relationshipping

Happy September, year 3

year 3
The winds have changed in Tokyo, seemingly overnight.
The skies that were muffled in grey and dropping rain show fall’s turn and reveal a remarkably clear blue sky; the inescapable light reiterates that I live on an island.

America is about back-to-school excitement amidst a Labor Day weekend as Japan doggedly goes back to its school/work routine now that summer vacations are undeniably over.

I sit and contemplate what to write.

It’s quiet.
Insanely quiet for a city that is the most populous in the world.  The sliding doors are open to let in crisp, post-rain air and I have yet to hear a car honk but I can hear their tires on the pavement.

It’s been 2 years in this city, on this island.
I told myself I would wait 2 years before I cast judgment on Tokyo because:
Year 1 would be new and full of adjustments: culture shock, exploration, figuring out everything (turns out I would focus more on figuring out my relationship as S transitions).
Year 2 would allow for a sinking in of the former (or The Breakup Year).

Year 3… seems to have a full-circle theme.
I consider a recent Saturday: S and I go out to a trans party-event, we meet up with our respective good friends and the person I’m seeing is welcomed by S.  This last bit is huge, as friendliness between them has been a HELL. OF. A challenge, with 100% animosity coming from S for quite a while.  Regardless of the why, the turnaround is a notable event.  The last time S and I were out together it was disastrous so this night is significant progress.

We move on.

The arc of a new story has broken, as evidenced by impending events:
S’s BF will visit from the states, during which time I will check in to a separate apartment and check out a new Tokyo hood.
New significant people, new locations and potential moves begin to beckon.

Current mood: curious and anxious for future tidings.

 

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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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relationshipping

The flip-side

Truth or tactA heartbroken me walks home from a party.
It’s a long walk.  But when your heart is alternately in your throat and drag-flopping on the pavement with every step, an hour is a fast pass.

I’m still in love with my ex.  We got married a few weeks ago so I could stay in the country and tonight we’re finally going out for the first time as friends, to celebrate the marriage.  The other day she saw me getting sentimental about marriage and set me straight with, “You know this is just a visa marriage, right?”  I kept staring at the screen then, nodding, “yeah.”

Ouch.

But I’m excited; we haven’t gone out together in this new city yet and I’ve been looking forward to getting ready with her.  It’s a good way to break friendship ground.

Then she asks if it’d be cool if we meet up at the party instead because this guy that she’s been non-stop texting just asked her to dinner.  Goddammit she’s into him.  It’s been like two days since they’ve started talking but I can tell she likes him, probably more than she even knows or is willing to admit.

“If that’s what you want to do…”
“Are you sure?”
Of course I’m not sure but I’m not supposed to have to tell her that.  She’s supposed to know that we had plans to go to this thing together.

“Just…go.”

Before she’s even out the door, the tears fall fast, heavy and loud.
I try to will her to come back but with every stupid second that hollows me out I have to face that she’s gone.

***

I scan the room for her, as her friends have been asking where she is.
She’s never been one to be on time exactly but if she says she’s going to be there, she will.  Finally she comes up to me, bright smile and looking as fucking beautiful as ever.  Damn her.
…and him.  Great.  Of course he’s here.  I hate him on sight.

I get interviewed by the promoters of the club, my trusty friend helping to translate every so often.  I’m proud of myself for answering most of the questions in my non-native tongue first time out.  I scan the room in-between chatting it up with random folks here and there.  I can’t help but wonder where she is, I want to tell her about my interview.

I see her.
On. His. Lap.
Making out.

***

I’m tired of attempting to answer where the hell she disappeared to.  I have no idea but saying that is an embarrassing admittance that— that I don’t know where she is, like I used to.  She isn’t holding herself accountable to me.  I hate this realization.

I’m spent.  I’ve drunk but I’m not drunk.  I’m hurt.  I cry.  I had such expectations of this night; one of celebrating a new chapter for us, married best friends who love the hell out of each other.  This was supposed to be the most fun night yet.  We used to have such a blast going out, getting drunk, talking and laughing…god we used to laugh hard together.

