Wide a fucking awake.
Wataguy did deliver the gift goods in his belated birthday gift:
"I hope you don't already it....if you do I'm keeping it!"
"Waaaaaait, if you want it and I want it...StarWars?"
"Oh my god, I forgot to tell you. I saw the best Star Wars Pop-up book at this place I went to with Anna!"
"OH MY GOD You got me the Pop-up book, didn't you!"
(rips open package)
"The best page is..."
"I know! This one....but did you know it did this?" (removes plastic battery blocker so the light sabers light up)
"Oh my god!"
Last night I felt bad about not getting out to a BD show, but then I realized that three nights in a row in Tokyo IS a lot and that my schedule wasn't going to slow down this week. So, I rested.
Monday: Aveda haircolor with my favorite stylist, the Japanese man who looks like an orange haired Vincent Price. The resemblance is stunning. The orange color is also stunning.(Done)
Tuesday: Jazz dance class( and basic hip hop?)
Wednesday: Coffee and the possibility of beer/food with Mr. Abs. The second half of the date (food?beer?) is contingent on the first part being enjoyable for both of us. I'll meet him at Ueno station. No great hopes here, might be fun, might not be.
Thursday: Dinner and catching up with Wataguy. I'm looking forward to dinner. He still is one of the people I know best here and communicate best with. We'll see if it ends with an awkward hug, a good hug, or a smooch. No matter which one, it doesn't change anything and isn't worth sweating over. He;ll be bringing my mystery birthday gift.
Friday: Restaurant night
Saturday: Class night
I met Wataguy at a Starbucks near Omotesando station. He hasn't seen me with my game face on for ages...and was unprepared for the wild-haired smokey-eyed sexy lady that I am pre-show. (I wore my orange and brown sexy vintage 60's-70's dress)
It's strange to see me not blending with Japan and looking so, um, wildly foreign.
We caught up on his week of drinking his mates from England and my school cockroach battles and stuff. Then, we headed to The Cow.
On my way Anaan text messaged me that she'd lost her bank card. When we arrived Wataguy helped call her bank and report her missing card. Gio and Martin, the American branch of Alpha World-Music Djs were already there. They allowed Wataguy and Anaan in at their front and center table. Dj B.Krishta was wandering around and needed hugs before he set up, and Herman (who runs a place I'll be doing a November art show at) was playing music.
The Middle eastern buffet was still in swing and the place was filled with a hearty international crowd, many of whom were not regular belly dance audience. The Pink Cow is sort of a social cafe for foreigners, artists, knitting clubs, whatever. While waiting for the bathroom I ended up chatting up some gaijin boys (English speaking Germans) with their Japanese girls, plugging the bellydance until it was revealed, lo, I was one of the dancers. They were fun flirts.
The line up was me, Asami ( a Japanese woman who is a great drummer and a solid tribal soloist. She has some nice tattoos, looked devastatingly gorgeous in make-up, and had brought her lovely 5-year-old daughter, Momo) and Wakako (a very enthusiastic up and coming dancer on the local scene, she's still a belly baby but shows promise and has the right attitude...she's also a dedicated fan of mine, which I just find to be adorable.)
Wakako arrived back from Turkey last night and was feeling dodgy. She'd just done the Folk Tours with Artemis and had a blast and then stayed a week later, getting her hotel for free by dancing there. We decided that she'd dance last so that she could get the performance and "dance with everyone" bit done all at once in case she started getting worse.
I opened, which worked out great because I'd clipped a creepy intro from the Slavic Soul Party (Technocheck collision) cd at the start of my set and it would have been odd following anything. Melos, casual, Turkish rom style dance. Asami followed with more traditional tribal gear, mixing some slow Turkish Rom music in with her set. Asami has great abdominal control. Wakako performed a Turkish Oriental choreography, all red glitz and sparkle. And then we all joined in.
It was a very nice balance of styles and costumes all sharing a general Turkish theme.
