Saturday, February 13, 2010

Would I Lie To You?

Thursday, November 1, 1990

It’s freezing outside, with a light frost on the ground. I’m still at Sakuyama Junior High School doing team teaching with the charming and witty teacher (sensei) Mrs. Sekiya.
I do a self-introduction in the teacher’s office to all of the teachers using my photos. It’s not the first time I hear the word sukebe (pervert), nor the last – as I show them a photo of three women friends I say are my girlfriends (hey, they’re female and friends…).
A second-year student (Grade 8) named Tomahiro stops by to talk with me in broken English and Japanese (I’m confused in two languages now).  He’s a bit of pain in the butt, but it’s apparent he just needs a friend. Guess who got elected? I like him – and when other nerdy kids see me talking to him, they come over one at a time. It’s like each nerd was too afraid to make friends with the other nerds. Silly nerds… there is always strength in numbers. It’s funny how they congregate around me… like they know I used to be one of them (used to?!) Now, I’m King of the Nerds, ma! I play volleyball with my new loyal subjects and have a good time.
It’s now 1PM and its super hot outside where we are playing volleyball. By the way, you ever see a lot of short nerds and their king play volleyball? It’s spas-tastic.
It’s an Indian Summer Day. The school’s vice-principal asks me why I call it that – so not wanting to look stupid, I answer: it’s because the colours of Fall are like those of an American Indian’s war paint – bright and warm, like a summer’s day. I don’t know what it means… it probably made sense to me then. It almost sounds plausible, eh? Hmm, not I understand the need to create bad English in Japanese advertising.
After school, I listen to the English Club (the only school I know to have an English Club!) perform Snow White. They seem surprised when I mention that Dopey doesn’t talk, and even more shocked when I say that they have to act like their dwarvish namesakes. Because the girl who played Snow White was sick, I take the role over and make it mine, complete with falsetto voice.
I head home at 5:30. Ashely is there and is in a better mood. So am I? King of the nerds, et al. We watch an episode of The Simpson’s and Quantum Leap. Our friend Naoko comes over to have dinner.
The lady from across the street comes by the place at 8PM  - with her yappy dog – to tell me about an upcoming festival. She begs me to come and play the clarinet (I guess she heard me practicing with the windows open). I don’t want to do it. Nerd shyness and all… but I do want to kill her dog.
Naoko doesn’t think she wants me to play at the festival this Saturday, but I’m not convinced.
Panic kicks in and I down five glasses of wine. I’m toast. Thank good ness everyone leaves at 8:30. I laze about watching The Osterman Weekend until 11PM and finally hit the hay at midnight.
Somewhere trying to come up with an excuse,
Andrew Joseph

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