My brother moved out of the country a couple of weeks ago and left me a road bike, among other things. So the last couple of weekends I've been out biking for hours at a time, partially with the aim of getting in shape, partially with the intent of looking for a new place to live. Since summer is just beginning, it's still bearable during the day. However, by the time August rolls around I don't think I'll be going out for hours at a time. Somehow I managed to play badminton in the summers here though. As adults, we are forced to play in the gyms of elementary and middle schools, which incidentally have no kind of A/C or ventilation whatsoever. I drank 3 liters of a sports drink in a session once and was completely drenched in sweat. Talk about disgusting...
The first weekend I had the bike, I went out to Naka-Meguro, which is well known as a hip and trendy neighborhood where young people want to live. I had been there before, but it didn't leave much of an impression. This time I biked through in the afternoon, strolled around a bit and came back at night to check out the night life. There were a lot more places than in my current neighborhood. However, as a result of it being a much larger neighborhood, it didn't have anything like Taco Star, which is my own personal Cheers as I'm fond of saying. That area is also more expensive than my current neighborhood, so I would definitely have to do some serious thinking before I moved there.
This last weekend, I went out and had a lunch date with someone who I had recently gotten back in touch with via facebook. Viva la facebook. I used the date as an opportunity to check out a couple of other neighborhoods that I'd also though about living in. She was a really good sport about it as we walked through extensive amounts of Kouenji and Ogikubo. Of those two, I think I liked the amount of stuff at Kouenji more, but Ogikubo was the "calmer" of the two, which is something that appeals to me.
I somewhat regrettably had to part ways with the girl to head off to the Hapa cruise thing, but I'll continue telling that story some other time...
So where did I leave off...I guess after that I hung out with Y about three more times.
The first time after that was on a Friday after work. I had taken the day off, but I had to head there anyway since the restaurant that she wanted to go to was right by work. And it was the two of us plus the same co-worker I had been out with Y on a number of occasions. After dinner the two of us went off to the station by her house again and talked for a while. She expressed a desire to go back to the way things had been before all of the craziness had started. I felt I had no choice to consent; I'm not about to start whining and begging to let things go forward..not at this age and not for her. However, she expressed an interest in meeting my friends and going to places that I like. So that night I took her to my favorite neighborhood joint, Taco Star. We hung out there for a little while and then she went home by taxi.
The following week we again went out on Friday. This time it was just the two of us, and I took her to another one of my favorite places. After we finished the okonomiyaki, we went to a nearby place for a couple more drinks. While we were there, she told me that her best friend was coming to stay at her place that night and asked if I wanted to meet her. I of course agreed and so off we went to Shibuya.
She took me to her friend's (not the best friend) wine bar and we continued to drink and chat. I sat with her best friend on my left, with Y on my right. After a while a fourth random person came and sat next to Y, on her right. At this point, the best friend started to give me lots of encouragement. Telling me that Y is in a rough spot right now, but I should wait for her to get through it. She pointed out to me that Y was taking me to her favorite places and introducing me to her friends. And then she advised me that one possible approach was to spell out my plans for the future and then tell Y that I wanted her to be a part of it all.
After a while we left the wine bar, got in a taxi, and parted ways back in Y's neighborhood. Having received a pep talk from her best friend, I was in good spirits, so I walked home.
The final chapter in this misadventure came the next Wednesday, one week ago now, when I went out with Y for dinner. It was already late by the time she got off from work. I had already gone home and changed after I got off work and had done a bunch of chores by the time she contacted me. We chose a random place to have dinner. After I had a few drinks in me, I decided to try the approach her friend advised me on the previous weekend. After all, I wasn't that serious about this girl anyway.. how could I be? So what did I have to lose.
Her response was entirely expected. She wasn't ready for anything yet, couldn't even think about it. Told me that if I was in a hurry that I should look for someone else. And a number of other things along those lines. After chatting for a little while longer, she excused herself to go home.
That night I figured out that she had gotten back together with the boyfriend. However, she hadn't had the common courtesy to let me know. She had had plenty of opportunities to let me know. I can only think that she was trying to "keep" me available as an option should things still not work out with the boyfriend. But she's not that great a catch, so I refuse to let myself be in that situation. Thus the next day I wished her happiness and ended my pursuit.
Mon, Jun. 29th, 2009, 07:47 am
I'm still not sleeping through the night, so something is still the matter. It's not as rough to make it through the days as it was initially. That aching feeling in my chest isn't as acute as it was the first couple of weeks. But it's still there, just more dull than before. Which makes me think that it's because I'm not over Keiko yet. It always takes me a while to get over someone. While I self-sabotaged my relationship, it was not (entirely) a premeditated thing. I had not actively been thinking How do I break up with her? I still had feelings with her, and of course she had played a very integral part of my life for about 10 months. Suddenly ripping that out of my life probably messed me up in ways that I just can't understand. I had never been so close to getting hitched before, so I don't have any experience to draw on for this.
