly. I thought it was dirty. It was idiotic and useless and pitiful. I didn't like it. I rubbed at some of the wet paint with my hand. I wanted to erase it all. Instead of erasing it, I caked on other colors and mangled it into different shapes. I sat against that wall. It wasn't a matter of whether or not I liked it. It wasn't about whether it was beautiful or not. It was just me.

      When I stood up, I coughed. I spit blood out into my hand. Then I saw someone's hand pick up the spray can. I followed the line of that hand up until I saw a face. It was Namjoon hyung. I laughed. I thought I was seeing a ghost. Hyung reached out a hand. I just looked up at him. Hyung took my hand and pulled me up. His hand was warm.


      With a screech, the car barely came to a halt. I had been so lost in thought that I hadn't noticed the light changing. Students in familiar uniforms crossed the street and stared at me through the window. Some people were pointing. I forced a smile and bowed my head. I knew what I had to do. But I wasn't unafraid. Could I really put an end to all of these misfortunes and hurts? Doesn't repeating the same failure mean that success is impossible? Isn't it telling me to give up? Could happiness be nothing more than a meaningless hope for us? Uncountable thoughts passed through my mind. At some point I approached the intersection with the gas station, and a ways off I could see Namjoon filling cars. I took a huge breath and let it out slowly. I tried to recall their faces one-by-one--Yoongi, Hoseok, Jimin, Taehyung, Jungkook. Then I changed lanes and entered the gas station. I couldn't give up. If there was even a 1 percent chance, I wouldn't give up. Through the window I saw Namjoon approach. TRANSLATED BY @ORIGAMYFIREFLY. PLEASE DO NOT REPOST.

      I rested my head against the bus window. From the library to the gas station. The scenery passed by the window, almost frighteningly familiar since I took this route every day. Would there come a day I could leave this scenery behind? I felt that it was impossible to predict what tomorrow would bring, nor to hope for anything. I could see that there was a woman sitting in front of me, her hair tied with a yellow rubber band, her shoulders lifted and then dropped as if she was sighing. Then she rested her head against the window. For around a month already, we had studied at the same library and gotten on the bus at the same stop. We hadn't spoken a word to each other, but we looked at the same scenery and lived on the same time and sighed the same sighs. The hair tie was still in my pants pocket. The woman always got off the bus three stops before I did. Every time I saw her leave, I wondered if she was going to distribute fliers. What kind of time was she spending, what kind of things was she enduring? How strongly did she feel stifled at the thought that tomorrow might not come, or that from the beginning there had never been such a thing as 'tomorrow'? I thought things like that. The woman's stop began to approach. Someone pressed the stop request button and other passengers got up from their seats. But in the midst of this, the woman didn't stir. She just stayed in her seat, her head against the window. It seemed like she was asleep. Should I go and wake her up? I fought with myself for a moment. The bus approached the stop. The woman didn't move. People disembarked. The door closed and the bus started to move. The woman didn't wake, even as we passed the next three stops. As I moved to the bus door I fought with myself again. It was clear that once I got off the bus, no one else would pay attention to her. She would wake up somewhere far from her stop, and it was impossible to know how much more tired she would be today because of it. I left the bus stop and started to walk toward the gas station. The bus took off and I didn't look back. I had left the hair tie on top of her bag, but that was it. That wasn't a beginning, and as such nor was it an end. It was nothing to start with and there was no reason for it to be anything. So I thought it really didn't matter. TRANSLATED BY @ORIGAMYFIREFLY. PLEASE DO NOT REPOST.

      I looked down at the kid eating ramyeon in a hurry. He was eight, maybe ten years old. He looked up at me sometimes as he scarfed down the warm rice and noodles. I asked his name and he'd told me it was Woochang. Song Woochang. He spilled some ramyeon broth on his dirty t-shirt and, wiping at it with his fingers, muttered that he was going to get scolded by his grandma again.

      The first time I saw Woochang was around two months ago. I was coming back from the gas station, and I saw him standing in front of the container behind mine. At the time, I thought he had come through looking for a shortcut to get out of Songju Station. The container town was no place for a kid to live. But a couple weeks later I saw him in the empty lot next to the containers, kicking an old soccer ball around on his own. And since then I'd run into him several times. He was always wandering around by himself. Wearing the same shirt. Same pants, same sneakers. It was obvious that he didn't have an adult to take care of him. I couldn't do anything about that. I had my hands full taking care of myself. I always passed by and pretended not to know him.

