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2004-11-21 9:27 p.m.

floating like a feather in a beautiful world OR perfume from a dress makes me so digress

So, I went to Fukuoka this weekend.

I saw sumo. I like sumo. It's a very "in the moment" sport, and that appeals to me a great deal. A few seconds is all you have, so make the most of it. I've always enjoyed individual sports much more than team sports, and I like watching them more, too, I think. I like the "battle of wills" aspect of it. I think sumo is something I could come to follow quite closely. We'll see, I guess.

I ate at the Hard Rock Cafe Saturday night. My friend and I shared fajitas and a chimichanga! It was superb. Mexican food (even if it's Americanized) is one of the things I miss most being here. There's nothing even remotely like that around here. At that place, you could almost believe you were back in the US at times. That's nice, now and again, I guess.

That night I spent going out to sleazy gaijin clubs with the people I was staying with. The only people I know in Fukuoka are gaijin or Japanese girls who like gaijin, it seems, so gaijin hangouts it was.

One of the most beautiful women I've ever seen was at the second place we went to. Actually, I don't know if she was really so astounding, but I haven't felt such heinous sexual attraction for a stranger in a long, long time. Not all guys would respond to her like I did, but I wasn't the only dude there that night gazing at her as if hypnotized.

“There are women whose beauty makes you forget where you are, or even who you are. It doesn’t happen often, but when you do encounter one of them, it is almost cruel the way they affect you.” -Jonathan Carroll

Yes. It's been a while- a few years, perhaps- since the last time I experienced that, and I HATE it when it happens. I had hoped I had moved beyond that shit, but apparently not. It's just not healthy to feel like that.

She was Japanese, I think, but she seemed to speak English quite well. For various reasons I kept losing her and wasn't able to talk to her. In the meantime I was accosted by a few skanky Japanese girls, as well as one very nice Japanese girl.

Finally (at around 4am), I found the painfully beautiful girl again, in the somewhat quieter area by the bathrooms. She was collecting her things and leaving.

i have gone at dusk through narrow streets and seen the smoke that rises from the pipes of lonely men in shirtsleeves leaning out of windows

As she walked by I held out my hand and said "Are you leaving?" She looked at me for a split second and then either she thought I was talking to someone else or she just totally blew me off. In any case, she continued past without any sign of acknowledgement. Ouch. I walked out into the dance area and watched her leave.

Shit. Did she know I was watching her all night? Fuck. Did I just become that guy? Dammit! Cue "Creep" by Radiohead, a song which I love and hate because it's been all too relevant in my life. Again, not healthy. (I think maybe a lot of people have never really felt like that, but I imagine most Radiohead fans have...) Ugh.

So, she's just left, and I'm standing there feeling a mix of things, none of which I would consider positive. Not more than thirty seconds later a reasonably attractive blonde girl comes up to me.

"Are you a ballet dancer?" she asks.

"Uhhh... no?" I respond. "Should I be?"

I guess she thought I said "Do you think I look like one?" (it was really fucking loud in there, and now that I think about it, that would have been a more sensible response, anyway), because she replied, "Yes! I wouldn't have said it if I didn't think so! You're beautiful!"

Then she kissed me on the lips and walked away.

I suppose you could say I was dumbfounded. Shit like this does not happen to me. (it doesn't happen at all, in fact) It was just like the Freaks and Geeks episode where Cindy first kisses Sam, and he's so shocked that he doesn't kiss back or respond in any way.

Anyway I then stood there for a few seconds, trying and failing to figure out what had just happened. So, I decided to find her and see if she had any ideas.

And I did. I talked to her for a bit. Turns out she actually is a ballet dancer. She's also from Idaho (Sun Valley, to be exact- a resort town that is the only county in Idaho that consistently votes Democratic), which was something of a shock. She's the first Idahoan I've met in Japan. There's only a million of 'em, and they typically aren't real keen about moving to Japan. She found it hard to believe that I'm originally from Idaho, as well.

I asked her what that stuff earlier was all about, and she said that she just felt in her heart that she should do it and that she just knew that I needed it. She said she could tell from looking at me that I was a really great guy. She said she only had the courage to do things like that when she was drunk. She also said she was not trying to pick me up and that she had a boyfriend, but that she did it because she had a goal of always following her heart. Or something. I asked her how she could tell by looking that I was a good guy, and she reiterated that she just felt it in her heart. Then she said she was going to go dance and left again.

you see a man's face
but you don't see his heart
you see a man's face
but you will never know his thoughts

Right after that I found the people I was staying with again. One was staying and one was going back. As it seemed my night had pretty well just wrapped itself up and tied the bow, I decided to leave, as well.

On the way back I told my friend (the same friend I shared food with at the Hard Rock Cafe) about the kiss and its aftermath. She's English (from Manchester, I believe), and her comments were:

"That's bullshit! You don't pull a stunt like that and then claim you're not interested! Bullshit! ... Bloody Americans! ["Yeah, they suck," I added.] That wouldn't happen in England!"


I felt strange today. I still feel strange.

i should have been a pair of ragged claws scuttling across the floors of silent seas,