Memories start to flood and the tears flood even harder to keep up with the flashback onslaught: falling in love, moving in together, knowing this is the person I want to spend the rest of my life with, trave— and I have to sit because feeling the heart break can’t be done standing solo.  I sit on a curb in the early fucking morning.  I sob.

Of course I don’t hear his footsteps.  I don’t hear or notice anything until I feel the back of my head jammed forward onto some guy’s dick.  He forces my mouth open and rams it in.  If I had a gag reflex it’d be in full revolt but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to vomit.  Except I can’t because the shock, my empty emotional self, this whole fucking night has left me void.

I don’t care anymore.
I didn’t think it could get worse.
It got worse.

***

Eventually I tell her about the assault.
She’s shocked and feels absolutely terrible.  She cries for me and keeps apologizing as she feels indirectly responsible.  She asks if I need to talk to anyone, that I should talk to someone; of course she’s available but she understands if I just want to get as far away from her as possible after the hurt she’s caused.

“I’m more hurt by you and your actions than having to suck some guy off.”
“Oh.”

Yeah.

Living with the ex?
Sure, that can be a rough ride but getting over her is plenty hard enough.

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relationshipping, the sex

Living with the ex

isn’t easy.

I’m out, having drinks with friends and it’s getting late.  My phone buzzes, the ex asks if it’s cool for her date to crash on the couch as she’s missed the last train.  The ex goes on to say that her date has to catch the first train (5AM hour).  Sure, I reply.  I feel for anyone who’s missed the last train (side note: it’s annoying that the trains and subways don’t run 24/7), plus the girl will be gone before I need to get ready for my day.

I approach my apartment around 2AM, anticipating the ex and date’s presence but no one’s home.  It’s a bit of a mess so I ask for an ETA and if she wants me to tidy up.  I clean up the living room, ready pillows and a blanket then crash.

Holy fuck they’re loud and so fucking drunk.  I roll over, squint at my phone…4:07.  Goddammit.  Why are they even here for less than an hour?  I try to go back to sleep but I’m annoyed so sleep is a hard sell.  Just. Sleep.  Fucking sleep.

The date’s pretty loud; my ex hushes her a few times, as successfully as a wasted person can.  Then they start making out.  There’s something so fucking distinct about make out sounds and apparently I can’t filter that shit out.  And I’m currently pissed.  WHY didn’t they stay out?  What’s 45 more minutes of hanging making out before her first train?  They can make out someplace— oh shit, please don’t have them do the sex.  I’m tired, currently cranky and simply don’t have it in me to listen to my ex doing it.

So.

Enter music library.
Select all songs, random play.
Turn the volume UP.

I hear an, “Oh shit.”
Then silence save for some CHVRCHES song.

Phew.

I’ve already witnessed one ex make the new GF orgasm, an ex-roommate fucking potential BF; I sure as hell don’t need a repeat.
The shit sparks some emotional reactions and once twice is enough.

I’m able to sleep for about two hours before I beat my alarm to a wake up.  I’m hopeful that the place will be cleared.  And by ‘cleared’, if I mean that a half-naked ex and date are strewn on the couch, then total success has happened.  They’re so passed out from many hours of drinking— god, I can smell the sweet-stale sweat reek of last night/this morning’s booze wafting off of them…hey, hooray for not worrying about tip-toeing as I get ready.  This small detail relieves me and my irritation level immediately drops; after all, I’m sincerely happy that my ex had, clearly, a successful first date with this girl.

Living with the ex: it’s not intolerable but it’s not ideal and sometimes just plain hard.

Then there’s me, my actions, the hurt they cause said ex.
But that warrants its own post.

 

 

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relationshipping

The joke

My eyeballs need cocaine

is on me.
Again.

So there’s nothing like time and distance to get over someone.
I excise the other from my life to move on.
It really helps.

I think I’ve got recovering from heartbreak down— yea!
I create emotional distance through physical distance.
I make sure our worlds don’t collide and my brain-heart is trained: the second I sniff voluntary distance (from me or the other), emotional detachment follows.

As usual, when I’m pretty confident that I can get through one emotional puzzle, the universe throws a giant hamster ball in my path.
I get a conundrum wrapped in the guise of a three-part love present.