I don't remember much of my actual performance. I rarely do. I know people enjoyed it, and that I was much loved by the gaggle of hip salary men.
Martin told me that, whatever happy pills I'd taken I should keep taking them. Martin, Gio, Anaan and Sayaka thought it was the best they've ever seen me dance. My Germans loved it.
Wataguy made sure I ate some couscous and food once I was changed. I networked and gossiped before it was time to get my last train.
Anaan, Henna and Farasha will be opening for Sharon Kihara when she's here in October. They desperately want me to do costuming, and specifically want me to make corset belts and matching halters. I've emailed Tempest twice about getting permission to sell commissioned work using her corset belt pattern ( no ready-made anything, just local commissions) but have thus heard nothing. We're being good about respecting copyright, but they really want these belts and permission. If I made belts that looked exactly like what she sells I'd understand, but I don't and I know she's given people her blessing in the past. I want those belts in my bag of options.
We also discussed my goal of getting off my ass and having a professional shoot done before the end of the year.
Martin bid me goodbye with "See you later, Moneypenny" which just means the next Cow will be Thunderball time.
And then I went home, with no late-night encounters with crazy flashlight men.
Edited to add:
Dj. B.Krishta informs me that he was not wandering around before his set, he was taking a break. He'd set up before 7pm and had already played a 2 hour set by then.
Today was hectic. I worked at both schools, had 4 meetings, and filled out forms for my visa renewal..for a starter. Between schools I biked home at lunch. In my mailbox was a Hip-hop mix cd from Jim Norton.
Yay! More fuel for the day! Yay!
I knew a long day was still ahead to I quickly uploaded it into iTune and my iPod. I didn't have time to label all the tracks, and there was a mystery final track I didn't bother listening to before getting on my bike and heading back to work.
After work I biked home, threw on a clean shirt and some jewelry. To the station! To Tokyo.
What was in Tokyo after a day of work? Wataguy.
Now, Wataguy and I do coffee or dinner once every 3-4 months and then spend the time in between recovering...we've been doing this for about a year and a half now. It's not that hanging out is painful, wish it was, its that sense absence is more keen afterwards.
We're mental...or like criminals who have to go back to look at the scene of the great heist...or maybe you'd prefer the picking at scabs analogy.
This time I'd contacted him because I wanted someone who knew me well, and my life here, to talk to about my current depression.
Prior to seeing me he usually develops a lovely stress zit on his nose. I'm more likely to break-out in a stress blush that lasts at least an hour. Mental.
On the train I started to listen to Jim's Cd. I exited the train at Ginza and my body was prepping for red as the final (mystery) song started.
You know what song cures the red, cures any pit of the stomach nerves, kills any buzzing evil bee thoughts?
The Super Bowl Shuffle is what!
Thank you JR Norton!
We’ve returned to our text message habits, with some changes (we’ve avoided the goodnight kiss messages for sanity sake) and have a loose date to do dinner and test the face-to-face waters in mid-March. I’d estimate that at least 80 percent of our interactions were at a distance/text message and mails (his estimates would be higher…because he’s an lj junkie…it’s only a matter of days before he breaks and starts reading again) and it is the thing that we don’t feel normal denying ourselves. An odd friendship.
We’ve known the break-up was coming for a long time, years even.
I figure that I should set some goals about getting out of the house and socializing a bit. When your peers are school teachers and female dancers…well..you have to make an effort to meet men. This isn’t the sort of country that men just talk to me (Nigerians in search of wives and toothless sake drinkers aside.) I’ve set a goal to make sure that I at least try to go on a date or two before mid-march.
Last night I looked at the on-line ads from the Metropolis. It was pretty depressing: the sheer numbers of married men who write ads, those just in search of cute Japanese girls, and the just plain repulsive wording. I can’t trash the ads 100%...because they are how the Wataguy and I met each other. I responded to one, early 30’s Japanese artist, bi-lingual, working in web design…and we’re figuring out a time to get coffee and maybe checkout the exhibits at Roppongi Hills.
