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Thursday, June 19, 2014

Noboko & Andrew: The Key Secret

So… here's another entry from the infrequent entries that are about my life in Japan.

To be honest, it was at this time of my life in Japan that I stopped keeping a diary... probably because I was so tired from teaching junior high, saying lots of good byes, teaching lots of private lessons and making lots of money, and dating Noboko.

Since I do not have a diary, I'm going from memory on events - but fortunately, I can recall things from 25 years ago far easier than know what I had for lunch yesterday.

As for things such as dialogue... well... believe it or don't, I have a very good aptitude for this, and recall most memory strings... especially if I consider it important... but I often need to sit down and concentrate on the event - or not concentrate on it - and presto, out it flows like a faucet turned on high.

Still... who knows... I'm getting older, so it's possible I'm recalling things as I want them to be.

There... that's my disclaimer... the facts of the events are real... and I'm reasonably certain about the dialogue. And for the record, there are a few women whose kisses are embedded in my mind, which makes recall very easy for me.

It's spring of 1993, and my one true girlfriend Noboko (I've changed the spelling of her name here) has spent another sweaty evening in my air-conditioned apartment, now fully-dressed, smiling sweetly as she steps up on her tippy-toes to kiss me good night at 10:30PM.

She has to make a 10-kilometer drive north from my apartment in Ohtawara-shi, Tochigi-ken to her parent's place in Kuroiso.

Although she an I are close in age at 28 and less, she has been living with her parents since moving from the Kobe-Osaka area a few months earlier to take a teaching position in my city.

It's her first gig as a junior high school English teacher, and when she started in April of this year she was very serious about things, perhaps aware that being an older than usual first-time teacher, being a woman of marrying age, and being a beautiful woman of marrying age put her behind the 8-ball, so to speak, with having a lot more to prove to the elder statesmen that run the school and the school board.

I had fallen in lust or love with her at first sight, and made an ass of myself writing a love-haiku poem mere minutes aft my first glimpse of her took my breath away.

She was probably used to having guys hit on her, but from what I learned later, I was the first gaijin (foreign) guy to do so, as she had typically never put herself in such a situation before.

With me having to work with her, she was trapped… and so, she resolved NOT to give in to my horny, but incredible sweet attempts to chat her up.

But a strange thing happened on the way to the Penthouse forum… pretty much damn near all of the students in her various English classes decided that since their very pretty teacher was still single, she needed to go out with me.

Why they did that on their own initiative boggles my mind to this day some 21 years later, but I thank them for it. They must have thought that my good humor also translated into good looks, but while I thought I was okay looking, I knew that Noboko was out of my league.

Flash forward a month or so, and Noboko is coming over to my well-to-do three-bedroom apartment - sneaking in so no one can see her … students from other schools are everywhere!… and making kissy-face and other parts in my general direction. That means we were sleeping together - often and with great results.

Dropping down from her toes (she's a shade over 5-feet tall) after what seemed like an hour-long probing kiss, she looks radiant with that 'we just had sex' afterglow, while her face is crestfallen that she must once again sneak out of my apartment and head back to her parents house…

In Japan, while everyone knows that everyone is having sex (this was 1993… I have no idea what happened to the Japanese sex drive after I left - but it is apparently low - and no, I'm not taking credit/responsibility for it, even if I did do my part to keep it up. You know what I mean.), it's still not proper for Japanese people to be caught having it when not married.

Love hotels charge by the evening or by the hour. I've used them, but never like being rushed and will gladly pay the premium to relax afterwards.

So… to keep up appearances that nook is a good little girl and isn't screwing the ever-loving horny brains out of one of the local gaijin AETs (assistant English teachers) on the JET (Japan Exchange & Teaching) Programme, she has to drive her sub-compact toy car back home - and not miss her 11PM curfew.

Despite our groans of mutual protestation, she opens the heavy steel door to leave…

"Chotto matte, kudasai," I say to her in one of those few Japanese phrases I actually can say properly and at the correct time… I run back to find my pants in the bedroom and discover they are lying under the couch in the living room… dig out something and jog lithely back to her at the front door.

