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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Running With The Devil

It's Valentine's Day...
It's Wednesday, December 4, 1991. I'm teaching at Nozaki Chu Gakko (Nozaki Junior High School) this week.

Yesterday was perhaps the best day I have had in Japan in a non-sexual manner, of course, as the students in the 2-1 class and I were involved in a food fight.

And no! It wasn't just everyone versus the gaijin (foreigner) or against the teachers (myself and a homeroom teacher) - it was everybody for themselves. Truly a major bonding experience.

Thank goodness these kids had never seen a real food fight before or else bowls of liquid goop would have been poured over everyone and everything. It was just the tossing of food at each other - though some of the little buggers (Grade 8s) can really toss a fast riceball. Some of the girls were using binders to serve up an ace of face of diced carrots.

It was nothing malicious and it was terribly fun.

You can read more about that HERE.

Anyhow, today I decide to take in my 1880s Genji comic book (Background data HERE in a blog or TWO) to show Nagashima-sensei, the head English teacher at No-chu (the school nickname).

She is impressed by either the way I can spend a lot of money or at the funny little book that has scribbles seemingly impossible for even her to read, or the fact that I even know who Genji is. I tell her I was educated a bit by Takemoto-san at his antique shop in Nikko.

(Hunh. As I write this out in 2012, I recall that he - Takemoto-san - was a high-school teacher in Nikko. Hmm, my long-term memory is far better than my short-term... unless this is Alzheimer's setting in - whatever that is). 

Unfortunately, she is unable to provide much information for me, as she simply can't decode the scrawls that pass for lettering in the book.

Gods... can you believe I only have one class today? The last one - 5th period?! It's okay, I'm actually a lazy bastard and if I can get out of working, I would.

I do want to talk to as many teachers as possible, but the teachers are pretty busy, prepping for parent-teacher interviews. Hey! Someone has to work. I would glad do five classes a day if that was what they wanted. Okay, maybe not gladly, but you know what I mean.

Luckily I have my Clive Barker book - Books of Blood - to read, but even that bores me quickly. Sorry Clive... but perhaps I am more of a visual guy for horror. I mean... if you had the thoughts in my head....

I don't even feel like studying Kanji (Chinese-style letters) or Japanese... but I do feel like studying thoughts.

My own.

MUSIC: (Add pipe organ scary music here).

(SFX: Bats squeaking and flying; Door slamming. A woman screaming. A pirate ship dashing itself against the rocks - sorry, I got carried away.)

Anyhow... I look inside my head at the events of this past weekend:

The disappointment of being stood up by a woman who is not my girlfriend or significant other, but is merely someone I am supposed to be able to sleep with as need be - a friend-with-benefits - only, I haven't been getting any from her in a couple of months. I had spent a small fortune to get a turkey dinner for her here in Ohtawara-shi, Tochigi-ken, Japan (and actually had to have my boss help me get one from a nearby city, as my city just didn't have a turkey anywhere - except for yours truly.

I wanted to do this U.S. Thanksgiving - just for her. Consider if you will, that I am Canadian, and I already celebrated Thanksgiving a month earlier. By myself. But when she recently confided to me that she was homesick, I thought I would giver a slice of home when she might be at her nadir.

She pissed me off. I hate her effin' guts. I hate being treated like I don't matter. There's nothing wrong with being honest and telling someone you can't make a date - that's cool, but don't say you'll do something and then change your mind without informing the affected party.

This is 1991! Do people still act this callous in this day and age?

I know she's young, but she is supposed to be highly intelligent. A good communicator. It's why we're here in Japan on the JET (Japan Exchange & Teaching) Programme.
 
And why is she homesick?! For what? Mom and Dad? Geezus. You just went home over the summer. Suck it up. I haven't seen anyone from home in 16 months - and this is my first time to have ever left home! I didn't spend years living away from home for university like her - or a year in Salzburg, Austria before coming to Japan.

But hey! She said she had a boyfriend before she met me... back in Georgia, I assume. Hmmm, do you suppose she saw him again last summer, and that's why she's been so distant with me?

And what about spending the weekend at Ian's place? I mean, what single woman spends a weekend sleeping at a guy's house and doesn't sleep with them?

Okay... Kristine traveled 500 kilometers and spent a couple of days at my place and despite the fact that I want to wreck her badly - and I'm sure she would let me - we do not sleep together. But that was because I had a stomach disorder that was making a whole lotta pooping for me. Effin' timing! I hate being sick! But I had a painful and legitimate excuse.

But Ashley and Ian? He's a weasaly guy, and not that good looking - certainly lacking in the personality department... oh geez...

I always used to say that Ashley and I had a personality difference: I had one, and she didn't.

They are perfect for each other! She did sleep with him!

But why wouldn't she sleep with me? Despite her having more sexual experience than myself, the virgin, when we first met, I may have had more sexual knowledge, and have only expanded upon that with a larger amount of sexual practice in the past 16 months. I've taught her how to do things... things she has heard of, but never tried.

