The next two weeks were some of the most quietly stressful times of my life until my 40s.
I wish I could tell you that the next time I went over to Noboko's parent's house, Mister Kikuchi's was all open-armed and smiling as he tells me I could marry his daughter, jokingly saying 'good riddance'.
But there was never again an invitation to go over.
Noboko would drop by every morning at Colin's house moments after Colin would leave to go to work, all happy and smiling to see me.
Colin was letting me crash at his place for September while I tried to arrange my entire future - where I would live, what work I would do, whom I would love… just the "inconsequential things" in life.
Stressed? You bet your sweet bippy, I was stressed… but you'd never know it to look at me, as I continued to plaster that same idiotic grin on my face that makes people believe I've got a handle on life.
You think you know how to act? You ain't got nothing' on me.
No one has a handle on life. Least of all me - who is now slave to the whims of a petulant 50-something-year-old Japanese man, and his daughter who lacks the testicular fortitude to stand up decide not necessarily what she wants, but rather what is best for her.
Yes… I'm no longer convinced that marrying me is what she wants, even though it might be what is best for her and myself.
Don't get me wrong… Noboko loves me… she does want to marry me… but for whatever reason or reasons, that is not a good enough reason to disappoint her father - again. Full recap HERE.
Every morning Noboko comes over, we kiss and grope and pretty soon we're making love on the tatami mats… every single day.
We never talk about our future… I don't even know how to start the subject with her… she knows what I want (besides the sex), and she knows what she wants or needs, but she is unwilling to confront her father to ensure she gets it, or to provide me with that final solution.
And so, after sex, fugging or making love - whatever the hell you want to call it, we dress smelling of each other - one big Andboko or Nodrew, and get in her car and drive around the city and surrounding area.
We do this every day… usually arriving back at the apartment at 4M, and sometimes at 2PM where we hungrily have sex again.
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way."
Charles Dickens: A Tale Of Two Cities (1859).
I understand the duality of the introduction to that wonderful novel.
My time is up in Japan… I have done all I can without physically asking Noboko again for the one thousandth time, to just tell me she WILL marry me.
I know she would tell me so if that was the answer. She knows my silence is because I love and respect her and don't wish to continue hurting more than she is hurt.
I leave Japan tomorrow evening… and tomorrow, Noboko is coming with me to the airport.
Noboko stays until Colin comes home - capturing every last moment of physical content - whether it's a kiss, a lick, a probing tongue, a lean, a simple transference of heat through a tough of the fingers… she and I savor every last moment until such time as we hear Colin's keys jingle in warning outside the front door.
Noboko bows to Colin, who greets her in some higher level of Japanese I never ever understood in my three-plus years in Japan - but Colin has in one-plus… she smiles, and the two of them chatter in their own private language… something called Japanese. Usually I don't mind, but this time I really do feel left out. Would it have mattered to Mister Kikuchi if my Japanese language skills were something higher than a frog?
I have my last supper in Japan with Colin, who in his constant sage-like way doesn't ask me any foolish questions, because he I would have told him if the situation had been altered.
We stay up until sometime after midnight… chatting about what each might do when we eventually returned home to Canada… but lucky Colin… he has almost two years to try and reach a suitable answer.
I don't even know what the hell I am doing two days from now. I am not a magician.
Somewhere still smiling,
Continues on the 27th. Don't worry... I promise...it's already written and scheduled...
PS: Photo above taken by Colin McKay of myself and Noboko horsing around trying to look dull and stupid at Colin's apartment. While I still wear that watch - unfortunately, those very cool striped jeans are a long-distant memory that lasted a good seven more years after that photo.