My last girlfriend I had dated for a similar amount of time. Unfortunately I got sent away on a business trip in America and the foundations of the relationship were admittedly shaky to start with. She was a fourth generation Japanese-born Korean and as such was expected to marry the same. Being me, I was persistent in my efforts to try to win her over. But I guess she wore me down, since when it came time to break up, I didn't put up much of a fight and certainly didn't have any problems sleeping like this.
I dated the girlfriend before that for more than a year. Before the actual break-up, I spent months trying to figure out how to do it, since I had unfortunately let her move in with me. And funnily enough, I had promised that I wouldn't let someone move in with me after that, unless I was absolutely sure I would marry them. But of course with Keiko, I was blinded by the initial honeymoon period and my own bliss, so I let it happen again.
I just don't really know what I'm doing or what I want. For the longest time, I had myself convinced that I wanted more than anything to get settled down and have a family. Maybe part of the problem is that I'm still overseas, but ultimately I don't think it's just that. I may have to come to terms with the fact that I'm not ready for that level of commitment, and just let it happen without trying so damn hard.
As I previously mentioned, I had to work extremely hard on a project for half a year. I had never had a work experience like that before. At most I'd have a busy week or two. The amount of work required for this project was enough for two people but of course I only had myself to rely on for it. I had been dating Keiko for all of about two months when the project started. There was no ramp up to being busy and it never let up until the end. At the beginning of last November I started putting in overtime every day. Not just a day or two a week, but every single day.
The kind of work I was doing was not easy work either, so I was using my brain all day long, from the start of the business day until I finally decided to go home at night. When I'm working normally, I'll take breaks to read news or otherwise kill some time. But I never felt like I had that luxury and judging by the fact that I barely managed to make my final deadline, I am justified in believing so.
I've got a really nasty workaholic streak in me which isn't helped by the fact that I can be a real perfectionist about my work. I can be a horrendous slob at my own place and for other things where I don't give a damn, I'll be a slacker. However when I choose to dedicate myself to something, I put that ahead of everything else. As a result, that one thing ends up taking precedence over everything else. And for this project that meant not even just the hours I was at work. I would be consumed with pouring over the details of it even after I got home and on the weekends. There were too many things to keep track of, since in addition to the actual work, I had to do project management as well as manage the onshore and offshore resources. This was all brand new to me, so I had to learn as I went along.
I assign the lion's share of the blame for things with Keiko going so horribly wrong to the above. But I guess that's not all there is to it.
I've made many, many mistakes in life. One of the big ones which I'm currently struggling to come to grips with is the fact that I gave about $10,000 to my now ex-girlfriend to hold on to for our future together. Now she won't give it back. She said "Hey, bring it on in court... it'll probably cost all of that to make me pay it back!" And then I had this great little incident happen last week. I went on a little getaway with one of my friends for a couple of days and leave the rental car parked outside my place. I wake up in the morning to find it keyed. That night I had had an unhappy conversation with the ex- where she kept claiming over and over again that my actions were "incredible", and not in the good way. Anyway, the list of suspects is just about 1 long... Compounding the evidence is the fact that she was actually at my local bar that night. Too much coincidence for me.
Obviously I know that hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, but c'mon, aren't we a little too old for keying up someone's rental car? Cost me fucking $200 because the car was out of service for X # of days.
For A's 2nd & last farewell evening (I missed the first one since I was with Y the whole night), we went to get pizza at my favorite pizza place, Pizzakaya. After that we went off to a couple of other bars before ending up at "First Bar", where we stayed for the rest of the night. First Lisa took off, then the other two guys took off.. leaving A and I there. It was already after 2AM, so we decided to call it a night and headed back to my place. Fast forward to noon the next day and I parted ways with A for the last time and went off to get my haircut.
I always get my haircut at the same place and have many, many times sought out relationship advice from the girl who cuts my hair. This time was no different as I gave her the updates on my situation. However, unlike the other times, she had little in the way of advice to give, saying that I was too unsure about things myself for her to comment on it. This was a bit disappointing to me, since she had been a fountain of good advice for me in the past. But I admitted it myself that I had no idea what the hell was going on in my head, so it made sense.
