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Saturday, January 31, 2015

Noboko & Andrew: Head Games

Noboko was suffering from 'that time of the month' aka menstrual cramps, and had cryptically suggested the night before that despite her discomfort that maybe we could still have some adult fun when she came over the next night...

I had asked her via a phone call: "Do you want to rent a movie or something?"

"Or something. Good night. I love you," she responded.

Apparently we still have a language barrier, or things said while doubling over from her vicious cramps can not be held over one's head.

She did come over to my apartment, brought fresh vegetables and meats, and cleaned, chopped and fried it all up quicker than it took me to write about it, and we enjoyed a wonderful stir-fry dinner.

She was fairly quiet all evening, despite us both on the couch, her snuggling up tight into the crevices of my body as we watched the television that was off.

Really. My television was off. That television is always on it seems.

But, we just sat their curled up into a Canpon (Canada-Nippon) bundle, and held on to each other.

I didn't have much more time left on my third and final one-year contract as an assistant English teacher on the JET (Japan Exchange & Teaching) Programme. That was all we could do—a maximum of three years and sayonara (bye), but despite never having ever wanted to go to Japan, I had enjoyed my time here, and was madly in love with Noboko who was afraid to tell anyone of our love (especially her over-protective Father—though her Mom had figured it out).

I've been with one other woman who could simply say everything by saying nothing, and while I find lulls in conversation to imply that I am failing miserably in a relationship, I let my actions speak louder than words and simply sighed out loud as I gently rested my chin on Noboko's ever-blooming apple-blossom scented head.

She didn't even ask why I was sighing. I could hear her sigh inside her head as well.

Time was running out.

I was invited to go to her parent's house for dinner tomorrow, but I didn't know how that was going to end up.

I'm a planner. Schemer, even. Not in the evil sense, but rather I like to run through a plethora of possible conversational snippets in my head prior to important events, and prepare a possible response or solution.

I don't know why I bother... while the Japanese are just like every other nation on the planet, their unpredictability comes from their culture and societal rules, of which I am attempting to fathom, but in reality, I am drowning.

Add in the individual nature of a person's employment, social standing and role in the family, and I had NO clue how any conversation with Noboko's dad was going to go.

Add in the whole Japanese-language thing, and me being an idiot in the language skills department nearly three years in, well... I'm screwed.

On the plus side, I could mention to him how my two good buds who arrived in Japan with me at the same time—Jeff and Matt—had recently married or were about to marry a Japanese woman. Not the same woman, but rather one each. Two beautiful and intelligent and strong women that made me worry for my two friends just a bit, because they were obviously no match for them.

It had bothered me—just a bit—that both Matt and Jeff were getting hitched to Japanese women before me.

Yeah, I just played the race card.

Of course I was happy for them... but at least I was on the right track with Noboko. Yes... I would have to work Matt and Jeff into a conversation with Noboko's dad tomorrow evening.


Andrew Joseph

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