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Sunday, February 28, 2016

Knitting, Kids, Nagasaki & Women

I'm feeling a bit nostalgic today.

My son got his first shutout playing as a hockey goalie for the third time, and I was thinking about how excited my mother would have been to have seen it.

My mother died back in September of 1994... one year after I got back from Japan and 11 years before Hudson was born.

My mother, Lynda, being an inquisitive sort, traveled to Japan to visit me in the summer of 1991.

My mother, being an adventurous sort, traveled around Japan by herself, seeing more of the country over a two-week period than I had done in the entire year previous... then again... I lacked the money to do so, having spent every cent I had previously earned on enjoying myself within the friendly confines of Tochigi-ken, and spending money on my girlfriend every chance I got.

Before taking off all by her lonesome, and without a wit (sp. whit) of Japanese language understanding or speaking ability, I did mention that she visited me.

She got the chance to meet my more or less still current-maybe ex-girlfriend Ashley, and a redheaded newcomer to Japan on the JET Programme that I had befriended a couple of weeks earlier... a young Canuck named Karen who had taken quite the shine to me and my mother.

It was weird to see Ashley pushed to the side either by choice or by Karen and my mother, but I must say that I was never ever so freaked out in my life when I came home from a day at the Ohtawara Board of Education Office to see my mother and Karen sitting on my ugly green couch happily knitting whatever the fug it was that they were each knitting.

Talking-knit one-purl one-chatting about me-purl one-knit one-laughing together-purl one-knit one-looking at me and smiling together-knit one-purl one.

I don't know crap about knitting, but I do know that when a woman you might have tried to get it on with a few weeks earlier shows up at your apartment and hangs around with your mom without you knowing it... well... no one is into knitting that much.

Nesting it is.

Since I never dated much before going to Japan... maybe only ever having one girlfriend about four years previous... if it wasn't for her finding those stacks of porno mags I hid inbetween copies of The Coin News and the incredible Kleenex bills, my mother might have been concerned she would never get any grandchildren from me.

At least when she knew I had Ashley as a girlfriend and was buying and shipping all those boxes of condoms for me that there was a chance... but after meeting the very shy Ashley, and perhaps being tarnished by the occasional letter from myself describing our on-again-off-again relationship, she saw a better grandchild opportunity with Karen.

I just wanted to get laid. Not have kids. I was only 26-years-old... and while I am quite aware that many of you dear readers may have been long married or at least long-time parents, as my parents were at that age... I'll remind you that just one year previous before going to Japan, I had only ever had one other girlfriend... a summer romance... an awesome one at that... with a beautiful and brilliant and funny young woman named Bryndis.

I should have married her just to pi$$ off her racist grandparents. Her parents and brother were cool, by the way.

Whatever... she was 18 and I was 22 and lived 200 kilometers from my house. Dating, had she ever wanted to continue it, would have been difficult. She didn't. And for the record, no... we never slept together.

Anyhow... knit-wit Karen cosying up to my mother... maybe to get to me and to push Ashley away... Karen, who had only arrived in Japan a couple of weeks earlier... who had her own losses to cope with... holy crap... lovely girl, but I'm no red cap. I can't help with one's baggage.

This photograph up above was taken by my mother in August of 1991.

It is a view of Nagasaki Bay, taken from the grounds of Glover House. You'll notice there are storm clouds in the background... it rained for nearly every day of her trip.

I was known as Ame Otoko in Japan - the Rain Man. Guess it must run in the family.

She was wrong about me and Japan, however. She did really enjoy talking to Noboko on the phone a few times.

My mother, in true mother form, wondered why such a beautiful woman as Noboko would want to date me. Ha-ha. Very droll.

Yes... I am pretty damn sure she would have exalted in Hudson's triumph this past Saturday.

Kanpai,
Andrew Joseph
PS: Obviously, a lot of who I am is due to influence and genetics from my mother. I'll post another photo tomorrow - this time of my mother... I've got homework, a hockey banquet, TV to watch and a blog or two to complete.
PPS: Sorry for being late. I hadn't planned on writing anything but the description my mother wrote in the photo album. Damn context.

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