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September 1, 2012

My Writing Summer





Random Japanese chicks in black bikinis to pull you into this
post which has nothing to do with them.


Hey, remember back when Queen Elizabeth had a horrible anus?

Maybe not, since it was 1992 and our audience tends to skew a bit younger these days. The queen’s actual phrase that she trotted out in a speech that November was annus horribilis, a horrible year, and it’s not hard to grasp why she felt that way in 1992. One of her favorite palaces caught fire; the world was treated to transcripts of phone conversations in which her eldest son and heir to the throne told his mistress how dearly he wished he were one of her tampons; some bald mofo from Texas was photographed sucking on the toes of her ex-daughter-in-law, and so forth.

I can’t compete with that, but my 2012 has been fraught with distractions related to finances, my day job, and more personal matters. That’s my excuse for not updating this blog as often as I have been wont to do in previous years. About the only thing around here that can’t be described as horrible these days is my anus, which passed its biennial colonoscopy last week with flying colors (most of them shades of pink), thank you very much.

And while I'm piling up excuses for not talking to you, there's this. I’ve been using the long summer school vacation to get cracking on that new book I mentioned some months ago, the one intended as a sequel, or companion piece, to my 2005 memoir How To Pick Up Japanese Chicks and Doom Your Immortal Soul, the latter half of which describes my tumultuous relationships with a couple of NU women during the Nineties.

In March, I blogged about my attendance of a reunion held by a student organization that I had advised during my years at NU. It was the first time I had set foot on NU property or encountered any fabled NU females since leaving the institution five years earlier. I mostly described my encounter at the reunion with Megumi.

Here is a description of that encounter that I have drafted for the book. Kindly regard the following as working notes, not an actual draft:

* * *

I remembered her primarily for a speech she had asked me to check for an intercollegiate contest, a persuasive address sent by attachment file under the title “Let’s Use Condoms!” It described in elaborate detail the situations in which young people ought to use condoms to stem the spread of HIV, as well as those situations when they weren’t especially necessary, just for the heck of it. It was, perhaps, the only English speech that I ever edited pantsless.

Before return-mailing it, I had appended a note praising both her important choice of topic and her courage for speaking publicly on the issue. She wrote back to thank me and report that, by the way, she was still a virgin, despite being a junior in college and achingly adorable. I recalled a maritime limerick I had heard somewhere that ended in the line: Not a bad record for this vicinity.

My second most vivid Megumi-related memory consisted of the fact that I had been sitting next to her in the theater on this very same Tokyo Campus when I had witnessed her club's nearly all-female production of Romeo and Juliet highlighted by one actress fellating another actress’s sword. As I now recalled, Megumi had maintained an admirably sphinx-like demeanor at the time.

Now this very same Megumi, in a gorgeous blue dress, was stroking my arm and expressing her delight that I should appear at this function. Feeling physical contact with an actual NU woman for the first time in over five years, however briefly, augmented the dizzying, drug-like sensation of the whole event. The thing was, she looked exactly the same as she had eleven years earlier, when she asked me to check that speech! At that moment, I fully expected Megumi to rise into the air, revealing herself to be an apparition, and say, Muuuugggginnnssss… Yooou haave diiied iinn yooour sleeeeep (because that’s the way those people talk, don’t you know, elongating their vowels for effect). Aaarrr yooou weeearing a connndommmm nowwwww?


* * *

Okay, enough of that. In my March post, I cockily jauntily summarized my intention to write a book entirely about NU women by saying::

It’s going to be the easiest 60,000 words I’ve ever produced.

I suppose I was thinking, “Well, I’ll just cut and paste from my old journals and archived email exchanges. Ha!” But the thing is, there’s a god-awful lot of old journals and archived email exchanges to be gotten through. I’m sitting here on the last day of August with hundreds of thousands of words of serviceable material that needs a machete taken to it.

Looking back on that “easiest 60,000 words” quote, I feel as dumb as Dick Cheney probably feels about his “We’ll be treated as liberators by the Iraqis” prediction, or would feel if he had a soul.

No, no, nothing easy about this project Other People’s Daughters. I’m currently aiming to bring the troops home in the spring of 2014, but don’t hold me to that.