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Friday, March 2, 2012

Thinking Of You

It's December 11, 1991. I'm at my apartment in Ohtawara-shi, Tochigi-ken, Japan having just got off the telephone with Hanazaki-san, one of my two bosses at the Ohtawara Board of Education (OBOE).

He had just called me to find out why I did not go to school today to teach (at Ohtawara Junior High School), and I was confused, because I had thought that the woman I had spend the day with, the sexy and effervescent Junko had actually made arrangements with the OBOE to get me the day off so we could spend some time together.

Turns out the sly and wily Junko made no such arrangements - she had lied to me - or was having fun screwing me around.

I'm unsure if that's funny or disturbing.

For anyone else to have done that to me, I would be on the floor laughing my butt off. 

But Junko... ahhh, Junko. She was my stalker, whom I had to get the OBOE involved to get her some help months ago. The fact that she is now back in my life - albeit with a boyfriend back at Utsunomiya University where she goes to school in anticipation of being an English teacher - well, she seemed far more adjusted.

She no longer stalked me, and only showed up when it seemed like I needed her the most. Junko has no clue, however, that I need her all the time... but only if we could do something together as a couple... like have lunch.... in public... and not just stay inside my apartment rutting like horny pigs... uh, not that there is anything wrong with that. In fact, in many scenarios, that would be perfectly acceptable.... but I feel there is nothing wrong with one's sexual partner being more than that... a lover, if you will. Where you care about the other and she doesn't merely become an over-night sperm bank receptacle. Again... there is nothing wrong with that scenario, either.

But Junko is Junko. And I guess I not only want my cake, but want to eat it, too.

So... is what Junko did just now so bad? We went out for lunch - albeit in another town... but we did go out. And you know what... it doesn't matter which town we go to in this prefecture... excluding the really big cities of Utsunomiya and Oyama, people seem to know who I am. And with a supreme looker like Junko, people pay extra attention - even if it's just to see who she is with... and then they see... oh... that's An-do-ryu-sensei (Andrew teacher). Sukebi (pervert).

Yes... I am that well know. I hope. Or do I mean, I hope not?

 Hanazaki-san was aghast at me having been in contact with Junko again - having thought I was smart enough to have left well enough alone. But man... I can't get her out of my mind. Not from the first time we saw each other... or rather, since that first time I smelled her apple blossom hair.

I have little sense of smell and my sense of taste isn't so good either, so when something slaps me in the face and makes me take notice, I take notice.

Fortunately, Matthew pops by wanting to know if I want to go out for dinner. Matthew is an assistant English teacher like myself, on the JET (Japan Exchange & Teaching) Programme. He's an American, I'm a Canadian and that's where the differences stop as far as I am concerned, which means there are no differences.

We ride out from my apartment and I spy Miss Yaita, a teacher at Ohtawara Junior High School who wanted to know how I was since I was sick and couldn't come to work today.

Crap. This is already starting to hurt. Junko!

I tell her I'm fine, muttering under my breath about how fine Miss Yaita looks. Matthew was impressed at her fine self and at how she gave me a hug good-bye. A Hug? A Hug? She never did that before! I'm betting she could smell the sex all over me from Junko. It's my opinion that that scent makes men more attractive to other women. Perhaps they should bottle that? Eau du Skank.

Anyhow, stupid joke aside, Matthew may have been thinking of me as being of Indian descent, I might enjoy going out for some curry & rice, I agree. Until I met Matthew 16 months ago, I had never eaten curry and rice, much to the chagrin of my parents and every woman who ever dated me hoping that I could help them find a really good Indian restaurant in Toronto.

I only look ethnic. In fact, I have relied on the kindness of strangers to make me more ethnic by getting me to try new things because I have only ever wanted to me more Canadian. Funny, because Canadians (at least those that I have known) really have no problem in trying new things. Ah, me.

At the restaurant, Matthew and I get the obligatory stares from the local townsfolk, but only for a few seconds. We've become more of a fixture here in Ohatawara. People know us and accept that we love being here in their country and so simply curiosity gives way to more acceptance that we ain't no big deal. By that, I mean no one calls us 'gaijin' (foreigner!) even if they might think it.

To show that I am still of Indian descent, I go mucho crazy and order the hottest meal they have. It was a #7, a volcano-style curry and rice. I am no longer sure what the meat was, but it doesn't matter because I couldn't taste it.

Yeeee-owwwtccch! Fire! Help me, Buddha!

I don't know how many people out there have ever had their hair sweat - and I don't mean their scalp - but it's not fun! Hell, even the hair on my arms and chest oozed chili hot sweat. I sucked back three Eagle beers (a beer from India) and a yogurt drink and some milk. Nothing helped. The sweat kept falling into my eyes burning holes in my contact lenses. Didn't matter. The excruciating pain had me squint my eyes for the 50 -minutes it took for me to finish eating... and I did, because I hate waste. As well, my parents used to tell me that there were plenty of starving children in India who would love to be able to eat what I waste. Being greedy, I've learned not to share. Kidding about that...

Between mouthfuls and laughing at me sweating (I think everyone at the place may have been laughing at my body panic), Matthew and I talked about women. Ashley, I talked about... my ex-friend-with-some-sort-of benefit - but I don't talk about Junko. That's still supposed to be a point of contention for the OBOE... and to be honest, I don't want to tell Matthew just how screwed or screwed up I am. He already thinks that, I am sure.

He also begins talking about women to me: Takako, Maymi and Ikiyo. Three of them? Hmm, maybe we're both screwed up!

Anyhow, during his talk about the three, it's obvious he wants out of whatever he has with Mayumi - especially evident when he said, and I quote 100% accurately here: "I think Takako is the best woman for me."

Oh my Buddha! In no uncertain terms, I tell him to get rid of the excess baggage and to concentrate on Takako. I am sure I over-stepped my bounds, but he didn't seem to mind and I think just wanted affirmation of what he already knew. But geez, louise.... at this point in time in my life, why is it that I can give somewhat sage advice about relationships to everybody but myself?

Thanks to some severe loud gurgling from my stomach, I have discovered that Indian food made by Japanese people is not something that will stay within my gut for very long.

I calmly suggest we go home because I am tired, pay our bills and we leave.

We go our separate way, and as soon as he turns his bicycle away, I put pedal to the metal and race home with stomach tight - no mean feat considering I'm bloated.

I race up the stairs to my third-floor apartment, fumble for what seems like minutes with my key and the lock, move in and then relax... on the toilet.

Oh my god! It burns twice! Going in and out!

Somewhere my hair is sweating again,
Andrew Joseph
Today's blog title is sung by Canadian rockers Harlequin:

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