Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Remember the Time

I didn't want to keep writing about him since he made it clear he didn't want me thinking about him anymore but Timehop reminded me that on this day, three years ago, Emmett came back into my life.


I hadn't heard from him in six months and a friend had invited me to stay with her Tokyo for a few weeks. Airfare was cheap and I hopped at the chance. I posted on Facebook that I was planning on being in Japan for 3 weeks; making plans with friends of mine teaching English there across the country. At this point, Emmett had left six months prior and I hadn't yet heard from him - and didn't know if I would.

And then suddenly, he was active on Facebook - which he hadn't been for the six months he'd been gone. He hadn't contacted me yet so I was upset. I updated my status to "Well, I guess that's settled." - a  slight at him, seeing as he was still alive and living his life and obviously couldn't care about me. He commented on my status that "Things tend to settle during flight." I ignored it. He was always kind of snarky and cheeky.

Then he sent me a message. A mutual friend had told him I was coming to Japan and, if I wasn't too busy, he was hoping I would come and stay with him; he'd love to see me again and show me where he lived. I was angry and apprehensive about it. How could you just turn up out of the blue and expect me to be ok? Expect this to be ok? I said, well, I supposed I did have some time unaccounted for that I could stay a few days. I reserved my final week in Japan to stay with him in a tiny mountain town called Yokote, four hours north of Tokyo.


I had spent the weekend drinking and laughing with friends in Osaka and Hiroshima. And on a dreary Sunday afternoon, I boarded a Shinkansen back to Osaka, then to Tokyo, and further on to a place I'd never heard of called Omagari, in Akita Prefecture, where Emmett said he would pick me up. It took 9 hours start to finish. Three trains and three climate changes and I was there. It was late and I'd taken my contact lens out on the train and put on my velour sweatpants, hair in a pony tail. I hadn't showered since we'd spent all night in a karaoke bar and I passed out on a friend's couch. But I was nervous and my keitai had died and now here I was with the train doors opening into this frigid climate.


My backpack on and giant rolling suitcase in one hand, I stepped out onto the platform. I looked up and I could see his silhouette looking down on me from the observation deck. I nervously got on one escalator and then another, heart beating out of my chest, fumbling with my rail pass for the gate agent as I saw him waiting patiently on the other side for me. He looked different, older; his face acne scarred by the climate change. Once I cleared the gate, we half hugged and he awkwardly sought out an elevator. We looked at each other stone faced, trying to hide our nervousness, and loaded my things into his Saab; an interesting choice of car for someone teaching English in Japan. Most of my friends drove tiny kei cars; cheap little aluminum boxes - but somehow, this suited him, suited his personality. He would have driven something like this in the States if he made enough, I suppose. Then again, he drove a Honda Civic when he was living in Ohio when I'd known him then. Maybe this was an upgrade.

He fumbled with the GPS on his phone, trying to figure out how to get back. He almost ran a red light and I yelled at him. We stopped at a diner for pancakes and coffee. (Well, I got pancakes. He just got soup.) And then, a short while later, we'd arrived at his apartment complex which was named Moulin Rouge - although far from the French landmark. I began to unpack my things: presents I'd brought for him like Burt's Bees lotion and Kraft Mac & Cheese powder. I told him I was going to take a shower. I washed all my parts and shaved from head to toe. I'd been waiting for this moment for months. I wanted everything to be perfect. To feel his kiss, his touch, his embrace again. I'd been waiting. And I emerged in my pajamas and we sat on his couch - on opposite sides of his couch - and talked about my journey.

And then, like two high schoolers, we were suddenly in a ferocious lip lock. Our glasses clinked together comically and we stopped and threw them off and continued to kiss, to ravage each other. I straddled him and let my wet hair envelope his pockmarked face. I kissed his soft lips as his mustache tickled underneath my nose and then he took me and threw me down onto the futon on the floor. He kissed my neck and took off my shirt and began to kiss my breasts, down my stomach, pulling down my pants which slid off my hips that were thin from being worn out waiting for him. I was naked and exposed and I just wanted what I'd been waiting so long for. He kissed my inner thighs.