"Here," I say, dropping the small present into her hand.

She glances at it as I needlessly continue: "You've already got the key to my heart. Now here's the key to my apartment."

I'd like to think I said something like that, but I didn't. I can't recall exactly because I'm pretty sure the blood flow still was peaking in my underwear.

"It's the key to my place. Feel free to drop by any time and stay even if I'm not here."

That sounds like something I might have said as I know I tried to snake my hand up her dress and down the backside of her panties to play around.

That definitely sounds like me now… but if it was, she would have let me continue for a few seconds before snaking away, knowing she had a curfew.

Now this… this I do remember… with a very evil grin dancing in her sexy, brown eyes, she put her mouth around my fingers and somehow managed to suck them dry.


With that, she turned and quickly stepped into her two-inch high heels, opened the door, peered out to make sure the coast was clear and left down the side stairs to the right.

Are you kidding me??!!

You're leaving me like this?

Taking my cue from Kung Fu Panda, I had the furious five in a kung-fu grip and after less than a minute of me slumped against the hall wall, I was done.

For now.

I washed up - sort of - got dressed and went down to see if the variety store two stories below my apartment was still open.

It should have been closed at 9PM, but the old man was puttering around there and saw me stomp down past the side door where earlier Noboko must have slunk past hiding our relationship.

I was getting used to having no one know about us (except for a few of the other AETs I chatted with - all guys, at this point in time).

Even though the old man proprietor couldn't speak a lick of English, he smiled as he pulled a 2-liter bottle of Coca-Cola out of the cooler for me (my usual), and said (an admittedly, I am paraphrasing him): "An-do-ryu-sensei garufriendo (girlfriend) wa berry secushi desu."

I took that to mean: "Andrew teacher (that's me)'s girlfriend is very sexy."

I looked at him and laughed loudly.

The only secret I know is that there are no secrets in Japan. Shhh… Don't tell anyone that.

"Hai… so desu. (yes… she is.)"

"Sensei-desu ka? Is she a teacher?)"

I laugh again and say "Hai, so desu, ne. (Yup.)"


Okay… I know that No-chu is the slang way people in this city say "Nozaki Chu Gakko" (Nozaki Junior High School)… so how the hell did he know that?

I nod my head.

I swear, he says the one and only English word I ever heard him speak: "Secret."

"Hai, domo. (Thanks)," I mutter as I bow deeply to the old man who was in his late 70s or early 80s. 

I know he liked that.

To me, it was showing respect on multiple levels: Me as a foreigner to a Japanese person. A youngish man to my senior. Me thanking him for his future discretion.

I know that it's not often that people who frequent shops provide a legitimate, respectful bow to the shopkeeper or clerk. They say thanks and good night, but it's rarely with any meaning.

I don't think that's merely a Japanese thing, however, as I see that sort of stuff happening all the time here in Canada in 2014. Me? I don't think there's anything wrong in being polite and talking to anyone and treating them like a real person.

With my big sweaty bottle of Coke in my hands, I leap back up the two flights of stairs, two at a time... and then remember that the shopkeeper actually lives in the apartment directly below mine with his wife and 30-year-old son.

Oh… yeah… I wonder if they could hear all of the action going on in my apartment these past three years.

Oh well.. who cares? C'est la vie. That's life.

As I enter my apartment, the phone begins to ring.

I know it's Noboko, because it's exactly 11PM and she must be at her parent's house.

I don't have to run to the phone, because in Japan the caller will let it ring 17 or 18 times before determining that there is no one home or busy.

But, I'm not Japanese, so I run to the phone - still with my shoes on, in a major Japanese faux pas. Canadian, eh.

"Moshi-moshi, beautiful," I sigh into the phone.

"Eiiiii?" says the slightly familiar female voice on the other end. "How did you know it was me?"

Oh crap… it's Junko, my emotionally unbalanced, sex-crazed, very sexy ex-girlfriend that I had a restraining order against known as bondage.

Andrew Joseph

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