Life, Once Again! - Chapter 468
Lights turned on within the theater where the only source of light was the reflections off the screen until now. The lights on the ceiling scattered a faint light and the exit opened. The employees politely saw out the customers who left.
Dongwook stayed seated in the chair as he watched the ending credits roll up. This was the first time in his life that he watched a movie twice in one day. Half of it was because he wanted to write a proper article, and the other half was because he wanted to watch the movie again. That was his mindset as he watched the movie.
He reached into his jacket pocket. He really wanted to smoke right now. Unfortunately, he could only lick his lips after feeling only a lighter in his pocket.
By the time the names of the sound engineers started rolling up, the lights became brighter. The employees started walking around in the theater, picking up any leftover popcorn and coke that the customers left behind.
Dongwook stood up after feeling the gaze of an employee. He left through the exit and immediately got on the elevator. He visited the supermarket on the first floor and got six cans of beer and some dried squid before going to the counter.
“These and a pack of This Plus.”
He took the plastic bag and headed to his car which he parked in the parking lot. He put his stuff on the passenger seat and opened the pack of cigarettes. He put one in his mouth before lighting it up.
“They made a f.u.c.k.e.d up movie, those people.”
He puffed in a deep one. This was the first time he felt disgusted after seeing a video media ever since he watched a doc.u.mentary about kidnappers when he was still pondering over what justice was all about. It really was a damned movie. He could still hear the sound of the hammer ripping apart flesh reverberating in his ears.
Arriving at home, Dongwook brought a can of beer and the dried squid and sat in his living room. He turned on his laptop and opened a word processor. On the top of the first page, he wrote down the key topics: the joys and sorrows of an elder living by himself, the meaning of family, the fatality of insurances, the meaning of ‘support’ in the perspective of the era.
The movie threw a hard-to-handle question to its audience from the get-go. Who is going to look after the sick elderly? That kind of topic was too common, and probably wasn’t an item that was worthwhile, so the movie did not use it. Now that he thought about it, he heard that the movie was based on a novel, making him wonder if he should read it. However, he soon put that notion away since he felt awful just watching the movie, so there was no need to feel even worse by going that far. The other critics should have done their job regarding the published work. His job was supposed to praise and criticize the movie that JA invested in.
Dongwook drank some beer as he pressed on his keys. His fingers, being boosted by the power of alcohol, hopped around the keyboard without getting tired.
After a chaotic round of typing, Dongwook grabbed the beer can again. The can was light, though, he didn’t remember when he finished it. Just five meters away from him, there was cool beer inside the refrigerator, but it was nearly impossible to go there and get it right now. Once he lost his momentum, he would no longer be able to proceed.
He rotated his aching wrists before starting to write again. Only after writing five pages of text did he groan and do some stretching. His neck and shoulders screamed by making cracking sounds.
Standing up, Dongwook went over and opened the refrigerator, taking out a cooled canned beer. To replace the dried squid, he cooked a pot of ramyun. He brought the boiling ramyun and the cool beer with him as he sat in front of the laptop again. Now was the time for some relaxation. He turned the TV on and raised the volume up before looking at his laptop screen. What he had to do now was start reading from the beginning and remove things he didn’t want.
Actually, the length of the article wasn’t really a problem. Ever since he joined JA, all of his articles were being used by various media as a written-by-a-guest format. That was thanks to the power of Lee Junmin, the CEO. Popular celebrity magazines, internet magazines, and even movie magazines would use his articles. Of course, there were a lot of cases where it didn’t pass the editorial department of such media and was returned back to him with requests for edits, or was simply ignored outright, but Dongwook did not care about that. After all, the number on his salary did not change depending on the number of media his article was used in. If this situation continued for a long time, and he started desiring reputation, he might have a change of mind, but as of now, he didn’t have any complaints at all.
Despite that, the reason he edited his writing over and over, was because of his habit. He wanted to satisfy himself. Only when he removed parts of his writing and decreased its overall length did he feel that he was working. It was his way of acknowledging that he had a proper job.
He ate a mouthful of ramyun before going over to the next button.
“I guess that’s done then?”
He put the final period before looking at the TV. The daily drama that aired every Sunday at 8 in the evening was just about to start. It had been a long time since he forgot about the time as he was immersed in work.
After reading the finished writing one last time, he changed the filename. Now, all he needed to do was to send it to Junmin. Junmin would then take care of the rest. Just as he attached the file to the email and was about to press send, he stopped.
He opened the doc.u.ment again and added one more line at the end. The content was quite simple.
-The future of the high school actor that acted as the delinquent in the middle of the movie looks quite promising.
“This is what’s good about it, okay?”
Dongwook smiled nonchalantly and sent the mail as he thought about Maru who would be nodding his head if he learned of this.
* * *
“Aren’t you guys going home?”
“Then let me go home at least.”
“Hey, who do you think we’re here for? You can’t leave.”
“Who told you to be here in the first place?”
Maru clicked his tongue as he looked at his giggling friends. It was 9:50 in the evening. Miso’s lectures ended last week, and the play he was preparing with Ganghwan also came to a stop, so he wasn’t that busy. Today was the day he could go home and relax, but he was dragged by his classmates to Suwon station.
“Let’s get going. It’s almost 10.”
The kids that were playing games while shouting loudly all grabbed their bags and stood up. They left the male high school student’s den that was the PC-bang and looked around before one of them pointed towards the convenience store.
“Let’s go there and get something to eat.”
“I’m getting samgak-kimbap.”
“I’m getting ramyun.”
There were twelve of his friends in that group. Dowook and Dojin were the leaders.
“Sheesh, it’s nothing special.”
“One of their classmates appeared in a movie. It’s not surprising everyone wants to watch it,” Daemyung said.
