May 26, 2014
Why, oh Why, 2K??
Someone else who found the year 2000 a bit of a letdown
| Welcome to another heapin’ helpin’ of leftover vittles judged unfit for human consumption and thus excised from my upcoming memoir. But before that, some breathtakingly tedious insights into my writing process.
Setting out to write about my entire teaching career at Yokohama’s N. University,
which ran from 1990 to 2007, I faced the dilemma of just how to deal with
the year 2000, when I was dumped by Princess Michiko, my teenage sidekick,
after which I fell into a depression punctuated by weird and reprehensible
behavior. (In short, hilarity ensued.)
The dilemma I speak of is that I had covered all that nonsense in detail
in my first memoir, How To Pick Up Japanese Chicks and Lose Your Immortal Soul. So what to do with it this time? Do I rehash all of that and risk boring
faithful readers of the earlier book, or just ignore it and risk baffling
first-timers? Those days remain, for me, fraught with the most momentous
events of my middle age, so merely glossing over them struck me as a thoroughly
inadequate approach—rather like writing a long account of the mundane processes
of whaling in the 19th century and casually embedding the sentence “And
then an enormous white monster rose from the sea and killed our insane
captain” smack in the middle. That simply wouldn’t do, would it?
At this point, I still haven’t quite worked out what to do about what I’m
cleverly naming the “Y2K Problem.” But as things stand now, the following
Year-2000 tidbits remain on the Cut List.
As noted in earlier posts, the whole book is cobbled together from excerpts
of my journals, comments on those excerpts, and occasional reminders to
the reader as to just what Bill Clinton was up to around the same time,
just for snorts. Oh, and giggles.
The first segment finds me in fine fettle, pre-breakup mode.
I also had students to entertain. A group of eight, featuring Takamine Ueda, Eiko Kawakami and a very drunk Keita Maruyama, crashed my apartment late Tuesday night after they had finished a drinking party at Watami (and after I had finished my ill-fated visit from the Princess*). They were too many, too late at night and too noisy, but I was delighted to see them.
Keita emerged as the star of that spontaneous late-night gathering at my
apartment. In class, he was pale, silent, and odd; liquored up, the only
way to keep him relatively quiet was to put a bag on his head, which is
what his friends did, repurposing Keita’s own book bag. Among his muffled
pearls of wisdom on that occasion:
Deecha’s apaato beegu. (“Teacher’s apartment is big.”)
Hwai deecha donto kamu paatee? (“Why didn’t Teacher come to the party?”)
Ai raiku deecha. (“I like Teacher.”)
The others were telling me of their plans for the spring vacation when we heard, softly:
Deecha eezu guudo deecha (“Teacher is a good teacher”)
…just before asphyxiation claimed him.
|Here we segue into the post-breakup period, during which I devoted myself
to extracting from NU chicks their sympathy, which I always hoped would
take the form of epistaxis-inducing tagteam blowjobs. I wasn’t that sick,
Email buddy Yoko Hashimoto inadvertently hurt me with the news that she is ditching her much older boyfriend so that she can look for someone her own age. I told her about my pain in vague terms, and sent moony emails to her friends Mami Oshiro and Chiho Yasuno as well.
If you were an IR major at NU in the spring and summer of 2000 and you had ovaries, you probably received at least one lovesick email from me seeking a shoulder to cry on. And if you were kind, or just naïve, or some combination thereof, you probably lent me that shoulder.
After a good deal of trial and error, I outsourced most of my spiritual maintenance to a future flight attendant named Nozomi, whom I called Bat Girl for her willingness to race to my apartment by motor scooter on short notice. It was Nozomi who fed me, listened to my tales of woe, took me to Disneyland, and all that sort of Make-a-Wish Foundation crap.
|This item harkens back to a night in late July when I accepted an invitation
to go drinking with freshmen after having a polyp sliced out of my colon
the same afternoon. I was also on three medications for my mental illness
at the time, so not surprisingly I devoted most of my free time that evening
to making rude propositions and then passing out.
She was a dark, sphinx-like creature, this Kazuyo. Invitations to overseas
scuba-diving vacations from disturbed foreign teachers rolled right off
her. If you were a freshman girl and found yourself in a girlfriend’s apartment
at two in the morning next to the passed-out carcass of your teacher, whom
you had had to help drag there because, you know, there simply wasn’t anywhere
else to put him—no night depository where you can anonymously slide in
your drunken English teachers and then toddle on your way—what would your
reaction be when he finally woke up? If you’re Kazuyo, you take a picture
with him, giving the peace sign with a lurid grin, as if the dazed teacher
were a deer you had just bagged or a dead jihadi that you had just peed
If our race ever does encounter intelligent aliens, I want her out front. The girl has poise.
Mina-chan and four other [sophomore] chicks came here last night for an overnight drinking bash. It was fun. I really ought to apologize to the neighbors. I drank heavily, but behaved well. I was one of the first to go to sleep, and vaguely recall fondling my own groin in my sleep and hearing some tittering. But that really was an involuntary reflex. I actually behaved myself quite admirably, for once.
I don’t remember the year 2000 at all fondly, but I suppose a year can’t be considered a total washout when you wake up at home and find five pretty sophomores scattered around the premises.
Their leader, Mina-chan, had proposed this event—ostensibly for the purpose of cheering me up, but more likely because they couldn’t find any other space large enough for a slumber party. When she pitched the idea to me, I reacted typically:
Me: Five girls! Staying all night! Hold on, I’m afraid I’m going to have to
order more Viagra!
Me: More Viagra… Get it?
Me: Because, like, there are five of you…
They listened patiently to the tale of how my heart was broken, tucked me in, and then went on to yak at each other until four in the morning.
|November 2000: Although President Clinton was not himself a candidate, his sex scandal
and impeachment impacted both parties throughout the long presidential
campaign. The Democratic candidate, Vice President Al Gore, avoided appearing
with Clinton, thus costing himself the votes of many who still supported
the President. Republican challenger George W. Bush based his campaign
largely on a repeated promise to restore “honor and dignity” to the White
|* Pet name for teenage sidekick. Yes, yes, I know: "Never date a girl
whose father calls her Princess." Where were you when I needed you?