1) I fall for someone.
2) I fall hard.
3) It’s. Long. Distance.

Of course it is.
Motherfucker.

I have trained my instincts so well that this situation is a mindfuck.
What— get close to someone when they’re countless miles and time zones away?
Are we really establishing a foundation over text?!
This sounds stupid and I shake my head at myself.

Except for the damn love, people.

And we meet so seldom that every time feels like the first time.
What am I doing?

Usually I fall in love and into a relationship like the oldest lesbian U-Haul joke we all know.
I need to learn how to pace myself in a relationship but I don’t know if this— the complete opposite— is the answer.
But it sure as hell is a lesson in a different kind of patience.

I tell myself to stay in the moment and relax when we meet even though my brain knows the moment has a very short lifespan.  There are so many thoughts, stories, feelings of the mundane and extraordinary I want to share but when I’m confronted with T minus 150 minutes and counting— I am rendered mute because my heart beats in time to the tick-tick-tock of the countdown clock.  And what are words when I can actually touch this person?  Because we’ve been wording 6,000 times over for the past too many days.

I give in to the clock; I acknowledge but don’t begrudge its presence.
I experience the moment since this moment is what I have.

I am grateful.
And excited.

And terrified.

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random love

I love

Jealousymy bitches.
My right-hands.

ARGH.
I can’t fit it all in one post.
There’s too much- chats, saving my ass, working, sharing, bitching, whiskeying.
Too much fun, crying, laughter.
Too much love.

So.

It’s cold in February.
Tokyo’s chocolate heart explosions have come and gone (by the way the focus here is chocolate from the females on Valentine’s and the guys reciprocate on White Day, next month.  This country loves hetero-consumerism).
Which reminds me of my favorite V-Day tradition…

My bitches and I wear unglamorous but soft, flannel-y, fleece-y things and cheers to brown drinks on the rocks.
The oven is preheating and we do this:

Um…I’m in love with an alcoholic.
You used a condom right?

Did you use a condom?!

The one who can cook (motto: no babies, only beards) puts cookie dough on baking sheets as my young, pre-professional right-hand and I peruse the containers of magical toppings that will turn simple, golden sugar cookies into delightfully inappropriate treats to be shared with our work family in a number of hours.

We have red, pink, purple gel and cream icings.
Multi-colored sprinkles, red and pink glittery sugar dust.
Cookie dough goes in the oven.

I’m excited and feel the whiskey gently warming my cheeks…cozy times.

I blurt:
I think I’m pregnant.

These two are my damn truth serum, as my worry thought just spills out of me.

Really?
When are you supposed to bleed?
Not soon enough.  Fuck.
Plan B time.
Sigh.  I know.
Want me to go buy it for you now?
Damn they’re so sweet and waste no time taking care of fucking business.
Basically, they ROCK.
Nah…I’ll get it tonight and take it.

Ding!

As the cookies cool, we test out different icing tips and ready all the little containers.
And the fun begins.

V-A-G
CUNT- yes.
I think my penis looks weird.
I can’t fit the balls on this thing.
Uh…this tip is messed up.  I think I broke it.
It’s too big!
God, this gel icing is gross.  EW.
Chlamydia or gonorrhea?
You can fit that shit on there?
So…the nips are melding into each other.
Just sprinkle a shit-ton of glitter on it.
How do you spell—
Boobs.
Just boobs.

We turn into Valentine’s elves, gleefully creating dirty sweets that taste like total crap but will get eaten nonetheless because: the love, people.
Who doesn’t want to eat some sweet cunt on this lovers day?

More than a few 2.14s have passed since we’ve baked cookies and goofily giggled like pubescent tweens.

We’ve gone from living in the same house and/or across the street to different states and continents; we see each other a fuck of a lot less but they’re still my truth serum.

We witness big and little changes of the work, heartbreak, marriage, graduation variety.
We take pregnancy tests together, 7,000 miles apart.
We grow some and stay the same.
When I’m broken, they help.

And even though we 10,000 word-text each other and have marathon video chats, sometimes I just want a fucking whiskey with my bitches.
At a table.
In person.

