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Friday, March 23, 2012

Lay Down

Today is supposed to be my first official day at the AET (assistant English teacher) JET (Japan Exchange & Teaching) Conference in Gunma-ken, where, to be honest I have no idea what city I am actually in.

Really.

You can already see my level of commitment to this event.

It's December 17, 1991 and I've been here in Japan since late July 1990 and I'm feeling a whole lotta burned out, as evidenced by the fact I used the word 'lotta' without a Led Zeppelin reference - oh, there it is.

After last night's debacle of being called a 'player' by other guys who were proud to call themselves a player,  I wasn't in a great mood. Other people I mentioned this too seem to believe there is nothing wrong with being called a player - especially since I have slept with a lot of women.

Yeah... I have. But I didn't promise anyone anything except for a good time then and now. I never pretended to be anyone other than myself and was always open about it. There's nothing wrong with that, and no woman has ever complained about it  - so why the hell does the opinion of three drunk guys bother the fug out of me?!  

Yeah, I'm probably still drunk and and very tired now at 7AM, but I'm only 27. No big whoop. I've woken up drunk many a time since arriving in Japan. Since I am able to function in a normal manner, and I don't make a habit out of getting drunk, I don't believe I have a problem. Again... I'm 27 years of age and away from home for the first time in my life and only since arriving here did I lose my virginity some 14 or 15 women ago.

I've let my hair down and am sowing my wild oats. My hair looks good - it's down just past my shoulders, but I wear it in a ponytail with a stretchy band that matches whatever solid colored shirt I wear. Yes... I do think about these things. (2012 Andrew here: I believe I was a meterosexual before the term was coined.)  

After the probable breakfast of watery scrambled eggs, extra crispy and salty bacon, dried baked beans, a glass of orange juice (which recalled the vodka that went with it last night and caused my stomach to grumble in anxious retaliation),  I went to sign-in for attendance to a conference session.

Tragedy struck as I discover, much to my tightening sphincter, that I was not actually on the Conference List of attendees, and that I actually did not have a room to my name.

I suppose I could have paid for yet another hotel room as I did last night when I arrived early.  I mean, I know I'll get whatever money I spend legitimately back from the OBOE (Ohtawara Board of Education) office for whom I work, but that won't be for a month. But I'm going on vacation very soon, and I need to not spend too much money between now and then.

Anyhow.... the conference people - as they tried to figure out who's fault it was, stuck me in a hotel room with some Saitama-ken guys who were actually nice enough considering there was a strange drunk gorilla-like fellow in their midst.

They know I snore right? Loudly, right? Which is further amplified in proportion to the amount of alcohol I can breathe in, right?

Poor, poor, Saitama-ken AETs. I would feel sorry for them, but at the time, it never even entered my thoughts because I don't actually know that I snore except from a having a room of Tochigi-ken AETs threaten to kill whomever was snoring like a jet plane with asthma at an overnight stay at on a mountaintop onsen getaway last year - and from Matthew who says I get sort of loud - like being at a Who concert. I like Dr. Seuss.

Ashley, my ex-girlfriend with whom I recently broke up with as my friend-with-benefits, has never complained... and she and I usually sleep on top of each other.

Whatever.

I get into the conference meetings and instantly wish I didn't. Booooooorrrrrrringgggg.

To break up the monotony, I decide to ask a lot of questions of the speaker, which has the crowd mumbling in agreement or anger at me delaying the end of the event. To quote Bugs Bunny, "Ain't I a stinker?"



I hang out with my buddy Matthew for a while until he decides to go for a nap, or ditch me to go and scope out some Japanese women to practice his skills on.

Me? I find our mutual buddy Jeff and get stinking drunk with him...then go out to a movie theater and watch Home Alone (or were we in a hotel room watching it on TV?)... and then push our way into the Head Teaching official party and sing and drink with all of these Japanese teachers. Lo and behold - there's Matthew.

Now, maybe the alcohol is making me melancholy, or it was the movie Home Alone or maybe it was even this morning's bacon that was as salty as the ocean's tears, but I was feeling a bit down (I had written the word 'depressed' originally, but that is not accurate).

I'm down about Ashley and talk my head off to some poor middle-aged female bureaucrat with a prefectural board of education, whose name I never learned and who made the mistake of asking me "How do you like Japan?"

So I tell her. I'm not just the type of person to tell you I'm fine if I'm not. I used to lie. Lie all the time... but when I turned my life around at 18 and stopped being a small kid who was picked on all the time, I grew up physically and mentally. The emotional part I am still working on in 2012.

I know the poor woman wants to escape, but I can see it so I don't let it happen until I tell her my whole story... and when I finish... I have a small crowd of Japanese gathered around me, and perhaps because they are bored, they ask me a lot of questions.

In return, I get a lot of sympathy and drinks poured for me. I'm sure that poor woman wonders how her question about Japan garnered my response about some poor woman named Ashley - but that kind of sums up this whole damn blog. Of course... I was getting a good buzz on by this time... or maybe I just enjoyed playing with people since I am considered a player now.   

At the end of the evening, rather than go to the room belonging to the Saitama-ken guys (where my luggage is!), Jeff invites me to crash in his room. The only problem is that he is sharing a room with Susan Dixon, another AET from Tochigi.

No one is sure why reservations were lost or why men and women were sharing a room with people they didn't want to, though I do suspect that when Sue was asked by the hotel staff if she liked Jeff Seaman, her answer of "Who doesn't?!" probably meant she only partially understood the question.

Anyhow... Jeff's room was also lost, so they stuck him in with her, because she likes Seaman - that's just a guess, of course... I have no idea if she does - so when Jeff invited me to crash for the night, Susan was pissed off royally at Jeff and now she hates me and my Seaman. Probably one of the few times I can say that and actually mean it.

Still... Jeff won out despite Susan's protests, more than likely because we were too drunk to care what she said.

I slept in the bathtub with a pillow and a couple of towels draped over my arms to keep the chill away that was being emitted by Susan as she grumbled about someone snoring like the gates of Hell had burst forth from their fiery hinges. Hunh... I always though fire could melt ice, but she proved me wrong.

B-b-b-b-b-b-b-itch. That's all folks.

Somewhere not impressed with Gunma-ken,
Andrew Joseph
Today's blog title is by Canadian metal group (sounds more like Rock, though) Priestess. I love the music, and the title seems to fit.:

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