Saturday, November 25, 2006

Thanksgiving Came And Went

In memory of the holiday on which I once I ate turkey, I had chicken penne pasta with alfredo sauce and asparagus. I miss turkey but that was about the best Italian food I have had since coming here. Why am I telling you this, I am not sure. But while you’re eating turkey and noodles, turkey sandwiches, turkey and stuffing, turkey and cheddar pasta, and anything else turkey related, think of me.

This week has passed rather uneventfully, though I did find out that American Thanksgiving Day is a federal holiday here as well, why, I am not sure of that either. If you don't even eat turkey on the one day a year you should eat turkey, why celebrate it at all? The other thing that gets me is that fact that had the pilgrims landed here instead of the Americas, they would have either been promptly decapitated or crucified depending on who was in charge at the time. Screw having a bountiful feast of corn, squash, and fowl, your blood and that of your loved ones would have been seeping on to the rocky beach as the tide carried your headless bodies out to the ocean. On that principle alone, Japan should not celebrate Thanksgiving.

On a lighter note, today was a pretty good day. My lessons went by quickly and without a hitch. Afterward, I dined on curry ramen and topped it off with mint chocolate chip waffle cone from Baskin Robbins, or as the locals call it, 31. Speaking of locals, the guy that lives below me is drunk...again...and shouting and falling all over his apartment as I type this. I have never typed about him so now I shall as it has become apparent to me that this post is pretty much pointless, I just felt like typing something. Anywho, the guy below me is your average Japanese business person. I think he goes to work either in Osaka or Kyoto every morning because he gets up around 4am and the train ride to either city is two hours so that puts him there around 7:30-ish; he doesn't get back home until nine or ten on most nights, though sometimes its closer to 1am. I do not think he is a horribly popular person at his job because if he was, he would be drinking with friends after work rather than coming home to imbibe alone most nights. It would help him if he didn't have the personality of a grouchy jagged rock but what do you do? I see him once or twice a week as we go in and out of the apartment and every time I see him I say hello. The most I have ever received back is a mean grunt. I think he secretly likes me but does not want to show me his softer, happier side for fear that I will think less of him. At least, that is what I tell myself to keep from crying myself to sleep every night.

Last week, I was just getting to sleep and it was about 3am. I was on the verge of going to happy sunshine dream land when I heard someone fall on the staircase. At first it could have been anyone, but then a split-second later I heard the bottle drop to the floor and I knew it was my friend from below. Sake and other fine Japanese liquors come in varying sizes of bottles. You can buy tiny single serving glasses of it, medium beer bottle sizes, or mammoth party bottles that you could use as a baseball bat later on if you wanted. He dropped the latter as he stumbled on the stairs. The smaller sizes make more of a glassy dinging sound, the bigger ones make a thudding noise and what I heard that night was definitely a thud. Anywho, I laid on my comfy futon, under my warm blanket, and for a few seconds started going back to sleep. Then a vision of him laying drunkenly in the stairwell, bleeding from a head wound while one of his legs dangled limply askew underneath his body crept into my mind. I have an overactive imagination. I got out of bed and got into my jersey shorts and hoody and went downstairs to make sure he wasn't sprawled there bleeding and fortunately, he wasn't.

Though, had he been, the heroic tale of me calling 119 and cradling him until the ambulance arrived would have most definitely made the local news and even possibly the national news. They could have made a mid-week TV movie out of it; the story of a cold drunk who never even showed a flash of humanity to this foreigner who lived above him. The foreigner, dialing 119 and in broken Japanese telling the operator where to send the medics and how it must have been a miracle because the address of the building they were in was the only actual address he knew how to say correctly in Japanese. The moments in between the call and the ambulance arrival in which the foreigner hid the massive sake bottle to try to give the wounded drunk a little bit of dignity before he was carted off to the hospital. The hospital visit that I would have made the following day. The tearful thanks and apology of the Japanese guy as he lays a huge man hug around the foreigner and tells him how sorry he is that he never once said hello to me and how great of a person I am for helping him when I had no good reason to. Me replying that he was a human being in need and that was reason enough. The weeks and months following where I become his sponsor for AA and he names his first child after me after he and his estranged ex reconcile and renew their wedding vows. This movie would rock in that Oprah Book Club, Hallmark Movie of the Week sort of way, which means that I would probably never watch it.

Moving on from that massive tangent and back into the real world, my drunken sub-apartment friend has one odd habit that both bothers me and makes me chuckle. Every night, he goes out onto his little patio and takes a leak off the ledge. Why he does this, I will probably never know. The part that gets me is that his apartment is probably identical to mine which means that at any given moment, that guy is less than six feet away from his actual bathroom. I can be a lazy SOB but this man makes me look like a go-getter, he should get a merit badge or something.

Well, that brings me to the end of this post. Having finished, this is like the blog version of a Seinfeld episode, a lot gets said but most of it has no point and there is no plot in which it revolves. I apologize.


At 4:05 PM, Anonymous Tony said...

I didn't have turkey this year, and thus I didn't think of you at all.

In non-related news, I didn't go to Boise.


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