Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Puffy-Eyed Geisha

I almost bought a dog the other night. If the credit card company had agreed to split the payment into two as is common practice here, I would have a sweet little mini-dachs sitting at home and waiting for me. I already named her too. She was already in a carrying case ready to be whisked out the door, past closing time, when my card wouldn't go through. We couldn't use the beau's either because of the plane tickets. So we said we would come back right at opening the next day to pay in cash and pick her up. And we really did plan to pick her up and named her Choco on the taxi ride home after her brown dappled coat.

How did it all go wrong? Even as I handed over my card the bells in my head were ringing. I have no problem with commitment but to commit to taking care of an animal for a decade? I want to travel and be able to come and go at this point in my life without worrying about where the dog is going to stay. I would not be prone to become a dog person, someone who treats the dog like their baby and can't do anything without thinking about the dog. Which is actually unfair to the pet isn't it? Why should I buy one if I'm not willing to make it the center of my universe? What am I going to do when we leave Japan? So many questions as to not seem like the best of ideas, and I still handed over my card. I looked over at the beau and asked him if he was thinking clearly-we'd only had a couple drinks and can both handle our alcohol but what we were about to do seemed a bit loopy.

We had started with a great evening sitting outside at Orange at Midtown, eating organic corn soup and Cajun-spiced lobster. Then we swung by a nearby bar to see if our friend the bartender was there and had a couple drinks before going to the pet shop. Everyone knows this pet shop. Anyone who has been to Roppongi has probably been inside this pet shop. Horrible lighting and small pathetic cages, cheap incense to mask the smell of piss. If you go upstairs it gets more exotic and smelly and there are monkeys and reptiles for sale. The beau and I had visited many times but always said we would buy a dog from a better, less-dodgy shop IF we ever got one. But that night we met Choco who had eyes for me only and decided to take her home on the spot.

After getting home sans Choco I started to backtrack and as much as I wanted that dog, I knew that ultimately my life would be a lot less complicated without her. I then proceeded to have a major fight with the beau that was non-dog-related. I ultimately believe that people are people regardless of their nationality/culture/whatever but sometimes I have a hard time deciphering whether certain aspects of the beau are male or Japanese. Not that I could change any regardless of which one they are, but sometimes it would be nice to know how to better interpret them.

Are we absolutely fucking crazy to move overseas in the future? Not only does my lovely beau have no English, but no college degree either. Certainly not impossible but bloody hard for the first few years and that's providing we don't kill each other in the process. He is ready to move with me no matter what but I worry the pressure of it all is going to do irreparable damage. So I carry this guilt that despite the fact that living here is "easier" I am making us take the most difficult road, which will most definitely not let up until several years into it. Somewhere between the arguing and the crying I said that no, of course we aren't going to pick Choco up tomorrow.

My eyes were so swollen and alienesque the following day I had to go into work late so as not to scare people. I have never cried as much as I have these past couple years in Japan. This country makes me cry and I resent not having such a thing as sick days at work, to be able to stay home all by myself on those shitty shitty days that come around a few times a year, and do all those things that you do on sick days and rainy days. This time I will have to rely on practising kitsuke, tying obi knots over and over again to calm me down.


Sarah said...

I feel your pain! Japan may be an "easy place to live" but it can also be a harsh and lonely place. I don't think I've ever felt as depressed and lonely, as much of a misfit or like life was working completely against me as I have here.

But even after a few years, it still beats living in your home country (to a certian extent), I think. Though as an expat it's always tempting to look forward towards the next adventure.

I met my dream guy and had our entire future planned out in my head until reality hit that he just wasn't willing to live outside of Japan. There was a lot of wasted tears there trying to make things work out, and we're still halfheartedly struggling at it, though more so in form than in spirit.

It hurts to cry so much, but hopefully your tears will be worth it!

Kelley Dawne said...

I had to nod my head when reading this blog. My boyfriend and I are in exactly the same boat. He didn't graduate from college, I did. He doesn't speak English, so he wouldn't have an easy time if we moved home to Canada. Japan makes me unhappy sometimes, but I don't want to leave my boyfriend since talks lately have turned to marriage and our future.
When we fight I wonder the same things. Is he being like this because he's a man, or because he's Japanese? It's confusing.

Tokyo Cowgirl said...

How have I missed this post? It's so well written and so visceral but somehow it's the only one I have never read.


And even though it's from three plus months ago I still identify.

That whole man/Japanese thing was perfect, too! I think I might copy that for my next argument with V!

Except I will sub Indian, of course :-)