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Sunday, May 21, 2017

Trish and I

I always had a thing for natural redheads.

Usually with pale white skin, sometimes freckly, other times pure as alabaster... a complete contrast to my own dark complexion and black hair.

I used to joke in my own head about finally sleeping with a redhead and playing connect the dots while naked under the sheets.

Or how my ideal woman was an Asian redhead with big boobs.

I could always find two out of three, which ain't bad, so I hear.

I know, I know... what an immature outlook. Looking for a hair color while ignoring other women who might actually be a better fit for me... but many guys are as stupid as I was.

Thing is... in truth I just truly admired intelligent women. Ignorant is fine, stupid is not.

Which is to say, that if I legitimately dated you or was interested in you, it was because on top of everything you think I liked, if you lacked intelligence I wouldn't have even tried to pursue or allowed myself to be pursued.

Enter Trisha Pepper... Trish.

A smart, sexy, funny redhead who arrived in Japan as a CIR (Coordinator for International Relations) on the JET (Japan Exchange & Teaching) Programme while I was there beginning my third year as a junior high school English teacher on the same program.

She and I met when I went down to Tokyo to welcome in the new recruits in July of 1992. In truth, I was there to check out the female talent, to see if I could be that necessary comforting shoulder to lean on as big, bad old Japan could be rough and confusing and lonely.

The year before I had met and slept with four AETs that I met over those two or three days in Tokyo... not at that time, mind you, but over the next year.

This time... well, I might have tried to hit on a few of them, but I didn't end up sleeping with any of them... not even Trish.

She was smarter than smart. She appeared at the periphery of my suave self exuding its maleness... hearing my booming voice and girlish laugh... which isn't so much girlish - no one has ever accused me of that - but it certainly is a lot higher than my natural voice that could melt ice in the Arctic during a blizzard.

That's not my description of myself, by the way, but a paraphrased version by one of my former conquests.

Again... not Trish.

When she came over to talk to my drunk self, there was a twinkle in her eyes as she purred a hello at me, winked and watched as I began to salivate. She knew how to push this drunk guy's buttons.

She led me on and on, as I made her laugh and she made me laugh, and we tested each other with bits of useless fun facts about nothing... me finally getting the upper hand as I began to regale her with stories about all of the stupid stuff I had happen to me while I had been in Japan the past two years.

She knew the point wasn't to complain about Japan, just how naive I was about things and how not knowing about anything before arriving in Japan made the journey that much more fun.

That's when she said she agreed and wished she didn't know so much about Japan.

I put an arm around the 5'3" (I'm better at knowing cup-sizes than height, so that's now a 25-year-old guess) Trish's shoulders - she was warm like the sake in my belly - and smiled as she looked up at me like she knew she could kick me in the gonads before I even thought about squeezing a boob.

(By the way, I might have been very interested in getting laid all the time, but at no point in any interaction with a woman did I ever make the first move. Okay, maybe with Noboko... but I'm not even sure anymore as I write this. The point is, this guy needs to receive a real real invite.)

Yeah, I wanted to grab Trish and kiss her, but even drunk me isn't out of control... he just gets louder and (hopefully) funnier.

Anyhow, arm around her in a reassuring manner, I told her that regardless of what she thinks she knows about Japan, there's still plenty one doesn't know about it that is going to jump up and slap you in the face while stomping on your toes, and the best way to handle it is to smile and laugh about it later.

Obviously those weren't my exact words--I said I get louder and funnier, but that doesn't mean I have total recall.

I obviously said the right thing because she said "thank-you, Andrew", leaned in to give me a hug and then punched me in the arm as she pulled away and said good night.

A few days later when she had moved in to her tiny apartment in a tiny hamlet in Tochigi-ken, she gave me a call.

Being completely useless with names I had no idea who I was talking to for a few minutes... Trisha... Trisha... who the fug is that?

Perhaps sensing my reluctance to get personal, she made some comment about her curly red hair that was totally out of control in the humidity of August in Japan.

Good grief. The redheaded girl... I suppose that makes me Charlie Brown in more ways than one.

She immediately launched into talking about her boyfriend back home... meant to warn me off, which I got... but I was also smart enough to know that long-distance relationships don't work...

As such, I continued to flirt, let her flirt back, but let her keep her distance... content actually for her to be my friend.

Beginning my third term in Japan, I had just lost my ex-girlfriend with benefits who had gone back home after two years... and I was already in the mode of being bored with simply allowing myself to be picked up at a bar for sex... and wanted to feel like the real me mattered.

It's tough to explain.

It was the early 1990s, and I had never asked a woman out while in Japan... even though I had arrived in the country quite virginal, and not by choice.

But in Japan... I had women tripping over themselves to sleep with me... both foreign women, and Japanese... and aside from one woman of the two I dared call my girlfriend, none cared to know who I really was... I was that exotic curiosity... and trust me, I enjoyed every single moment of that... but deep down, I wanted to be loved, like I was a living in carnation of some Jefferson Airplane song.

Enter Trish. She wasn't interested in making love to me, but I love that she did want to get to know me... much like Ashley... or, come to think of it, like Kristine had done... and man, if she and I weren't separated by 500km while in Japan... well... probably best not to dwell on such things, as I know it worked out very well indeed for my special K.

But Trish... she was exactly what I needed. A good, strong, smart female friend that I still wanted to sleep with but knew I wouldn't.

Life with Trish was always a weekly phone call away... and while I know she and I liked each other, me more in THAT way than she for me, we did still manage to keep it hands-free. I was and I am still a gentleman - especially when she made her intentions clear.

It was weird how I, a third-year participant on the JET Programme needed the reassurances of a first-year, but that's the way it was. I never told her that, but she was probably smart enough to know it.

The Great Trisha Pepper... we remained good friends that whole year until I met Noboko in 1993. It's not that she and I stopped being friends, but my time began to be taken up by Noboko, and Trish somehow realized it without me telling her that.

However... before all that... and in early November of 1992, Trish asked me if I wanted to go on a vacation with her between November 19-23, I practically jumped out of my pants... she wanted to know if I would accompany her to Kyoto.

Sure... I had done that same trip with Ashley the previous year when it rained every day during Golden Week in 1991... but with Trish, she spoke such fluent Japanese that I knew I would learn so much about what I was seeing for once.

I am pretty sure Trish asking me to go with her served two purposes: she trusted me, even as a guy she knew wanted to sleep with her, to not make any moves on her, but also to act as both a companion and security.

Japan is a safe place, sure, but a single foreign woman doesn't need to be hassled... which I'm sure has and does happen.

I could respect that. In fact, another young first-year female JET asked me to be her dance companion and security for trips down to Roppongi in Tokyo. I did that two, maybe three times. And no... like I said earlier... I didn't sleep with any of the new crop of AETs I met on my third year on JET.

So... over the next few days, allow me to present in photos, my trip to Kyoto... sleeping in the same hotel room, with Trish... a very satisfying if not frustrating trip, if you know what I mean.

The photo at the top is one Trish took of me during the trip. Man I loved those purple, blue and black striped jeans. Don't worry, I snapped a lot of photos of Trish, too.

To be continued...

Andrew Joseph

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