I flipped him and mounted him and removed his shirt, undid his belt, unzipped his pants. I just couldn't wait and I took him into my mouth and he teased, moving his cock away from my lips. I flicked my tongue and he'd jerk himself back just out of reach, then I'd take him deep again until he just couldn't take it anymore. He cut to the chase, pulling me by my arms up to face him, kissing me passionately before he flipped me on to my back, and then entered me. And we fucked and fucked and made up for those past six months with every thrust and scratch and scrape and pulse and grip. We came together, just like we always had. And we fell asleep in each other's arms.

I woke up the next morning to his alarm going off for work and the first thing he did was spoon me from behind and kiss my shoulder. Then he got up and showered and I watched him get dressed for work, wishing that day could be my every day. He kissed me goodbye, told me there was soda in the fridge and a key for the locker for the bicycle if I wanted to go out, but he'd be back at noon. I woke up and made some eggs and uploaded pictures and watching some TV and then took a nap.

He woke me up by whispering in my ear that I probably shouldn't leave the door unlocked. I gasped.


By the end of the week, I'd gotten so used to him that I wished I hadn't had to leave. But Emmett got dressed for work and we drove back to the train in minimal silence and I got my ticket and he hugged and kissed me swiftly even though I could hear him starting to choke up and I boarded my train back to Tokyo in tears behind my sunglasses.

And I cried all the way to the airport and in the airport and on the plane until I fell asleep because I knew that this was the man that I was supposed to love and spend the rest of my life with and I knew deep down somewhere that something was going to prevent it from happening.


And it turns out that something was me.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Final Countdown

Soon I won't be a "twenty-something" anymore; I am on the verge of 30. And then what happens?

My life is going to be perfect. Everything is going to magically fall into place and fix itself and I'll be happy and I won't need this blog anymore. Because that's what happens when you're in your thirties, right?

People are getting engaged and married and having babies and here I still am, still trying to sort out the mess of the last decade and can't seem to see the light at the end of that tunnel. I was told that it does get better once you turn thirty, but I feel like it's in such an ambiguous way, like when they do those "It Gets Better" videos for the bullied kids. I'm still living alone, waking up hungover, eating junk for dinner, pretending to give a shit, letting others believe this charade I'm putting on.

"Oh, I don't even know if I ever want to get married. I can't even fathom what love really is because every time I thought I had it, it was all just bullshit. Maybe love doesn't even really exist - not in my universe, anyway. I just can't see myself living with someone and settling down and doing boring stuff and merging our things and our personalities and our lives and our groceries."

That's all my bullshit. My wall. My defense mechanisms.

I watched this week's episode of GIRLS and I realized more and more how much I can relate to Hannah, when she says, "Please don't tell anyone this, but I want to be happy. I realized I'm not different. I want what everyone wants. I want what they want. I want all the things. I just want to be happy", because these are the same things that I say to myself; these are the same things that I feel.

I self-deprecate and I engage in behaviors that aren't good for me. I keep people at distances even when I want to draw them so close and so near to me. I try not to let people in and let them get under my skin and then when they do, when I feel things, when I hurt like normal people are supposed to, I'm afraid and offended and scared and brush them off, shut back down, shut them out. Because I want to feel things and I want to let people in and I'm not sure I remember how. I've had people playfully call me a cold-hearted bitch before, and maybe they've been right all along. Maybe everyone else can see it but me.


My friend and I had a conversation about how we let the wrong people fill certain voids in our lives because we hope the right people will come along and take their place. Sometimes I feel like I'm just cramming all these people into this void to stop an open, gaping wound; staunch the hemorrhaging of all my emotions. I spring a leak and then just use someone else to plug the hole. It becomes a never-ending cycle and I'm never happy.

Emmett told me that I was never going to love anyone until I learned to love myself. He said even if I got my dream job and found the perfect guy and moved back to NY, I'd still be miserable and he's probably right. Everyone makes it sound so easy, "loving yourself". I don't even know if I know what it means to love. When was the last time I felt it? I thought it was with Emmett, but he told me that he didn't love me, was never going to love me. And I look back and try to think who else might have loved me once before? Did I know? Did I remember how that felt? How I could try and close my eyes and go deep inside myself to search for that feeling's warmth and bring it to the surface, smell it, drink it in, use it to satiate this hunger. Use it to help me remember and revive the love that is supposed to be inside me, inside all of us.


So here's to the home stretch, the final year before I turn 30. The quest for me to see if all the rumors are true. That life can get better. That I can learn to love myself and others again. That I can be that emotion that has evaded me for so long: Here's to the pursuit of Happiness.