Love y’all.

P.S. Also, shout out to my bitches in SF/Oakland, DC, Spain, Bahamas, Colorado, SoCal, Cambridge/NYC, Montreal, Memphis and Tokyo…thank you.

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about Japan, random love, relationshipping

It’s time

My eyeballs need cocaineto visit my grandparents’ grave.  I want to scrub-brush the tombstone, take some pretty flowers, burn some incense, put my hands together and pray.

Their grave is on a mountainside and the view is stunning; however, the sheer size of this cemetery is intimidating.  I’ll need a map and it’ll take me twenty times as long to find their grave as it will to sit, pray, think, love.

Some of my earliest memories are at my grandparents’ home in rural Japan.

A single-digit me hangs out in the piney front yard with huge moss-covered boulder-stones, awesome bonsai, random fruit trees, flowers sprouting jolts of color and a little stream running sweet, cold water.

My morning routine: cut through the superskinny passageway connecting our house to my grandmother’s sister’s home and walk around the foresty hill behind the house.  I collect various beetles as I get mercilessly bitten by mosquitoes but no matter because I’m off and running to the local candy shop and grocery where the shopkeepers think me a lovable but strange novelty, being reared in the States.  I say neighborhood hellos and discover chocolate-covered strawberry bon-bons(!!!) from a vending machine next to the neighborhood shrine; cicadas rhythmically scream-buzz in the humid afternoons, rows and rows of them encircle the tall shrine tree trunks.  Finding those bon-bons was a fucking awesome day.

My aunt wakes around noon and I watch her hour-long makeup routine in awe; her lipstick palette alone fascinates me for many minutes.  She was a model in Tokyo when she was young; many decades later, she’s no doubt the hippest woman in this quiet town.  She loves to tango and has many male admirers; my uncle’s joy over this is easily measured in the cans of beer that stack up, the brick thrown in her face was a little more direct.  Sometimes it takes her too many hours to finish her makeup so an impatient me plays in a field, looks for four-leaf clovers and makes necklaces out of weedy flowers.  Sometimes I ride the bus to explore neighboring towns but mostly I walk around, suck nectar from honeysuckles, balance on raised concrete borders of rice paddies and stare at tadpoles and frogs.

As the sky starts to turn pink-orange, I buy beer and cigarettes from adjacent vending machines for my uncle and cousin, respectively.  They drink and smoke while I light fireworks at night, sometimes with my next-door second cousins, sometimes not.

The family was tight.

So tight that when my older cousin gets too involved with the Yakuza, he lives with us in the states until- years later- he can resume life in Japan.

So tight that when his younger brother gets into rougher and rougher shenanigans at school, it’s his turn to live with us.

So fucking tight that this cousin uses an eight-year-old me for firsthand sex ed.

He doesn’t have to ask me to keep our secret.

I look up to him; I block it out of my mind.
It didn’t happen.

Nothing.

Happened.

As long as he lives with us, I don’t say anything.

Even when he ‘asks’ me to watch porn with him.
And taunts me (some days I’m really dumb and not cute, other days I’m a brilliant beauty; this confuses me).
And breaks my collarbone.

I don’t hate him.
I don’t know that I will ever hate him.

Even as he continues to mess with a ten, eleven, twelve-year-old me.
Even after a fifteen-year-old me feels immense relief that he has a girlfriend.
Only to find a box of Polaroids that he’s taken of me while I was asleep.

At seventeen I can’t deny what happened anymore; memory flashes disrupt my suburban teenage-hood.
At nineteen I tell my parents.

I still don’t hate him.
Even after my dad confronts him and he calls me a crazy bitch.
And a liar.

My grandparents are dead; it’s no longer their home.
And I’m no longer welcome there.

The greatest irony?
As I’m on this island, many years later and planning to visit my grandparents grave, I miss that family.
I didn’t quite realize the ultimatum: saving myself means goodbye to them forever.

Usually thinking about them doesn’t bum me out but apparently on a night like this, as I reflect, it makes me tremendously sad.

We don’t get many givens in this life.
Family is one of them.

Sometimes.

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