random love

Interlude

interlude

 

It’s been quiet and mostly drama-free ’round these parts.

I’ve been in transition (ha) about my stories.  The shit I spout here wears no mask, save a name here and there.  Recently, what I want to share goes beyond the journaling I do here.  So I think and plan my next move, which has equaled blank space.

S and I are good.  S is living her Tokyo life, juggling boys here and abroad whilst dealing with rejecting her daily (maybe they’ve slipped down to weekly) marriage proposals.

We’re still married, she renewed her Japan visa for another year and it’s about time for some day→night drinking to celebrate spring.

More updates as the cauldron reaches roaring colorful boil…currently simmering.

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random love

What are the odds?

what are the odds

I get on my train and choose car No. 6 because its doors open very close to the descending stairs of my home station.
My have-tos are done with; I’m glad I’m on my way home.

I’m lucky to get a seat and I catch up on texts.  I text to see what her ETA is.  Whoa, she replies immediately, a rare occurrence.  I must have misunderstood her work end time.  We make plans to eat together.  I try to imagine which direction she’s coming from as her work is in a ‘hood I’ve only visited once and that was for a midnight-thirty meet-up with friends for a road trip.  Occasionally I look up to check out my surroundings; no unusual suspects tonight, a welcome relief.  Women unleashing super-pungent hair spray bombs, men coming down from drugs as evidenced by scratch-slapping their faces in a pretty disturbing manner, guys peeing themselves and of course the ubiquitous drunken businessmen (please don’t puke on me, please don’t puke on me) are just a few run-ins that make me hyper-aware of the state of the people surrounding me.  It’s self-preservation on these endless lines of commuter transport, millions and millions of us standing, rushing, crowding, pushing everyday.

I continue texting her as I’m trying to gauge how long until we meet.  She’s just transferred lines and I get a nanoo-nanoo psychic-intuition tingle.  She just boarded at the station my train arrived at.  We’re on the same train.  It doesn’t make statistical sense that we would be on the same train, coming from opposite directions (including a transfer), in this megalopolis.  I mean, what are the odds?  Still, as seconds pass my heart beats faster.  I’m absolutely convinced we’re on the same train.  I quiz her about the next station on her ride…which matches mine exactly.  Shit, can we be in the same car?  Nooo…that would be too much for even my not-believing-in-coincidences self.

Still, I look around.
I don’t see her.
Damn.

I convince myself that we’re supposed to run into each other and be amazed at the odds of running into each other on this train, this Tokyo evening.  Like something out of a movie.  And we’re supposed to spot each other in the same car—No. 6— out of the twelve on this line.  We’re supposed to beat the odds even more.  Even though I don’t see her and I don’t know why I need her to be in the same car as me, I question her further.

Which car number are you on?
6, right by the doors.

Shit(!)…I knew it.

My seated self looks up and peeks through the few empty spaces between the many standing bodies before me.  I can only see one set of the eight car doors and she’s not there.  Until a guy shifts and I see the top her head.  Yes.

I see you.
She looks around; the surrounding figures keep me hidden.
No way.  You’re messing with me.

As I’m about to text what she’s wearing, doing, we arrive at the next stop and people move past me.  She keeps looking around until her eyes rest on me and a shocked smile breaks out.

“Do you realize how crazy it is that we’re on the same train, the same car, no less?!”
“It’s not crazy…after Takadanobaba (fated station name) I just knew we were on the same train.”
“It is crazy.  Things like this don’t happen.”
“But it just did!”
“I mean, think about the odds.”

She doesn’t say anything else as she shakes her head, still flabbergasted at this coincidence.

Except I don’t believe in coincidences.
It’s supposed to be this way.
I don’t know why.

Maybe it’s to remember that person, exactly as they were that day.
Maybe it’s to believe in the magic of the universe.

Like out of a movie.
Only better.

 

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random love

If

If

“failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor”

                                                          ~Truman Capote

then I don’t fail enough.

Sigh.

I fail at little things, quite often: lacking discipline, producing enough, achieving balance.
I sweat the small shit.  I allow stress an easy in.  I’m impatient.
But an epic fail that forces me to get wise, Quick?

I don’t think so.
Because if said failure had happened I doubt I would be so scared.

I avoid getting hurt, which I feel is weak.
I have problems being vulnerable.  I protect myself.  I don’t risk enough.
Yawn.

