Updated: Dec 17, 2020
Spring 2020—the start of the pandemic in our country.
In our brick and mortar life, Park works in a job which involves close contact. I, Kojin, live my life mostly selling products I come up with and doing my best to support small business and startups.
Park was a very hard worker, sometimes working 60 hours a week or more. He was also very social and had a social work environment in which people relied on him. Let's just say Park was a real life Mario. He was go go go all the time, and I was not. I often found my kind online, entering fantasy lands and serving the public behind a keyboard. Park and Kojin were opposites, but you know the saying, "opposites attract.” We were very attracted.
Before the pandemic I often asked Park to play video games with me. He would laugh and say: “no, I am no good at games.” Beyond that, the obvious fact was he was too busy. When Park wasn't at work he was on the phone with clients, doing paperwork, or setting up appointments for the week. Park barely had time to sleep—much less play video games with his wife-—but every once in a while I would convince him to play a bit of Kart or Smash, and it was fun—mostly because it was fun to watch Park so clumsy at the controls, giving it his all.
This really made a difference to KojinParks’ world. The pandemic changed their lives in ways they could have never imagined. As news circulated about the spread and the lack of preparation our country implemented, KojinPark started to realize they might be in real danger. First we wore masks to shop. Then we started ordering online. Park started being careful going out. Gloves, masks, and hand sanitizer became the norm. I was terrified Park would catch the virus and bring it home and so was he. Then, one of my dearest friends died from this virus.
Things got real.
I was so sad. I realized Park and I were in a category of people who could really get sick and maybe die from this. I begged Park to stay home, and run his business the best he could on the phone. He did for a few months but we were losing money fast. Park had to go back to work.
At this time the virus was raging out of control in our country and close friends, colleagues, were getting it. KojinPark had to separate.
I haven't ever lived without Park. In all the 28 years of our marriage we have never been apart. This was going to be really hard and I pulled everything, every trick, every fit I had to stop him, but Park was convinced there was no other way. He was leaving.
After Park moved out I got really depressed. I was so worried that this would be it. Park would get this virus and die and I would never see him again. I had to face the fact that neither of us were young and healthy anymore. I saw people aligned with our current president acting as if "a culling of the herd" was acceptable. I felt I was in a horror game, and had no weapons. The old, poor, ill, essential and fragile were left stranded by society. They were told to run and hide, or become America's "heroes" overnight while the rest continued to spread the virus to horrific proportions. How were we supposed to live?
Then there was Park, alone out there working in it. I was angry at him. I wanted him to come and hide with me. I didn't care if we had to lose everything we had as long as he was safe. Park was realistic. He said on the phone: “you know I had no choice, I had to go.”
Parks worst fear is losing our house, our food, and living on the street. He wasn't coming back until this was over.
A week after Park was gone, as I cried around the house playing games and trying to stay afloat during the pandemic, I decided to ask Park if he would play one game with me: Final Fantasy.
We could be together on there I said. We could exist together, get a house, and fight together! I asked with no anticipation Park would agree, but to my surprise he did. He was also lonely and sad, so he said yes.
Setting up a PS4 was no easy task for Park. But to my delight he set the whole thing up and called me. I set up this PS4 thing, how the blank do I get that Final Fantasy on here?
Wow. This was very uncharacteristic of Park. I knew he missed me, and his family. Ok, I said, let me walk you through the steps.
Oh wow, easier said than done. Park was hilarious in his lack of understanding of how to purchase Final Fantasy. It literally took days. Finally he was on, and creating a character. Success!
I was a bit frightened to see what he’d made, but to my surprise it was cute—just like Park.
I am coaching Park over the phone and that is what you hear on our stream. We are slow, clumsy, and often look like fools but we are together. We are KojinPark, and we will become strong, speedy, and look awesome one day!
Thanks for listening. I hope you cheer us on. Peace from Kojin and Park