• Nam-gu Mun-hyeon Library can be seen in the Run graphic lyrics book!

    • I skimmed past the magazine advertisements and lifted my head. For the last few days, a different face had been sitting at the table window seat across from me. The thick book, large bag, and white paper cup were the same, but it wasn't her. I returned my gaze to the magazine. I had been looking at the same page for more than an hour. Because of my repeating thoughts, my eyes weren't picking up the letters at all. Why was I sitting here? No answer came to me. Among people who were all absorbed in something, I was just lethargically rummaging through a magazine. I felt impatience for something to start, but I also knew it wasn't going that way.

      I returned the magazine and moved between the bookshelves. The books were in rows on bookshelves taller than I was. A breeze from an open window carried the scent of books and dust into the air. I thought of my high school years. The books I had read when I spent time with my friends in our hideout classroom had smelled the same. Had the 'me of now' grown at all from the 'me of then'? I couldn't willingly be positive. It could be that everything about me had stopped in time back then. I moved over to the opposite bookshelf. Then I picked up a book I used to study from back then. I had to start again. Everything that I had given up, one at a time.


      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.


      I only had one hint. The map of the soul. Words that were unfamiliar, which gave me not the slightest idea what it was or what I was supposed to do with it. Even so, I needed a starting point for something, and I hoped that the 'map of the soul' would be that for me. But it wasn't so. I made countless loops and did plenty of searching about the map of the soul. But everything slipped through my hands. Looking back, the time this all started had been that way too “do you think you can fix all your mistakes and wrongs and save everyone?” When I had nodded my head in response to this question. I had no idea what I would suffer.

      I turned away from the dusty-covered books that filled the shelves and left the used bookstore. When I went up the stairs into the alley, cherry blossoms were flying. I suddenly felt like I had been here before. And I looked behind myself. The basement entrance of the bookstore was dark, and the sign wasn't even visible. Maybe I had confused it with a different bookstore. I had come to countless bookstores and libraries to search for a hint about the map of the soul. There wasn't much to say about what I found, combing through bibliographies and keywords on the internet. Maybe in that process I had visited this bookstore too or at least a bookstore like this one.

      I headed toward the car at the entrance of the alley. I started the engine and put my hands on the wheel, but I didn't know where I had to go from here.


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

      • 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.