Myeong-ji started talking to Siri after she came to Scotland. One time when she accidentally pressed down on a button to which Siri responded, Myeong-ji started a conversation with the AI voice just out of curiosity.
“How can I help you?”
I had to think for a moment before saying anything. Then I posed a surprise question.
“What happens to us when we die?”
A short silence followed. Siri finally answered me with a couple of questions of her own.
“Which route ar you talking about?”
“Where would you like to go?”
잠시 무슨 말을 해야 하나 고민하다, 뜬금없는 질문을 던졌다.
“사람이 죽으면 어떻게 되나요?”
짧은 침묵이 흘렀다.
이윽고 시리가 되물었다.
-“어디로 가는 경로 말씀이세요?”
-“어디로 가고 싶으신가요?”
Interview by Author Kim Ae-ran
That was the question I actually had asked Siri. When I asked the question, Siri answered the same way, “Where would you like to go?” I thought the question may sound like it is asking about death, but it could be interpreted as a question about life. I wanted the title of this story to ask the characters or readers about their directions in life.
I saw the eyes of a boy who, incapable of yelling for help, would have gulped down the river water and grasped for the world.
I was still angry at you for throwing away your life in an attempt to save the life of another. Why didn’t you think of me? I dissected and weighed the dead person’s intention.
But, as I read the words before me, I could imagine how you must have reacted when you first discovered your student there that day. I could see your stunned eyes looking at another life in peril.
That was when I missed you unbearably.
살려주세요, 소리도 못 지르고
연신 계곡물을 들이키며
세상을 향해 길게 손 내밀었을 그 아이의 눈이 아른댔다.
나는 당신이 누군가의 삶을 구하려
자기 삶을 버린데 아직 화가 나 있었다.
내 생각은 안 했을까.
떠난 사람의 마음을 자르고 저울질 했다.
그런데 거기 내 앞에 놓인 말들과 마주하자니
그 날 그곳에서 처음 제자를 발견했을
당신의 모습이 그려졌다.
놀란 눈으로 하나의 삶이 다른 삶을 바라보는 얼굴이 떠올랐다.
그러자 당신이 못 견디게 그리워졌다
Kim Ae-ran (Born in Incheon in 1980)
: Debuted with “No Knocking in This House” in 2002
Won the Hankook Ilbo Literary Award in 2003, etc.