Last Day

Date: Thu, 14 Mar 2002

Subject: Re: Hey you!


I had my last day at my old school today due to a shift swap. By chance I saw a few students I'd always liked and some I learned to appreciate for the first time. I went between being ecstatic to be in a class with them to nearly crying by the time I got back to the staff room and I realized that that was it.


I think I might be the first person to ever get emotional at his farewell from Blight... then again, maybe nobody will be able to make it.

One Saga Ends

Date: Thu, 14 Mar 2002

Subject: The end of the saga?


Last night Mr. Brown invited the two girls from my bad drunken experience over to our place (as he's done on several occasions) for a party. The one I tried to fight over is going to Australia. Anyway, there were a bunch of other people and teachers there, but the girls would be spending the night since public transport would be closed by the time things wrapped up.


I had some trepidations when I found that out. I've been vacillating on this point: I think the one girl is really cute, but I'd be totally angry with myself if anything happened (too young in my opinion, and a former student). Then again, that didn't stop me from wanting something to happen. So we just flirted massively all night and in the end she was half draped across my legs when I decided that I had to go to bed since I had to work this morning. So I went to bed... and lost my claim to innocence by setting up an extra futon in my room. I couldn't take her in with me, but if she came by, then I would let things happen as they happened.


But she stayed up a while longer with Mr. Brown since he didn't have to work, and she slept in Mr. Brown’s room while the other girl slept on the couch. I spent most of the night unable to sleep because I was stressing out about what might have been happening. I left my room at 4:00 a.m. and was at least relieved to find that Mr. Brown’s door was open with the other girl on the couch just outside it, so I figured nothing much could have happened. From the girls' conversation in the morning, I have the impression that they kissed, but even that may not be accurate. Before I left, I gave the girl a hug and went on my way.


I'd just felt horribly alone all night. I'm okay with being on my own normally, but when somebody's reminding me of what I could have if I just had a little more courage or a little less restraint, it just gnaws away at me and makes me feel empty and afraid.


Maybe it's good that I'm not getting involved with people just to temporarily fill the hole, but then again, I'm getting worried that... I don't know... maybe I'm just not cut out for this? Who knows...


Hey, sorry to hit you with psychomess, but I figured you'd appreciate the gossip.

Fan Mail

Date: Thu, 14 Mar 2002

Subject: Your very own obsessive fan


I just got my first letter from a strangely moved reader of my article in the Star. Apparently, newspapers will forward requests for e-mail contact to writers, which is something of which you might want to take note in future. I have since learned that Ms. West is a self-described writer and artist who has no qualms about using words like "soul connection" and "tactile truth" with total seriousness.


She’s weird but highly endearing. She has one of those self-indulgent, unapologetically melodramatic writing styles. This is my favourite line. Tell me if you can figure out what it means. Hell, tell me if you can figure out her tense choice:



I believe this experience of life to be a creative evolving, within the creative evolving of the whole. Your article will reflect in many the definition to becoming aware of this inherent creativity, and our inherent part in defining and shaping the whole.



Oh, and my life has been a giant raging ball of shit for the last few days. Paradoxically, my greatest happiness has been pondering the amusing image that description conjures in my mind.


Date: Sat, 16 Mar 2002

Subject: Pocky student?


知らない 使った 言葉 は おどろくだけ だった、でも じしょ に ひいた から だいじょうぶ だった。ありがとう。言葉 をぼく に 良く えらんだ。


Man, it's a hassle writing in romanji. How do you stop the kanji from coming up all the time? Anyway, I'm sorry to be leaving. As I'm about to go, I'm realizing just how much I'm going to miss many of my students. Argh. But that's life, I guess.


Date: Tue, 19 Mar 2002

Subject: Re: might be Pocky student;)


Um... yes, I was popular with the high school girls at Blight. Nothing ever happened because of it, though, except the time one student asked me on a date and I had to turn her down.


今日は ともだちを むかえに 東京へ 行って 来る。  


Date: Tue, 19 Mar 2002

Subject: Um... take it easy?