It just so happens that Y lives in the same district that I get my haircut, so I caved in and called her to see if she wanted to hang out. She didn't answer, so I started to text her when she called me back. I let her know I was going to be out of town during the week but that I'd like to see her the next weekend. She at first said she had plans on the weekend but then I specifically listed out the days, she said she was free on Friday, so I made plans for Friday night. And as I type this, I am about to head out for that... unfortunately, her co-worker is coming along again; the same one we went out with last week and also for karaoke. Does she invite the co-worker along to keep herself from doing anything silly like going back with me to her place? So that I can get to know her better? I have no idea. I had actually hoped for a nice quiet evening with the two of us so that I could have a good talk and hopefully put an end to things with Y. The more I think about it, the more I think I don't need this right now...as I have said from the very beginning.
Having decided that's the end of that, I go to work the next day and carry on about my business. We work on different floors so there's typically no contact. And so the day passes and I go home to an empty apartment with no food, so I finally head out again to grab a bite to eat around 9PM. Then I stop by my local bar for a couple drinks and just as I start drinking, I get a call from an unregistered number. I hesitate, since I'm pretty sure there's only one possibility about who it's going to be and so lo and behold, it's Y calling me up to see if I want to go out to karaoke. Having no willpower whatsoever, I agree to meet her shortly for karaoke... a little after 10PM. Not really a big deal since I usually don't go to sleep until after 1AM anyway, but still. C'mon, Kendrick, stick to your guns.
Karaoke was fun as it always is and then the 4 of us (two other people from our company) parted ways and went home. I ended up having lunch with her one other time during the week and actually grabbed the bull by the horns and said I was starting to fall her and was thinking it might be best to not see her anymore. But then eventually gave up on that and decided I'd keep seeing her anyway. Again showing off my strong backbone.
Friday we again went out with one other co-worker and these random old dentist dudes. I drank far, far, far too much. I have no excuse for the complete lack of restraint. After a certain point, things started to blur more and more. Then there were some strange, angry scenes at a bar, followed by me punching a light pole, then heading back to the bar to talk with Y some more. The next thing I know it, it's 5 AM and I'm coming to on the ground outside her place. Really weird experience. I'm still completely drunk, so I pick myself up off the ground, head to the train and pass out. Then I wake up at the opposite end of the train line and head back the opposite way and finally manage to get off at a stop near my house. Get home, pass out. Wake up, send an apologetic e-mail. Nap on and off the rest of the day until it's time to go meet up with A for a farewell evening.
Starting that night, Keiko started staying at her parents. We had plans for the next day though, so we met up and hung out, but parted ways at the end of the night. That next week I continued to see Y and then one night when Keiko came over, I made the fateful decision to leave my cell phone behind while I went out for a jog. As I jogged along, I realized that she would most likely read the mails in my cell phone, which while not particularly incriminating in any way, made it clear that I was in some fashion seeing other people. I couldn't recall if I had intentionally left my phone out in plain sight, knowing that she would be unable to resist reading it, or if I only realized the mistake as I jogged. When I got home, she was long gone and the next time we met, my suspicions were confirmed that she had read my messages.
The following Saturday I had plans to watch movies at my co-workers place, followed by a farewell party for some of my half-Japanese friends at night. All was going well, until I suddenly got a mail from Y saying that her plans for the next day had been canceled. When I called her to see what was going on, she informed me that her now ex-boyfriend had moved all of his stuff out that day. She was in tears and with my white knight on a shining white horse complex, I immediately offered to go see her. We went off to grab dinner and both drank copious amounts so once again ended up crashing at her place.
We woke up around 6AM in the morning, just hanging out, having coffee and pastries like it was the most normal thing in the world. We finally ended up deciding to go for a boat ride up to Asakusa to go visit her friend who was running a Korean BBQ place up there. We get there, have lunch, drink some more, visit a temple, go to an amusement park and then head back to our part of Tokyo for...more drinking. We finally end up heading back to her place around 11PM or so and as soon as we step into her place, I notice that there's something different..this clay pot that had been there in the morning was not in her private elevator any longer.
Once we got up to the third floor it was clear that the ex had been there, as the lilypads or whatever they were were floating in the clay pot. She immediately burst into tears (although she had been crying all day long so it didn't phase me much) and then kicked me out of her place. As I left I realized I did not need this at this point in my life, so I deleted her contact information out of my phone, for all the good that such an act does when all of the e-mails and calls remain in the history. And of course mine remain in her cell phone.
And the ex-boyfriend? A real winner... apparently some kind of freelance photographer, who is divorced and has three kids. And led her on for five years.
Tue, Nov. 4th, 2008, 08:43 am
Go vote tomorrow!
Wed, Jul. 30th, 2008, 08:13 am
I've been meeting awesome girls in my dreams.
Then I wake up..and they're not real, of course,
but I miss them nonetheless. This didn't use to