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Thursday, May 3, 2012

No Fun

It’s Saturday, December 21, 1991. I’m alone in bed for what feels like the first time in months. It feels good. It feel strange. I don’t like it.

Since I arrived here in Ohtawara-shi (Ohtawara City), Tochigi-ken (Tochigi Prefecture), Japan back in the summer of 1991 nearly 17 months ago, I’ve been lucky with women.

It’s the complete opposite of what things were like for me before back in Toronto, but then again, I’ve kind of re-invented myself over the past few years from a shy, nerdy kid to a shy nerdy kid who is pretending to be an extrovert.

I think I’ve fooled everyone but myself. Or... maybe I have grown since arriving here. Maybe I am more confident. One can actually start to believe one’s own lies until it becomes the new reality. Maybe I am more extroverted – not completely of course.

I still like my secrets.

Now in 2012, I recall my mother telling me back in 1990 before I left for Japan that it’s good to be open with everyone, but it is still important to keep some secrets – secrets that you might share with some people, but not everyone. It seems strange to recall those words of my mother now passed from this mortal coil nearly 18 years ago... especially as I do my own tell-all via this blog. Man, I miss her.

It’s true you know. Boys/men would like to find a woman like their mother. Mine was charming, pretty, smart, and above all funny. I’ve been told I’m a masculine version of that... but I’m not smart enough to believe it.

Back to 1991.

The phone rings at 9:30AM. I’m racing out of bed, for some reason, to answer it. I already know who it is. It’s Ashley.

She’s at the train station and is heading back to Georgia to see her parents. Matthew has already left for Binghampton, NY earlier.

Everyone has gone or is going home for Christmas.

I’m not.

Last year, Matthew & I spent Christmas and New Year’s here in Ohtawara. Not many AETs (assistant English teachers) on the JET (Japan Exchange & Teaching) Programme tend to do that, as they use Japan as a stepping stone to go and visit other countries. Last year, Ashley went to Thailand. I was supposed to go, but we had a massive fight. I lost., as usual, and stayed in Japan.

Ashley has called to apologize for her behavior last night, saying she should have let me spend the night considering we were both freezing during the five minute bike ride from the train station to her place – and I had another 30 minute bike ride ahead of me to get back to Ohtawara.

Yeah... she should have let me stay – especially when I asked nicely. It was her birthday, and I guess she didn’t want me around. No big deal. It doesn’t matter that I bought her dinner and drinks when she was out with her friends. We aren’t a couple anymore.

By the way.... have you, as a man, ever watched how women are when it’s time for a bill to be paid? Cheap! Calculators come out to calculate the tip to the freaking yen. I don’t care. I know you aren’t supposed to tip here in Japan, but I do anyway. They can be insulted all they like, but aside from belching, providing a good tip is the best way to show that you appreciated the attention shown you by the serving staff.

Her apology doesn’t make me feel any better, as I have a tendency to never forget a slight, no matter how small. That’s my own tragic flaw in my character. God forgives. I don’t. Unless there’s a chance I could get laid, in which case, I just put the ‘slight’ away until I am done.

Hey. This blog is cheaper than a psychiatrist.

After she wishes me a Merry Christmas et al and says she will see me when she comes back, I pack up my own clothes and toiletries and ride back out to the train station.

I take a slow JR (Japan Rail) train down to Mamada – a small Podunk of a town and meet James Jimmy Jive Dalton.

We go out for some Japanese food – neither of us can cook real Japanese food – and then watch Scrooged on a video tape of his.

We both get the craps and pass out asleep at 11:30PM.

Even in his sleep, James keeps farting.

I can’t stop giggling at how ridiculous it is. Zzzzzzzzzz-braaaaaaap-zzzzzzzzz. The cacophony coming out of both ends of James last for 15 minutes before I turn over, let out something quiet but deadly and hope that I still have a live traveling companion tomorrow morning.

We’re going to Singapore.

Somewhere looking forward to having fun,
Andrew Joseph
Today’s blog title is by The Stooges, led by Iggy Stooge now know as Iggy Pop who reinvented himself as required. The Stooges are, to me, one of the earliest punk rock groups along with the MC5.

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