"WHEN I was in the locker room with some American guys, I was so impressed," my Korean friend said above the noise of the bar.
"Their penises were so big."
No, he wasn't that drunk. He just didn't do subtly or, seemingly, embarrassment. This was the same guy who had announced to me and a group westerner friends over dinner that his mother often fought with his dad over his drinking. His mother and father -- him with drink in hand of course -- were at the table at the time. No one batted an eyelid. Brutal frankness must have run in the family.
"My weakness is my small penis," he continued, without anger or sadness, but a smile. He laughed and slapped my back. Ho ho, indeed. Was I supposed to laugh? I supposed I was. I worried he would have his head in my lap, spilling tears and yelping like a kicked about puppy before the end of the night. But he looked all right. He could see the funny side of the biggest insecurity any man could have.
"I think western girls like big penis," he went on. He wanted to meet a white girl. He had already apparently. But his curiosity hadn't been sated.
"Well...." I said (just what do you say?) "I don't think girls care about that too much. I mean, I don't think it is that important." I was western too, you see, I knew all about these things. Or so he seemed to think.
"Really?" he said, his ears perked.
"Uh...yeah," I said, looking into my drink and telling myself we were the shallower sex. I wondered if I believed it.
And then we ordered more drinks and drank. And he told me some more of what was buzzing about in that brain of his.