Oh well... maybe she couldn't stand the limelight. People tend to remember me (I'm just talking about meeting me, now), and if you are with me, people tend to remember you too. Sort off.  Whatever.

Okay... enough pandering to my own dark thoughts. Who cares if she did or didn't sleep with some other guy? What bothers me is the fact that someone else was chosen instead of me. Ego? That's your opinion. I call it self-confidence... or at least it would be if I wasn't so caught up in this emotional eddy.

Make up your mind, Andrew! Figure it out!

At least Ashley won't be coming over tonight, as I warned her that Nick would be coming over. He wants to hang out with me!

She doesn't like Nick, and apparently a lot of assistant English teachers (AETs) on the JET Programme agree with her. And that's fine.

Nick doesn't care what people think about him - or if he does, he doesn't outwardly show it. He's a rogue, but a charming and highly intelligent one - the best kind or the worst kind depending on whose side he is on.

I'm unsure why Nicholas Strachan has taken a shine on myself - but perhaps he just saw another outsider like himself who had a wicked sense of humor and some smarts.

Nick earned my respect by being my first literary critic... telling me that I was a fantastic writer, but that I would keep shooting myself in the foot if I didn't learn how to keep the grammatical and spelling mistakes to a minimum.

(2012 Andrew says: I'm still learning!)

I wanted Matthew to join the visiting Nick, but he has to teach a class tonight. Ashley - well, I'm sure she doesn't want the company, as we broke up because of my 'smothering' ability - I swear, people come to my place, not the other way around!... But it doesn't matter, those two wouldn't be able to keep up with our drinking. Hell, I'm unsure if I can keep up, but it'll be close.

School was the near the station, and I lived near City Hall.

 At school, I write out a good copy of a letter for teacher Rika Fumiya - it takes two hours. Job done, I join a volleyball class. I play a little with the girls, but mostly I just watch. It's a great sport, but I was 5-foot tall until I was 17. When I turned 18, I had to learn how to move again with a frame nearly 12-inches taller. Volleyball was always a sport for tall people, and I still feel short sometimes.

At lunch - I tried to make the kids laugh again in the 2-1 class. I have no idea why I am here again in this food-fight class, but apparently the kids begged to have me come and eat lunch with them. I was requested? Someone wants to hang with me? 

After clean-up time, I stick around and chat with some of the students. One of the kids has the nickname of Gyu = Bull. I thought 'gyu' meant cow, but that's what the kids said. Like a dinkus, I race around the class fingers protruding from my head and pretend to be a bull, but when no one laughs, I'm thinking this big boy may have the nickname for another reason.

A couple of pretty young girls who will be able to stretch some pants in a few years come over to talk with me. Guess what we talked about? That's right - sex. Figures. Just one touch. No!! Damn morals.

Anyhow, the teachers soon gather for a meeting, and I am stuck here in the teacher's office because I am apparently a teacher. Since the meeting doesn't involve me and is in Japanese, I try to read my book again, but I soon fall asleep.

Apparently I began snoring immediately - and no one woke me up for 45 minutes! And that was only because there was a phone call for me!

Apparently I forgot to leave my apartment door open for the visiting Nick.

Nicholas Strachan
I go home early - with school permission - ride the 10 kilometers exhausted before I start the ride, and with a piercing sleep-deprived headache, all the while knowing I am going to be partaking in some heavy drinking later tonight.

Hell, did I say tonight? I meant as soon as I got home.

Immediately after shaking hands, I drag Nick out to Matsuri for beer and food and then upstairs to the 4C bar (all owned by the same gentleman) for more booze, and then over to a snack shop owned by a sexy mama-san who looks no more than 21-years-old, but has boobs each the size of my head. Yowza! If I wasn't so drunk and with company, I'd make a play for her... though I'm guessing she's probably been hit on by every single guy in the town.... and to quote Shakespeare's Touchstone The Clown (From As You Like It):

"Truly, and to cast away honesty upon a foul slut were to put good meat into an unclean dish."
The dirtiest words ever from Shakespeare! And the truest!

Nick and I have about five beers apiece, and nine glasses of bourbon and soda, a couple more glasses of sake (Japanese rice wine) and then chase that down with two more beers back at my place.

On the way back to my place, I point out all of the bonsai trees people keep outside, and how easy it would be to steal one - so he does - a big beautiful pine tree.

We run away as fast as our drunken legs can wobble. He tosses the damn plant to me, but fortunately my reflexes have improved in my inebriated state, so I make the catch.

Don't worry... I returned it the next night... I'm only a rogue-wannabe.

Back at my apartment, Nick and I have some damn serious political discussions about China, languages, and literature. He was on the attack early, but I was just using him to find out his thoughts first before killing him with a counter-attack. He admitted defeat when he acknowledge he liked me because I have my own views.

Cool.

I have no idea what we actually talked about, but his compliment is all that matters.

I let Nick pass out at 2AM after watching an episode of The Simpsons, and am soooo  drunk, I pass out asleep on my bed before I can take out my contact lenses.

Somewhere deep in my cup of thoughtzzzzzzzz,
Andrew Joseph

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