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Saturday, February 11, 2012

Cuts Like A Knife

After the lack of events of the past few days, I have yet another restless night's sleep and awaken early at 6:20AM on that Monday of December 2, 1991. I must be too angry about things - Ashley, that is. Or being taken advantage of. I bloody hate that.

Should I tell her how worried I was when I thought she was missing? I'll just leave out that part about my telephone conversation with Kristine where we flirted with each other ad horneum. I just made that phrase up - in a dead language (Latin) no less!

I was concerned. Concerned enough to ride my bike out late at night to see if she had fallen into a rice paddy. It was bloody cold and, as usual, because I'm a man, I did not take my gloves. I saw that her bicycle wasn't there at her apartment and got even more frantic. Thank goodness Kristine was able to redirect my fears of the missing Ashley towards herself.

I know Kristine didn't like Ashley. Or rather, she did... just not as a match for me. Was that jealousy from my special K towards my piece of Ash? No. That wasn't Kristine. That's why I liked her so much. She was brilliant, spoke her mind intelligently, was charming, witty and drop-dead sexy. Still is, and now in 2012, it is me who is jealous of her husband.

Anyhow... it's Ashley's attitude these past few days, or rather her cavalier treatment of me, which hammers home how many other assistant English teachers (AET) act on the Japan Exchange & Teaching (JET) Programme.

Quite often, the people on this program (and I will only talk of 1990-1993 when I was there) were freaking boring. I don't care if you are a nerd. Don't be boring. Go and do something with the people in your town. I'm a nerd. Big one. King of the nerds. Made it, ma! Top of the nerd world!


And then there are those who think they are super smart. Good for you. I don't hate your smarts. I applaud them... but dammit, can't you act like a person who enjoys being where they are?

Okay... rant over. But this is why I recently decided to pull myself from all of the JET activities. Friends? No... I am there for them. JETs? No. Sometimes you get it right, but being smart does not make one a great communicator - and that's what Japan needs right now as it struggles to learn that foreigners aren't really that much different from themselves.

Today I am at Nozaki Chu Gakko (Nozaki Junior High School), a school where the kids are the nicest and the teachers are the same. Hell... I don't even mind having to ride the 10 kilometers or so out to the school - I like it that much.

I chat with Fumiyo, the music teacher. That's the difference in schools. I know her first name - and not her last! She is also quite hot! We chat about life - her life, which is a relief. She says she wants to get married and says she might this month.

I think she meant 'upcoming-year'.

However, Fumiyo is afraid she will lose her civil liberties because he wants her to quit her job and become a housewife. How bloody archaic! (Uh... in 2012, I would gladly quit my job and let my significant other look after me - but, sigh, that will never happen)

The problem here is that Japan is a chauvinistic society. The women are still second-class citizens. It's like that in most countries, to be sure, but it is so bloody overt here it's not even funny.

Because she asks me  what she should do, I try to offer some advice where I don't have to make anybody's decision for them. I mean... I like Fumiyo, but there is a guy's code involved too.

I tell her: Fumiyo, you need to figure out what is the most important thing you need to be happy in life.

Not only did I write it, but I had to de-code it! Where's Brad Meltzer?

I didn't say this part, but I figure for Fumiyo it boils down to: Work. Love-life. Family. Combination of all three.

Look at me - despite very badly wanting to spank her ass when she touched my thigh in a casual moment - I think my advice should get me a Boy Scout badge.

Ha. I'm no Boy Scout.

I teach a class of English and then sit around the teacher's office playing with a logic puzzle Mr. Oyamada gave me earlier. He also gave me a nice lacquered bowl. It's nice, but I don't know why he did it.

Oh crap! He couldn't have heard about my problems with Ashley, could he? That is me, in 2012 suddenly coming to that conclusion. Dinner for one, Gaijin-no-sensei?

Anyhow... I finish his logic puzzle in six minutes and then spend the next two hours trying to duplicate it.

I was asked to stick around until 5:30PM until the teachers had to bugger off to meet the parents for interviews, and rode home in the dark with my new bicycle light lighting the way.

Arriving home, I pop open a beer - chug it and then have a second one.

Ashley calls to apologize about her shoddy behavior, not once using her initial excuse of not knowing it was a real dinner date - despite us discussing it the day before.... oh wait a minute... here comes the excuse... she reiterates that she thought it was a casual dinner, and so (rather than opt out or tell me she had other plans) she called up Ian - another AET she had had dinner with two Sunday's ago - just to do something. Those were her exact words "Just to do something". What am I? Chopped liver? What's wrong with chopped liver?

I'll let you readers in on a little secret. I've read ahead in my diary. There's a reason why she didn't want to do 'something' with me. A reason that confuses the (rhymes with 'luck') out of me.

