Friday, July 03, 2009

"The call to adventure signifies that destiny has summoned the hero and transferred his spritual center of gravity..."

"...from within the pale of this society to a zone unknown. The fateful region of both treasure and danger may be variously represented: as a distant land, a forest, a kingdom underground, beneath the waves or above the sky, a secret island, lofty mountaintop, or profound dream state; but it is always a place of strangely fluid and polymorphous beings, unimaginable torments, superhuman deeds, and impossible delights."

"Yes, yes please", they would chirp in Japanese from doorways as we stumbled past, "Mr. Foreigner, please come and enjoy our company".
I never did.
Well, sometimes I did.
Sometimes I couldn't resist the sirens. The kimono straight and the lure of of being fawned over was too much. Those angels would light our cigarettes and pour our drinks and ask us to take them out for ramen when their shift was done.
I never did.
Well, I sometimes did.

"Ah, so, you are a school staff. English, ne?"
"Yes. English. Can I have another whiskey?"
They would shout to the bar-mama and the drink was brought over swiftly; held out for me in two soft hands and a bow.
Usually I would buy a bottle and drink it with the girls, those sweet fucking gorgeous girls.
I always went home with a broken heart.
I always did.
Well, sometimes I didn't.

At 11:00 p.m. I would catch the train into Sapporo, while it rocked and swayed and I would drink beer and chat-up local girls and meet up later in Sapporo with some other friends. Friends who knew that deal better than I could ever hope to.
Two of them were from Australia and one was from New Zealand.
Those boys saved me from certain death, and love, many nights and I'll never forget that. I can't repay that.

One summer night, during the Sapporo Beer Festival, where the entire centre of the city is turned into a giant fuck-off beer garden I met my boys and we got drunk and insane. One of our waitresses was an old high school student of mine.
It was at a high school in Shin Sapporo; an all girls school. I was hired on a 6 month contract to teach conversation and communication there.

Megumi. That was her name.
I remember thinking she was cute when I was teaching her but she refused to speak English.
One time in school, during our conversation class she spoke in fluid, unbroken English and she invited me to come and watch her sing jazz at a local Hilton Hotel.
She had a beautiful voice and sang Billie Holiday.
She was in a sleek black dress that night standing against the piano and was suddenly a woman and when she saw me after the show and spoke to me I know that I blushed; she knew, too.

We had her meet us later, after she had finished work.

When Megumi showed up she had a car with three other girls in it. She told us that she was taking us to Dream Beach, on the coast between Otaru and Sapporo.
Megumi said that there was a giant rave there that night and they would love our company.
"We just want to dance, Cloutier sensi."; it was a purr I swear to god it was a purr.
And we crumbled.
The seven of us, squished and drunk and heady went into adventure's lap.

Those soft, unspeaking lips.
I knew I had to kiss her. That goddamn Megumi.
That sweet Yukata.

We drove, passing a bottle of plum wine around, until we arrived at the beach.

The "heavies" let me and the boys in for free because were exotic, foreign.
The girls paid $50 each.
They made about $1000 a night so I didn't feel bad at all.

We danced and drank and kept going until it began to get light, there, on the coast of the Sea of Japan.

I feel asleep in a lifeguard's chair with Megumi in my arms, looking out to Russia, the world beyond. As my mind grew dim and my heart melted away into love for a night and I knew it was love then and there; but leaving was the only way.

But it was a dream, and I never did things like that.

Well, sometimes I did.

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