Maru shook his head.
“It’s not that they want to watch it, but that they just needed to do something to kill time. It should be much better to go home and sleep though.”
There were still around three hours until 1 a.m. Maru wondered just how they were going to spend all that time.
“Hey! Come here!”
“Don’t think about running away!”
His classmates all shouted in front of the convenience store. The passersby all looked at them. Maru walked towards the convenience store while acting like he was completely unrelated.
“We were worried you’d run. Dowook says everything’s on him. Let’s pick.”
As expected of the son of the oil-rich. Dowook bought most of the snacks for acting club practice as well. They picked a few items to eat before leaving. As they were excited before they committed the deed, they didn’t seem to be affected by the cold, from how they were giggling and chatting in front of the convenience store. Maru asked the others as he drank the hot ramyun soup.
“What are you guys going to do until 1 a.m.? Why don’t you just go home?”
“Go home now? I already told my parents that I’ll be studying with the others.”
These guys lied like it was nothing.
Maru pressed between his eyes. What was he supposed to do with these kids?
“Hey hey, there’s the red light district next to the station. Do you want to sneak there?”
“What’s a red light district?”
“There’s something like that?”
Maru threw his chopsticks at the guys that had a l.e.w.d smile on their face.
“That place disappeared a long time ago. Also, you guys should do something more decent. If you use your middle leg in the wrong place, you might ruin your lives.”
They didn’t seem to have any actual intentions to go as they just shrugged and moved on to the next topic.
Around thirty minutes passed after they started eating the food they bought from the convenience store.
“Hey, it’s getting cold.”
“We have to wait two more hours, huh. Dammit, I’m going to go.”
That was the privilege of those at their age who did things on impulse. Maru hit the Adam’s apple of those that just waved their hands as they were about to go home. They left after saying their goodbyes.
“You guys should just go as well. It’s nothing fun to watch,” Maru said to Dowook, Dojin, and Daemyung who still remained.
“You’re sure that there’s nothing l.e.w.d in it, right?” Dojin asked.
“Then I guess I’m going to go as well. I don’t have any energy after seeing those guys leave. Dowook, let’s go,” Dojin hooked his arms around Dowook’s shoulders as he said that.
Dowook flicked his arm away angrily, but Dojin just smiled and hooked his arm again.
“Shoot something more famous next time, so that we can watch it during the day. What the hell are we doing, I wonder,” Dowook complained.
“I never told you guys to do this, you know? Stop talking nonsense and just go home.”
Dojin and Dowook waved their hands before leaving. The only one left now was Daemyung.
“You aren’t going?”
“Aren’t you going home?”
“Huh? I want to watch it though. It’s Joon-hyung’s work that’s been adapted to a movie, right? I want to watch it. I want to watch it and compare it to the original work and see how video is different from writing.”
Daemyung spoke with clear eyes. Maru did not dare tell him to do something unnecessary when he saw Daemyung’s eyes.
“Alright. I guess it’s a form of study for you. Then good luck with that. It’s cold, so you should go to the nearby fast food restaurant or something before you go there.”
He turned around after saying that. Just then, a burly hand was placed on his shoulders. Maru did not turn around and just twisted his body to get out of his grip, but he wouldn’t budge.
“How am I supposed to do it alone?”
“The movie… I’m a bit scared to go by myself.”
“Daemyung. There won’t be anyone there once it goes past one o’clock. You just need to look around before sneaking in.”
He explained in kind, but Daemyung did not loosen his grip. Maru’s shoulder started aching. This guy’s gripping strength seriously wasn’t normal.
Maru turned around to look at Daemyung. Daemyung made an awkward smile and asked him to watch it together.
“Just my luck.”
“I’ll buy you the hamburger as compensation.”
In the end, he was dragged by Daemyung to the nearby fast food restaurant. Two men eating a hamburger together late at night was something indescribably depressing. Moreover, Maru became even more depressed when he thought that he would have to watch his own unskilled acting.
“Let’s walk around for a while before going in.”
They walked around Suwon station for a while before going into the theater at exactly 1 o’clock. The hall was completely empty as they had expected. The lights were even off in the snack bar as though they had finished cleaning there.
“Can we really go in though?”
“Let’s not look for our conscience at this point in time.”
Maru looked at the ticketing office before walking inside. He went past the entrance blocked by a red line and wondered if he should really do this, but somewhere in his heart, he wanted to watch the movie when he heard the movie sounds all around him. He dragged the uneasy Daemyung and opened the door to the 3rd theater. The light reflecting off the screen was faintly lighting up the audience seats, and there were less than ten people from a glance.
It was an independent movie, age-restricted, and the last show for the day. It was amazing that the staff turned on the movie at all.
“Gosh, this is unnerving,” Daemyung said as he sat down.
His eyes were uneasily tracking the entrance and the exit.
“Don’t you ever get involved in something like a scam. And don’t commit any crimes either.”
“Huh? Why’s that?”
“I bet my entire fortune that you will be caught within the day.”
He was such a naïve guy. Maru leaned back in the chair and looked at the screen. The ads were just ending.
The lights in the theater started dimming. The screen motor sounds could be heard. This signalled the start of the movie. The nervous Daemyung seemed to have calmed down now as he looked at the screen with his eyes wide open.
“Alright, let’s have a look.”
Maru crossed his arms.
The hour of embarrassment was nigh.
 A tobacco brand.
 Lit. ‘triangular kimbap’. It’s ‘kimbap’ but rolled into the shape of a triangle. Wikipedia for more info. Look at the #variants section.
 Petrol stations used to earn high incomes until the mid 90s due to a law that restricted new petrol stations from being built within a certain range of the other. That law was removed in 1994, leading to a dramatic increase in that number, increasing competition.