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Friday, February 17, 2012

When Love Comes To Town

It's December 6, 1991. For some reason, I have placed a larger asterisk on the first page of my diary. All I know is I'm unsure if I want to find out.

I'm at the OBOE (Ohtawara Board of Education) - my office where I work once a week as a respite from teaching at one of the seven junior high schools in Ohtawara-shi, Tochigi-ken, Japan.

I've been here for 16 months. I must be comfortable here, because I've put on weight - unless I'm the type of guy who eats when he is stressed. I'm only stressed or uncomfortable because of my women problems: both Japanese women and foreign women, and my current streak of no women, just those who sleep with me when it is convenient to them.

Man... I am so out of shape. I'm going to get back in shape! Eat well, but not everything. That should be my mantra. Tomorrow I will take a long overdue bicycle ride all over Ohtawara. Jogging at 6AM. A half-hour - maybe 20 minutes to start.

Am I effing crazy, or what? This will never happen.

I go to the OBOE and ask for a new set of business cards (meishi) - I've given away 500 in 16 months, and request my work schedule for the next three months. I get both by the afternoon.

It's a standard office goof day for me. I write some letters, write a story, study a bit of kanji to make people think I am 'getting' this language. I may love Japan, but I do not 'get' the language. I don't even get English.

After work, I head home. Matthew, who teaches at five junior high schools on the outskirts of the city (now actually a part of Ohtawara in 2012), comes over and we watch some Simpsons episodes.
We then ride out to the Nishinasuno Wedding Hall for a party (enkai). It's a get to know the local gaijin (foreigner) party hosted by the a social club. It's cool. People want to talk to me as I drink. And drink I do. But I talk to everyone who wants a piece of me and enjoy myself and the sake (Japanese rice wine).

It's a good thing I ate some French toast before arriving here - because there wasn't any food. I don't see Matthew, so I assume he's found a pretty woman to chat up. Me? I see Ashley, my ex-girlfriend, and supposed friend-with-benefit—though I am at a loss to see what benefit I am getting out of this.

Still... despite being stood up on US Thanksgiving - a day in with I blew ¥40,000 (~$500 Cdn/US) on a turkey dinner with all the fixings... and hating her guts... I still  invite her over later tonight to watch Edward Scissorhands. Johnny Depp HAS to help me get laid!

Anyhow, back at my place, the movie is over and the clock strikes 12:00AM - midnight... the witching hour.

Ashley says she's going home. Okay. I'm not stupid. We didn't touch all evening. We haven't kissed in weeks. Or hugged (I might have hugged her, but it wasn't returned).

She's changed her tune.

Being a former newspaper journalist with the Toronto Star, I'm used to being quite direct in getting answers to questions, so I say 'fug it'  and ask her.

I want to know 'who' and 'why'. Basically, I want to know what changed her tune.

This is the part I asterisked. Crap. Maybe I should end the friggin' blog here so avoid further embarrassment. And just recall that just yesterday, I was giving relationship advice to a Japanese woman. Is it too late to apologize to her?

* After much evasion, Ashley finally decides to tell me that: "In every relationship there is always someone who loves the other more."

Bull-crap! (I originally wrote something much more expressive than that!) If I believed that, I would never want to get married, and would encourage others against it. Isn't marriage supposed to be a caring, give-and-take relationship?

If it is uneven, it's not a fair relationship, and no matter how much counseling or psycho-therapy, people revert to whom they are, and the relationship will disintegrate.

I tell her that. I don't have the luxury of her nearly 24 years to formulate this... I had seconds.

She is nodding in acquiescence at everything—right or wrong—and the sight of her doing so infuriates me, as it looks like she thinks I'm crazy... so I help her out.

I call her a cruel, cold and calculating bitch.

I continue, stating that while I am exceedingly calculating, I am not cold. I've always believed in that Beatles' axiom: "The love you take is equal to the love you make."

Is that love in its simplest form? I've always been a black or white guy - never grey.

That said and done, she picks up her stuff an leaves - thankfully without a word.

I'm probably a little buzzed, but I'm not drunk. I've become the type of guy who can drink like a fish and function... I'm unsure, of course, if I function properly, though.

Still, I call up Karen Irwin in Yaita. Karen wants me for a boyfriend, But I just want to get laid, not tied down. You know what I mean. It sounds strange coming from a guy who wants love... but Ashley and I were just screwing - why can't we do that until love comes to town?

Karen is still up, so I avoid that hassle of waking her up... but I harangue her about Ashley and then hang-up on her when I don't get the answers I want.

Karen was the root of Ashley stopping sleeping with me.

No.. Ashley was the root herself... Karen was just a bitch interested in messing things up for her own gain.


Ashley and I....

I feel like it's really over this time....

I feel remarkably at ease...

Somewhere *,
Andrew Joseph
This day was the only time Johnny Depp let me down. Or did I let myself down? Crap.
Today's blog title is by U2 and B.B. King:


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