Wednesday, January 25, 2006

paying in snot

despite the vitamins, the alcohol hand wipes, the hand washing, the prayers,

I've gotten sick again (and this week we learn about passive voice and how we like to use it to avoid assigning blame. eg. it's not MY fault that I got sick)

in a post below there are pics of a beautiful snowy Saturday morning but that was just the start of it.

Saturdays are busy and I taught and talked and listened like crazy all day. Many students were late or canceled because of the snow but I was still busy busy. topics included: making hotel reservations, "It's a giraffe in English!" sumarrizing and talking aobut resturants, the recent sucess and optimism over Japan's economy, and a good long group discussion of friendships.

so at 9:30 Kevin, Yoshi, Akemi and I head out for food and drinks. we end up at a place that serves this awesome stew called "nabe." hot and good and soooo nice on a cold day. so good that we (Akemi has moved to an apartment on the same train line as me) missed the last train home. by a minute. figures.

so we figure we'll head the other direction into Chiba looking for relvery and entertainment. There's a strange club called Stage Two (seach the blog for it for more info) that we thought we'd head to. Yoshi headed home, claiming that he was too old (blah) so we were down to three rowdy partiers and a very cold night.

A short train ride and some friendly ribbing towards Yoshi and the three of us arrive at Chiba (Sparks is to Reno as Chiba is to Tokyo). as we pull our coats and scarves close and skid down the icy side walks in the direction we think is Stage 2 and we find

so we go in. spontaenity and relvery go hand in hand, right? plus it's really freakin' cold. and low and behold "K's Club" is kinda cool. There's the obligitory Japanese guy passed out in the corner. There's a 6ft by 4ft karaoke room for us. and there are darts. and! it's a cheap all night price. so we play darts for an hour. we sing like fools for a while. more darts (they are these electronic machines so the bars can trust the drunks with the darts.) the strange passed out Japanese guys begin to pile up in the lobby as we stumble back and forth to the bathroom. eventually we sing more and fall asleep in the karaoke room. fall asleep being a euphemism for pass out, I suppose. but whatever. it's warm. the manager wakes us up at 5am. we check for our belongings and stumble across the slick as snot sidewalks in the dark to catch the first train home.

we're groggy and our voices are evidence of a night of loud ungainly singing. We plop down on the train and huddle together like small children to keep warm. Kevin gets off first, after a groggy 10min or so. Akemi and I fall asleep, as is common for the first Sunday morning train riders, and wake up after her station but before mine. She switches trains, I head home.

But then I look up. The grogginess has worn off, in part because of the cold but also in part because the sky is so beautiful. Shinkoiwa is glowing in the morning light. The sky above is a chilly blue but along the horizon, zigzagging between the icicles and low powerlines a pink color is spreading. A color of embers and frost kissed cheeks is hugging the earth, cradling it from the cold sky and welcoming the early risers into a new day. I stumble and slip I am so transfixed with this beautiful color.

My favorite poetess professes that all men look like princes when they sleep.
In that same way, my little burg looks so full of youthful hope this morning. The cigarette butts are buried beneath the snow, the drunks have made their way home off the streets, the dirt is covered with ice glimmering in the rising sun. The windows are lit with the dawn. The steps of the inhabitants are careful and crisp. The sky smiles with warmth down on us. Our breath hangs in the air like an honest compliment. The tenderness of the dawn has won over the chill of the night. It feels great to be alive on such a morning.


Colin said...

Hi Kori,

Your last paragraph is beautifully written. A very surprising transition from the conversational to the literary. Quite literally took my breath away! I am going to go back and read more now!

It has always struck me as very strange that the normally buttoned-up Japanese so often drink to the point of passing out. Somehow alcohol gives them an acceptable excuse for what would otherwise seem to be so embarrassing.

Kori Beyer said...

Thank you! What can I say, I'm another blogger who fancies herself a real writer. I have more literary stuff in the December archive.

If you are curious about Japanese drunkeness check out Skewed Snapshots from Tokyo: drunken Friday nights (not me)
it's from October.

and thanks for reading

jim said...

love your writing and your adventurous spirit.

Dajii said...

Beautiful writing kiddo. I could feel the sun comming up in the crip air, the warmph of the reverly among feinds. I am so happy for you, that you have a "rat pack" to go prowling with, that you find adventure in the corners where you are. I am so very proud of you.
eat your chicken soup. Wrap your neck in a scarf. Stay out of drafts. I read you a short story while you toast under 10 pounds of covers. A bendy stray for you and much much love. Always thinking of my wonderful daughter.

Love, Dajii

Kori Beyer said...

more than a bendy straw I crave industrial strength decongestants right now. I thought for sure I brought some but can't find them.

damn illerteracy. who knows what's in these strange Japanese drugs...

Kiki said...

Wow. What a night. I have a sore throat just thinking of singing along with you into the night. Do you have a fav song?
I second the emotion from Colin about your writing. The dawn, the color of the sky, the sleeping beauty of your part of Tokyo. You transported me from one world to another and I thank you so much for that.
Keep warm. Love, Kiki