It's 4AM here in Ohtawara-shi, Tochigi-ken, Japan when I wake up and have to take the whiz of all whizzes. I don't fully wake-up, but neither can I get back to sleep when I am done.
But I must... because I dream... a lot... and it all seems to revolve around a short, beautiful brunette... damn... I really should write these things down immediately.
I have no idea who it is - anymore - Kristine.. she's short - it could be her. Ashley's a half-foot taller, so I know it's not her.... but who?
Now I've forgotten. Crap. It felt really important as the dream went from scene to scene with my first-person point of view and this lovely mystery woman...
I finally get up at 8:30AM, but as expected - perhaps due to some seriously quick drinking - I don't feel like going to Nikko today. I was going to go there by myself - a first - to get Matthew and Ashley a Christmas present. But, maybe it's because Ashley seems to be missing inaction (that is actually spelled correctly!) or maybe because I am still kind of afraid to travel by myself in this country for fear of getting lost.
I haven't been lost in nearly a year - but that's because I always travel with someone who seems to know where we are going. I never know where I am going... I think I kind of just like being a plastic bag blowing in the wind.
I know... I should have used the more romantic 'leaf' blowing in the wind, but a non-biodegradable plastic bag seems about right for where I am in life at this moment.
I clean up a little and watch television, and crack open my first beer of the day at 11AM as I watch an episode of Magnum P.I. - this was my mom's favorite show, and while I do not have any homo-erotic tendencies, it does make me a tad homesick for the mountains and beaches of Toronto.
I kid. Toronto is like New York City-lite. No mountains, but the beaches are to die for - especially in December when it's frozen over.
Every five minutes, I call Ashley's place. If she is ignoring me, I'm not going to make it a pleasant experience.
Matthew calls me up and asks if I want to go down to the capital city of Utsunomiya-shi to watch T2 and some movie called Eve. Why not? Everybody loves Arnie!
After a quick bike ride and a 30-minute JR (Japan Rail) train ride, we arrive and quickly march towards the one theater I know here.
On the way, we run into Lisa, Stephanie and Cathy. I expect to see Ashley with them, but she's not there or has done an incredible job of blending into the scenery - which is actually possible owing to her quiet nature.
We also meet James and Steven and have a good laugh, as James Jimmy Jive Dalton is one of the funniest people on this planet.
After the great movies, Matt and I head home, arriving at 9:30PM.
I immediately call Ashley.
Holy crap! She's in! She's alive!
And is cranky because I have woken her up. Figures.
With no knowledge of her crappy behavior she tells me she spent the past three days in Utsunomiya - but in typical Ashley fashion, does not say with whom. If I really want to know, I would have to brow beat it out of her, and to be honest, I don't give a crap who she's been with - though I'm guessing it was those girls.
But... if it was a guy, she would not tell me for fear of pissing me off... not that it matters... she knows I've slept with other women since we broke up. At least 13 others, I think. And don't worry James... I know it wouldn't be you... you've never figured out my infatuation with Ashley. Heh. Me either.
Regardless of where she was, I decide to tell what she missed here in Ohtawara while she was away in Utsunomiya. I've been a pretty honest guy. Why lie to her now? Especially when I feel like I've got the upper hand as the wronged-party.
(Hey! Mike Rogers! Get ready!)
I tell her how I thought she was coming over to my place for a day-late Thanksgiving dinner on Friday as per what I asked, and what she agreed to do last Sunday. I also mentioned it on Thursday night - supposedly the night before she went away for three days. Hmmmm... must not have been with those three girls.
I told her right then and there how since we both knew she wasn't up for lasagne, and how she was homesick, and how it was US Thanksgiving and all (I'm Canadian and we celebrate a month earlier - only Matthew and Kristine cared enough to call and wish me that day!), I had planned for a week to do something special.
Just for her.
(Okay, probably for me, too!)
I told her how I got my bosses at the OBOE (Ohtawara Board of Education) help me out... to phone around for a Thanksgiving turkey... and how Ohtawara did not have one, but a restaurant in Yaita-shi (City of Yaita) could get one and cook it for me/us... and how they could deliver it or I could pick it up (which is what I did with my boss Hanazaki-san)... I told them I also needed stuffing, potatoes, sweet potatoes/yams, gravy and cranberries.
I even mention that it cost me a lot of money - but don't say how much.
And then I get a little louder - a controlled anger, if you will.
"And then you don't even bother to show up! Or a phone call! Leading me to wonder if you were dead, alive or hurt! Leaving me with a Y40,000 yen dinner for no one to friggin' (I used a different word here) eat!"
A short rant to be sure, but hopefully she could see how stupid or irresponsible she was in her treatment of me.
She apologizes between yawns - as I did wake her up at 9:30PM, after all. She doesn't know what else to say, because I think she is too sleepy to know how pissed off I really am. I mean, her apology was simply: "Sorry."
Does that sound adequate to you? Me either.
In response, I say: "I have to go now" and hang the phone up before she can say or yawn anything else.
I call up Matthew and chat with about what we are going to do in the future... probably another year, yeah... but how I think I would like to be a writer when I grow up. Matthew isn't sure, but he knows it should involve Japan somehow.
As a fitting end to my night, I watched the latest James Bond flick: Licensed To Kill.
And... when it is over... I march over to my miniature fridge, pull out Friday night's Thanksgiving dinner, put it in a large garbage bag and walk quickly down the three flights to the garbage area and deposit a small chunk of my life.
Somewhere feeling so tired...
Today's song is by The Kinks - long one of my favorite songs, even years before I met Ashley... as it seemed to sum up my long-standing virginity up until a year ago.