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Monday, April 20, 2009

grapefruits moon

I hadn't heard from her in a while, so I sent her an innocuous message: "Wasn't today such a beautiful day?!"

She called me & said she was with the friend who wanted to meet me & would I meet them at Lawson's. Sure. I had no money. Well, I had hardly enough to bring me through the week until Friday, this month's fabulous pay day.

I had only met her that one time when I picked her up off the train. She was sitting next to me & after everyone else in the car had gotten off at their stop, there she sat, we sat, the two of us on our way to the last station. She didn't move over, so I complemented her on something attached to her phone. In Japan, girls (& guys, me included) have random shit hanging from the phone. In many cases the shit is bigger than the phone. I forgot what S- had on her phone. After we got to the station I led her to Mr. Donuts & she chatted away while I sobered up. That was a month ago.

So last night I went to Lawson's and the girl she brought was all smiles. We strolled around laughing, etc., looking for this Grapefruits Moon S- was going on about. It sounded familiar. I had seen it somewhere before but couldn't place it.

(Btw, S- isn't bad looking. She has a Cindy Crawford mole over her lip & one of the sexier voices you'll hear in this country.)

Turned out it was a place that I used to pass everyday when I walked to the station from work. S- made a circle with her hands, saying "grapefruits moon." Ah, you mean "full moon." The Japanese add an -s to grapefruit & supposedly think the full moon looks like one.

The place was cool, modern, hip. I just ordered a nomihodai for ¥1000. Nomihodai means "all-you-can-drink." This nomihodai was for 80 minutes. Not bad. I proceeded to get drunk.

The girls ordered lots of food: a giant salad, some spaghetti with marinara sauce, with a huge clove of garlic that T- thought was a scallop, pizza, etc. etc.

I just drank. S- joined me in the challenge. T- didn't because she had to work tomorrow. "Me, too," I exclaimed.

The girls told me about where they want to go. "I want to go to New Zealand," T- said. "Why?" I asked.

They thought this was funny so they both started laughing. "I want to speak English. I like sheep."

"I like to eat sheep," I said. They started laughing again.

S- had two cell phones. "Why do you have two cell phones?" I inquired.

"One is for my boyfriend," she said.

So her boyfriend gave her a phone so she can call him for free. At least that's what she said. And she said she keeps a separate phone for her friends. She showed me the friend phone. It was worn & gritty, covered with stickers. She said she hardly looks at the phone her boyfriend gave her. This was the first I've heard of "the boyfriend," so I said "yes" when she asked me if I wanted to see a picture.

I saw a picture of an average-looking fellow with eyes closed making a strange face. His nose was scrunched & strangely contorted to the left.

S- stared at the picture. "Where is he?" I asked.

"Hamamatsu." (hours away)

This is the thing about Japan. People love their long-distance loves. I used to have one (sort of) and I hated it. There are millions of men living away from their families in Japan, and both parties are apparently happy. These men are called business bachelors. My boss is one. And then there are the millions of boyfriend/girlfriend relationships scattered across Japan (& the world). I have dated a few of these lonely girlfriends. (Oops, the secret is out.)

Back to this picture:

T- is done eating and S- keeps putting it down. She has given up on the alcohol at this point. I proceed to order my fifth & final vodka drink. By now I'm feeling pretty damn good and T- is looking quite sexier than before I started drinking. S- finishes eating & I pay my ¥1000 yen & we walk outside. S- is obviously drunk. She has only had a few drinks by this point. She said she is going to run home. She's wearing high-heels. Earlier she told me she entered the Hawaiian marathon in December, but she has never run more than 5 kilos at a time. T- and I say goodbye to S- & she reluctantly heads in the other direction.

T- points to her building in the distance. "I live on the 14th floor," she says.

"Wow, really?"

I think about walking her home but just say bye & take care because I'm tired. I head home & before bed just stare at my body in the mirror & wonder when I'll get my first two-pack.

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