So.
I attempt growth: I risk, I jump, I expect.
There’s no palpable achievement, no net and free-fall is my second skin before I hit the ground, and it’s not graceful.
Disappointment happens, I hurt and I am hurt.
I cry a lot as a result and I think I’m stressing out my heart because when feeling especially neurotic, I swear its beat is damn irregular.

But life’s still fun and funny.

People surprise me.
Better yet, they impress the hell out of me.

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random love, trans talk

A simple come on

come on
Sometimes it’s like this:
The woman carefully examines the art on the walls of a classic, white gallery cube-style room.  There’s no perceivable order to her perusals but from time to time a smile breaks through as her eyes dart across the canvas, stopping for seconds at particular points of interest: brilliantly saturated color contrast, curious manipulations of media, abstracted sex.

She doesn’t fit in with the usual museum guests; she’s not here killing toddler time yet it’s in the middle of a weekday afternoon…what kind of work does she do?  Does she work?

It’s a quiet day, she’s the only one in this room and there’s something about her that compels me to say something.
Anyt-h-i-n-g.

“Where are you from?”
“Oh…hi.  I’m from around here but I don’t live here anymore, just visiting.”

She holds my gaze for a second then goes back to the work.  She really digs this guy’s art; she must, as she’s oblivious to everything else around her.  I try to take my eyes off her but the floor vents make the hem of her dress flit and tease up, which makes me need distractions, bodies squinting and peering too close to wall labels, daring to touch frames and beyond.  Basically, I need to be working the Van Gogh room.

She’s disappeared into another room and soon she will have gone through this exhibit.
Shit.  Why do I need to talk to her?
I just do.

“My name’s Mike.”
Why I’m reaching out to shake her hand, I don’t know.  Except when her cool hand clasps mine, it’s awesome and her smile is everything.  I want to take her out but that’s out of the question.  I’m lucky she doesn’t see me as a creepy museum guard with stalker potential.

“I just need to tell you how beautiful you are.”
The words that make me sound like a maybe-douche just fall out, I never come on like this.  Maybe it’s knowing that she’s just passing through town, maybe it’s something about her that reads detached openness.  At least I know her name.  And making her smile is incredible.

***

And sometimes it’s like this:
I sit in café.  I don’t give shit for coffee but inside, there is A/C.  August heat makes me sweat before I leave apartment.  I look at people, of course the women.  No one here is my type: too skinny, too much make-up, too much trying to be perfect for fun, I think.  Then I see her— curls, dark brows and beautiful eyes.  I study her, try to catch her eye.  I smile.

Nothing.
Damn.
I try again.

This time small smile.  Good.  I go to her table and try small talk.  I look closer at her and I start wondering…
“Maybe this is odd question, but are you shemale?”
Uh-oh, she doesn’t like this.  But it’s just wondering.

“I don’t mean it bad, I think you are pretty.”
I have offended her?

 

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random love, relationshipping, trans talk

Why do you blog?

teehee
Asks a dear friend recently.

Hmm…

The why changes.
In the beginning, it was a way to deal with too many changes.

Because life, y’all:
BF, whom I thought I’d spend quite the future with, tells me he’s a cross dresser as our plans to move out of the country are finalized.  Tokyo minus 5 months and he has come out as transsexual.  Once we’re moved, visas, leases, laws, jobs— everything, basically, must be negotiated and conducted in a fairly foreign language.  Add to that hormones, transitioning, open relationship, re-identifying sexual identity— oh Jesus, this is ridiculous.

Enter blog.
There’s a certain accountability when I hit ‘Publish’ even though I feel anonymous as fuck; in the back of my mind, I know this record will remain.  So I’m forced to be more considerate, analytical, objective; these things in turn bring clarity.  And instead of simply boo-hooing (awesome readers aren’t going to stick around for a yawn pity party), the blog encourages me to laugh at myself.

Because truth:
I cry.  (A. Lot.)
And humor— it’s important.

These days I’m not conflicted about how to navigate a relationship as my partner transitions.  We are no longer together though we’re married (it helps a visa) and we’ve mostly come out the other side of a challenging breakup.  Our romantic ending has been messy and there have been many emotionally frustrating moments that I’ve documented here— cohabitation post break up, enough said.

Soon we will be living our independent lives and separate chapters will begin.
On which continent, in which country, neither of us know.
It scares me sometimes.
Her too.