      When I left the gas station and headed back toward the container town today, it was just a little past eleven at night. As I rummaged in my pockets for my key. I saw a crouching shadow. It was Woochang. I could have ignored him like I always did. I could have found my key. Opened the container door and gone inside to make myself ramyeon and sleep but I couldn't do that today. I didn't want to.

      I looked up at the sky. It had been gloomy all day. The night sky was full of gray clouds. I couldn't see even a single star. Suddenly I felt hungry. If I remembered right, I only had one ramyeon left in the container. I didn't have any in stock and I didn't have enough energy to stock more. Those were my circumstances. I looked down at the key I'd taken out of my pocket. I remembered the scenery I'd looked back on as I left the countryside. I thought of the words I'd written on the bus window.

      I walked toward Woochang.


      I came to the sea alone. In the viewfinder, the sea spread out as wide and blue as it always had. It was all the same, the light that sparkled from the water, the wind that came through the pine forest. The only thing that was different was that this time I was alone. As soon as I pressed the shutter and the scenery in front of my eyes flickered, a moment from that day, 2 years and 10 months ago, seemed to appear and disappear. On that day, we sat side by side and faced this ocean. We were tied and had nothing and were desolate, but at least we were together.

      I turned the car around and stepped on the accelerator. I went through the tunnel and passed by the rest stop. When I approached the vicinity of the school we all used to attend together, I opened the car window. The air was warm and cherry blossoms fluttered in the trees that lined the school's wall. I left the school and passed several intersections, took several left turns and several rights. In the distance, I began to see the lights of the gas station where Namjoon worked.


      The Notes 1: 花樣年華 [The Most Beautiful Moment in Life]


        Namjoon finds a flier that says there will be redevelopment stuck to the door of his container. He throws it in trash because he doesn't believe it will happen. He’s been coming back to the container every night instead of staying in the small room at the gas station, since they visited Jungkook. He wonders if it was the time for them to part ways. But he still keeps the light just so the other boys know that they can still come to their "hideout."

      • SEOKJIN YEAR 22 JULY 14:

        Seokjin meets up with Namjoon at a tent bar. He had received the call in the afternoon after Namjoon had finished his shift at the gas station. Namjoon downs one glass after another, and confides to Namjoon that he feels extremely exhausted, he had no emotional energy left to help Jungkook and Taehyung, and only felt like he was pretending to be friends. He feels guilty of making up excuses even now. Jin remembers how Jin had defended him that day when he caught up snitching to the Principal.

        He asks why he did that then, in turn Namjoon asks why he had snitched instead. Jin shares everything with Namjoon, telling him about his family problems and his cold relationship with his father. Namjoon encourages him to tell his truth to others as well.

        Jin wonders if anyone would believe him. He recalls seeing Taehyung working and being jovial at the convenience store. He wonders how to reconcile with Taehyung.

      • NAMJOON YEAR 22 JULY 13:

        Namjoon has started working night shifts at the gas station since last month. He has also started going to the library every day. In the library he tries his hardest to concentrate and browse through some magazines but it is not easy. On the way back to the gas station from the library, he notices a woman. This was the same woman who he had seen distributing flyers on the overpass that day, and who also came to the same library. Namjoon feels that they are similar- going to the same library, taking the same route, sighing the same way. He had even bought a hair- tie for her on a whim after seeing her yellow elastic hair-tie.

        He notices the woman had fallen asleep when her stop arrived. He hesitates to wake her up. In the end he leaves just putting the hair-tie on the bag and gets off. He remembers that a few days ago he had seen graffiti on the wall near the bus stop and he had automatically looked around for Taehyung, but judging by the spray cans still left it seemed as if he had run away in a hurry.

      • NAMJOON YEAR 22 JUNE 13:

        Namjoon visits Jungkook in the middle of night. They talk and laugh a lot, avoiding matters of consequence such as why the fight broke out that day, or why Namjoon had left the lodge that night without saying anything. On his way back, Seokjin asks him if he is okay because he had not said one word. Namjoon apologizes and makes his way to the fourth container down the railroad. The last time he had been there was before the beach visit , and they had made a campfire then. Since the fight, Namjoon was sure that Taehyung must have dropped by here to seek refuge from his father, but he still avoided coming here. He felt it was emotionally exhausting to be with Taehyung as of now.

        Namjoon looks around the container that is full of memories with others. He thinks of how he is not okay, how what happened to Jungkook was not okay. He wonders if they had not fought, and had someone stayed with Jungkook that night would Jungkook have been saved. But he had still pretended to be okay and chatted with Jungkook, asking him to recover well. He feels he is still the same, always hesitant in front of making important choices and asking questions.