Like I said, I never gave you guys much to go on, and I'm very demanding as to what I expect other people to gather about me without it being said, even though nobody ever gets it right.


So, as I've said about the Blight staff I finally blew up at the other day for asking me to do another level check during my break... no hard feelings. It's done. To accurately describe the past as a writer it's often necessary to recall old feelings, but that doesn't mean I'm still dwelling on them. Of course, the act of recollection can twist me into knots, but once it's done, it's done.


Just to let you know, the Star has expressed interest in another article of mine, but this one is just about the crazy day my thesis was due. Did I tell you that already? They asked if it was okay to use my real name, though, which was funny since this one's completely innocuous.

Mike the Editor

Date: Tue, 19 Mar 2002

Subject: Article


Okay, the last few days I've been crazy busy and crazy sick and I downloaded your article onto my laptop so I don't have it on my server any more and I have to go to Tokyo really really soon so I don't have time to go home and get it and I know you wanted this on the weekend but hey you take what you get, right?


Recommendations: eliminate your analysis of the woman. Just describe what she does and forget about all your personal speculation. Keep the line about wondering if she's got it all together, but skip the part in brackets


Date: Sat, 23 Mar 2002

Subject: My mangled life


Hello everyone. This is just a brief update to let you know that while I am indeed alive, everything is a mess.


Present conundrums:


1) Finding a hotel for The Rover to stay in while I train in Tokyo.


2) Getting my stuff to The Village, which is both quite beautiful and quite completely in the middle of nowhere. I'm waiting to hear from my friend Grimm, who owns a van but has been in New Zealand for the last few weeks.


3) Losing 2/3 of all the money I own to paying "key money" (initial deposit and landlord's privileged extortion) which I wasn't supposed to have to pay but my employers couldn't lease the old apartment again for reasons that nobody has been adequately able to explain to me. The new one is big, but in need of repainting in my opinion, and I don't exactly have a lot of financial options any more.


4)Trying to tie up a few loose ends in Shizuoka before I go.


5) Generally operating in tandem for two weeks when I really need to be able to figure things out on my own.


More updates later, likely once I'm settled in The Village or when I'm in Tokyo and I have a chance to breathe again.

Disappointing Farewell

Date: Tue, 26 Mar 2002

Subject: Farewell voice


I had my farewell Voice last Tuesday. My grand total: four.


1) A friend who I knew very well was coming.

2) A 7B student I'd just taught the worst lesson in the world (Mike: "Was that difficult or boring?" Student: "Boring.")

3) T, who might have been planning to come anyway.

4) A level 4 from my old school who didn't know I was leaving.


Most people at my old school were surprised to hear I'd left. Apparently posters just don't work, even when you write on them in Japanese. So I'll just pretend it was an advertising problem.



I Am Rihei

Date: Tue, 26 Mar 2002

Subject: My margled fife


Oh, I must tell you this:


Do you remember "I AM REEEEEEEEEEGOOOR!!!"?


Well, in my kabuki performance, all the characters introduce themselves with appropriate over-the-top kabuki-esque inflection. My character's name is Tadanobu Rihei. This means, naturally, that my last line is as follows:


"(I am) Tadanobu... RIIIIIIIIHEEEEEEI!!!"


It is the exact same sound.


 [See Pencil & Ink - Ed.]

In Training

Date: Tue, 26 Mar 2002

Subject: Re: My mangled life


Why does everyone think I'm making more money at this job? My base salary is actually less... although now it is indeed more since they upped it to compensate for my suddenly massively increased rent.


Glad you're having fun in Ottawa. I'm stuck in a training centre an hour from Tokyo right now. 11:00 curfew sucks.

Kabuki Time

Date: Wed, 27 Mar 2002

Subject: Re: Hello


My Kabuki is in Sumpu Park at 12:30 on Sunday the 7th. I think it's going to be on the stage, but I don't know where the stage is going to be.

Useful Phrase

Date: Thu, 28 Mar 2002

Subject: Re: :)


I learned a bunch of new Japanese words here. "Tanoshimi ni suru" is high on my list of cool phrases.


[Tanoshimini suru = Look forward to - Ed.]

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