While I admit to a certain amount of jealousy - because, I've met Ian... nice enough guy if you like pressed board wooden furniture you have to build yourself (The furniture is efficient, but hardly stylish or comfortable - hardly the exotic look people look for). Me? I'm warm teak.

(Insert paragraph here again) I'll let you readers in on a little secret. I've read ahead in my diary. There's a reason why she didn't want to do 'something' with me. And yes, Ian is mentioned, if not involved.

All shall be revealed.

Her story moves me to have a couple more beers in rapid succession. Hmm... when did I have those other two? Six? I slur out how much I spent on her to provide her with a piece of home - a U.S. Thanksgiving dinner here in Japan. Cripes! What does she want? We could have enjoyed a great meal and then had the standard drunken family argument that I'm sure she is used to. Hey! I believe she had several cats back home in Augusta named after booze: Brandy was one... and I'll be damned if I can recall the names of any of the other cats after 20 years. Totally true. I'm amazed I ever remembered this part of the story. It wasn't worth writing down... I mean, why would I care about her cats?

I hang-up after acting quite snotty.

Want to know what pathetic is? Here...

I call her back and apologize for being snotty.

I then call again and ask her if she wants to do anything tonight, but no, she's cleaning her apartment.

(Y'know... like yourselves, 2012 Andrew is screaming out loud at 1991 Andrew for being such a whipped schmuck! I disgust me! I almost feel like not writing anymore... ever... damn! Can I blame the copious amounts of alcohol? Plead the 5th Percent of beer?)

I'm pissed off that she doesn't want to do anything tonight.

I know her... she couldn't even give a believable 'I'm washing my hair' excuse. 'Cleaning the apartment'? She doesn't do that. Not once has she helped me clean up after a meal or romp. 

Hey... while mentioning Ian, she also let slip that she visited Karen and spent Sunday with her.

Let's call Karen - the woman who wants to sleep with me, but only if I am her boyfriend... but I don't want a commitment, but want to sleep with her. I am committed to that set-up.

As such, calling up the Yaita-situated Karen, I pump her (she wishes) for information. Yup... Ashley spent the weekend at Ian's place. Did they sleep together? No.

I didn't even have to ask... Karen volunteered that. Despite any friendship Ashley and Karen share with each other, I'm of the opinion that Karen would dump that bitch if I would completely dump that bitch and be Karen's boyfriend.

Karen would not help Ashley and myself stay together if it gave her a better chance - and it would. By telling me Ashley and Ian did not sleep together - that won't put a coffin nail in my friends-with-benefits relationship with Ashley.

Anyhow... I still am not sure about anything I have heard today. Trust no one, I believe.

I ride my bicycle out to my adult night school class (Mrs. Suzuki is sick, so no after class get-together). Good thing Ashley was busy doing her 'annual cleaning' - otherwise I might have forgotten about this class!

Masao-san gives me a present - something called a cigarette octopus (I have no idea what that is, because I never wrote a better description than that in my diary- instead, please look at the disturbing photo below).

Should this turn me on? Would I be sick if it did?
Mrs. Ohno give me a telephone card (photo below) with our picture on it. She had previously dressed me up as a doctor to her real occupation as a nurse.

Author & Nurse Ohno telephone card
Despite the nice presents, I do not have that great a class. Must be the six or seven beers. I'm a tad tipsy, but Matthew who is teaching the advanced class next door, if he notices, doesn't say anything.

After class, I ride to Books Time and rent a few more videos. I go home, drink a beer - did I eat dinner? - call Karen again, call my dad to discuss politics, economics and my stay in Japan.

He and I talk for 45 minutes. The man is my hero.

I watch another James Bond movie and go lie down atop my bed.

Can't sleep, though. I'm still angry. At myself.

Somewhere needing a cure for what ails me,
Andrew Joseph
PS: Where is my mistress Junko when I need her? Damn boyfriend of hers!
The photo at the very top is from the classic movie White Heat with James Cagney, where my paraphrased 'top of the world' quote comes from.
Today's blog title is by Bryan Adams:

3 comments:

  1. Two problems I can see here:
    1) You told me that you were going to show why I shouldn't think that Ashley isn't a bia-tch (family blog, you know, I have better descriptions)...And;
    2) You're drinking six beers!? No wonder. Put that stuff down and bring out the heavy artillery. Straight sho-chu or at least shots of whiskey. Beer? That'll never get the job down. You wanna be roaring, falling down drunk and be a total and complete embarrassment to yourself before we feel sorry for you.

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    Replies
    1. Oh No, Mike... I just didn't want you to judge her until the facts were all in.
      Beer... dude... I had to go to work that night... don't worry... I know how to drink. :@=

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    2. Oh and Mike... in Tired And Waiting For You - just before this, I do tell YOU to get ready (the hate part) when you get to hear the explanation. Hate on, brother! Hate on!
      I often feel that the ability to be afraid sexually or possibility that I might ever fall in love was a driving factor in my inability to completely separate myself from her...

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