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Saturday, January 7, 2012

Us And Them

Ashley looking bright in a Japanese stone lantern.
It's the night time of November 14, 1991. I'm an assistant junior high school English teacher living in Ohtawara-shi, Tochigi-ken, Japan.

I have a dream. No nothing as profound as the late, great Martin Luther King, Jr. Mine was a dream as real as a dream can be.

This one is about Steffanni Chan. She's a Canadian woman of Chinese descent teaching high school English on the JET (Japan Exchange & Teaching) Programme. I flew over with her  on the same plane to Japan. She's super sexy despite a large conglomeration of slightly kinky hair that makes one think of the Wicked Witch Of The West.

Since I just watched the Wizard of Oz with Ashley last evening - and didn't get any action (how does a guy not get any action after watching The Wizard of Oz with your ex-girlfriend??!!), it was probably a no-brainer that my brain would conceive of a dream like this.

In the dream I am opening up a school locker (graduate school? Or am I doing a remake of Welcome Back Kotter!?).

I get a tap on the shoulder, I turn and look into the smiling, happy visage of Steffanni. We kiss hello, but on the lips.

As we are lip-locked, I get another tap on the shoulder. I pull my bitten lip away from Steff and peer into the expressionless face of Ashley. She's either my girlfriend or my wife, and she doesn't seem as happy to see me smooching someone as I just was. But then, that's just her.

I try to explain to her that Steff and I are just friends who haven't seen each other in a long time. It doesn't even seem to matter that she and Ashley were there in Japan with me at the same time and certainly knew each other fairly well.

Really. We were just friends, Ashley!

And then I woke up.

Talk about your bad omens. It was like watching a comet pass by overhead and then crash in to the planet causing a tsunami of enormous magnitude thousands of feet high that wipes out most of life on the planet.

I don't know if that's an exaggeration or now, but that dream sure felt real. How do I know if I'm awake?

I go to school at Wakakusa Chu Gakko (Wakakusa Junior High School), and immediately my contact lenses begin to bother me. At first it feels like my eyes are dry. By the second period it gets itchy. By the third period I can't see out of my left eye. By lunch time I am rubbing both eyes like crazy and really have vision in one eye.

I'm not blind... I'm just fuzzy and completely out of focus.

Tomura-sensei (Mr. Tomura the head English teacher) takes me home so I can get my glasses.

I manage to survive one more class and then get a ride out to the eye doctor again.

Now I have conjunctivitis - an inflammation of the mucous membrane under the left eyelid. It makes my contact lens stick to my eyelid, moving it up an off the seeing eye part that I need to see and perhaps think clearly. There is also a lot of sticky discharge coming out of my tear duct.

The fact that I was rubbing both eyes means I have transferred it from one eye to the other. In another day, I'm going to look completely grotesque, as apparently I am now only half-grotesque.

With my glasses back on, Tomura-sensei drives me over to Books Time - the large Ohtawara book and video store. I drop off some videos I had with me and pick up some new video materials that I will watch with one eye open.

We also stop and pick up some more medicine for the eye.  

I go back home, watch television, one of the boring nameless movies, eat some food, drink some pop and take my medicine.

There must be more to life than this. 

Somewhere I wish I had a brain,
Andrew Joseph
Today's blog title is by Pink Floyd. I chose it because the whole album - Dark Side of the Moon - is supposed to sync up with the Wizard of Oz movie from 1939. It might. I've never tried it yet. But I will. In any case, the melding of the two genres is supposed to be called the Dark Side of The Rainbow.... an apt description of my life these past couple of months in Japan. By the way, Pink Floyd members say that the melding of their album with the movie is a coincidence. There's another reason I chose this title, of course... in a kind of us against the world kind of thing...


1 comment:

  1. You crack me up Andrew. You can write about the most mundane, boring stuff and still have me hanging on the cliff waiting for the "So, what happens next?" Well done.