I’m also doing coffee with a local guy (one train stop away) sometime next week. I have a my space account to keep in touch with a few art school kids and he’s the only “add me” person who seems to be interesting (bi-lingual, lived in Boston, works in some financial job to keep art and snowboard hobbies paid for) so, after a non-flirting correspondence of a few months we think it’s time to get some coffee. I do need more male friends in the area that are not Wataguy.
My female friends here have also been helpful. The Romanian emailed me today with the news that she too is recently single, so we’ll be doing the slumber party sometime in the future…Opua plans on making pancakes at the first available Sunday.
And that’s your update. It’s a locked post because I know that Wataguy will start reading soon and this is too fast to have to deal with that reaction. He knows he’ll hate my next boyfriend, he’s said so.
This week I spoke to yet another voice from the past. Granted, he is still alive and will soon be in
When it comes to the past it cannot be said that I pack light. That is an optical illusion...I pack tight. My memory is flawed but what is there is fecund. I don’t pack to entirely forget, for that task there are fires and dumpsters, I pack to make space for more. Yet when you pack, you always forget something.
I think it has been firmly established that I tend to be a cheap traveler when it comes to accommodations and transport. My mom’s the same way. We’re both happy with small guest houses with minimal comfort located vaguely near, but not in, backpacker locals…bonus if the owner feeds you fruit and baguettes in the morning. I figure if I’m going someplace that I wanna see that place and not the hotel room…and backpackers sometimes make me itchy.
I have learned to revise this plan of attack slightly if traveling with someone I intend to be having lots of sex with or if going to some godforsaken-piece-o-hell backwater for reasons beyond my control. Wataguy and I both suffered from my vote for an artsy basic-looking hotel in
*Kensington Rooms, where staff may or may not give you the wake-up call you asked for… cruel because the rooms have no clocks. That’s if you managed to get into your rooms, bloody-fucked-up-locks, but if you made it in you soon learned the rooms contained not much of anything and the items included in the rooms often didn’t work and the shower…I can’t go on … at one point, while in a rush, the doorknob came off in Wataguy’s hand. The soap and bath stuff, however, were a wonderful scented blend of ginseng and something.
(Editor’s note: I can’t figure out which kanji on this machine means stop randomly auto-correcting my mistakes, you’re just making it worse. Fetid shower was almost posted as fetish shower…a point which is not up for discussion)
If you saw me on Friday, the day before I hung my show, you’d probably have realized that I was on the verge of seriously cracking up. But you didn’t see me, Wataguy did. Sometimes I thrive on stress and run myself a little more ragged then I should. I say I know my limits, how much I can mess with my sleep schedule, stress myself out, run against deadlines, and for the most part that is true. I’ve gotten better over the years but I’ve probably slipped into old habits in Japan. Back home I usually see friends, or people who know me well, fairly often…and when they see that half-crazed glassy look in my eyes they ask what’s up or encourage me to join them for lunch or something until I’m a little more human. But I don’t see my friends that often in Japan. In fact, Wataguy only saw me for two minutes, but what he saw was enough for him to worry.
The next morning I received a concerned text message from him. He’d checked my online journal and was glad that I’d finished the frames (and that they looked good,) but he hoped I hadn’t stayed up all night because I’d looked damned exhausted when he saw me. He was worried about my health and well-being. He’d also read an email in which I explained my plan for staying out all night in Shibuya, Tokyo after I hung the show (walk to Shibuya, nurse drinks at my old bar, check into a manga-internet booth for the night and stay awake typing and such…) He wasn’t going to be able to help me with hanging the show or sleeping quarters on Saturday night, and neither was anyone else I had asked, but he urged me to seek alternatives to staying up all night if I missed my last train. Couldn’t I stay with my American friend who lived near Tokyo? Surely I could catch a later train and arrive or even get a taxi…it would probably be cheaper than the bar and manga-café and I’d get that night’s sleep I needed.
( the long story )