And this blog?
Though it’s impossible for me to be in a relationship like I was with S, one which prompted this blog, I’ll continue to share stories about my oddball adventures.  There’s no shortage to the delightfully unique company I keep and trust that S will keep me updated about her most recent exploits en route to finding The One.

I started this as a release and coping mechanism.
I’ll continue because the share and response is another meaningful slice in this very short life.
Because it’s not real unless you share it.
And I’m a sucker for processing.

 

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about Japan, random love

Happy Birthday!

My little blog is a happy one-year-old.

Woo!

Which means changes lie in wait, which then excites me as I wonder what the buildup of my present actions will bring.

Throughout this year, I’ve maintained that change is a constant and while that will always be a truth, I am so damn grateful for my other constant— my people.

Because I have the best people surrounding me; they burst with love, weirdness, smarts and all kinds of beauty.  And it’s so fucking awesome when my incredible friends from the States meet up with my great Tokyo peeps and they just get each other; the language barrier crumbles when people instantly see and appreciate the core of the other.  Also, a hardcore food challenge (horse sashimi? sea anemone? unnameable prehistoric baby snake-dragon lookalikes?) and delicious alcohol cuts through niceties and enables us to get real…so nice.

And you, lovely reader, thank you for stopping by and even more for following.  I started this blog as a way to process anew all of the dramatic changes the previous year had brought; all of my processing couldn’t stay in my head because…well, it just couldn’t.  What started as an outlet has become a deliberate and active sharing.  I’m automatically held more accountable by your presence which, in turn, makes me a better writer; a most sincere Thank You for that…what more can I ask for?

I don’t know what the future holds exactly.
My inner compass alerts me when it’s time to change but I don’t have a rigid plan.
This being vulnerable thing is a constant challenge but the results are usually affirming.
And when they’re not, my bitches know just what to say to calm me the fuck down.
Then I write some shit because a post-neurotic calm brings fun clarity.

So.
It’s been a year.

All I know is:
My time in Tokyo isn’t up.
My various relationships will continue to evolve in their own way.
I will continue to rely on my friends as they make life so, so much better.
And this blog will continue.

Seriously, thank y’all for reading.
∼xoxo

 

 

 

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about Japan, random love

Beautiful strangers

undo me.
Every time.

I don’t mean some random hot person that conjures feelings of doing it because they look at you just so.
I mean…

Two images keep rising through my swirling, sedated thoughts:

1) a collapsed woman and her husband, helpless before her barely conscious and very drunken body.

Most keep walking, some slow their pace, still others stare or shake their heads, even.
No one stops.
Time passes.

But.
Someone does stop.
The best kind of full-brake stop that starts by demanding of the subway attendant, “what the fuck with the help that was supposedly called?”
Followed by waiting with the woman while husband goes to buy water and kleenex as she’s a snotted mess, but if anyone can be a delicate and endearing pukey mess, it’s this woman.  Finally she is coax-forced to a standing position and pull-carried up steps to street level.  (By the way, taxis can take forever to catch if you need them to pull a u-turn because that’s against the rules and lord knows Tokyoites stay cozied up to a damned rule.)  Hooray for a rogue driver!  As the beautiful stranger negotiates with the driver, the husband marvels at this incredible show of kindness; there are no kinder people in the world, he tells his pouty and apologetic wife.

2) a broken-hearted man on a train; there’s no containing the tears and snot strings that such hurt brings.

Most don’t notice his grief; he’s not a loud crier.  But every stop after the one where she bolted cements the three, five, seven minutes that will turn to hours— agonizing hours— of a sinking in…ex-girlfriend.  And with each stop, he gets more frantic; he’s beyond giving a shit about hiding his tears because he’s hit a high wall of pain.  People next to him start to look away, shift their bodies away from his sad direction.  Except the girl standing directly in front of him; she studies him, his hands dripping tears and salt-mucused sleeves.  She looks thoughtful as she turns to exit but not before tossing a mini-pack of kleenex in his lap.

Four days, three nights and counting.
Weird sleep patterns, damn strong meds and forced quiet time makes for interesting processing.

Who knew I cared so much about random acts of kindness?

It’s what floats to the surface and cuts through my sleepy, painful coughing fits of late.

As our experiences are our constant, a thread of kindness is a nice binding agent.

 

 

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