shitsurei shimasu

That’s what you’re supposed to say when you leave the presence of a teacher.

::deep bow::
::walks backward toward the door::

I have to admit, I’ve been putting this one off. When I post this entry, it will bump my last entry having anything to do with Japan to the next page. Five months and only twenty posts. I’m not quite ready to put it behind me, but I think whether I like it or not, I have to get my foot out of the door.

Recently, my friend and I talked about honesty and how a lot of the time, people don’t actually want to hear it. They want you to be truthful, but not necessarily honest:

Question: Does this shirt make me look fat?
Answer: It accentuates your curves.
Translation: Yes.

Question: You’re doing this because you don’t love me anymore, aren’t you?
Answer: No, I do love you.
Translation: I’m trying to figure out the nicest way to break your heart.

Sometimes, we even want to be lied to:

Question: Did he go peacefully?
Answer: Yes.
Translation: What part of “choked to death on his own phlegm” did you not get?

We talked about how Time was really the only way to move from truthfulness to honesty. I think about all the things I still cling to – the memories that make me react now in the exact way that I reacted then – sometimes I can’t even be honest about them in the privacy of my own mind, let alone out loud, to someone else. I’ve never felt so ugly as I did in Japan. The acne, the weight-gain, the hair, the clothes. I would never be as pretty or stylish as half the girls there (the other half looking rather strange due to a small gene pool). The guilt, the depression, the self-loathing. Apparently I suck at Jr. year no matter where I am.

Whenever I imagine myself in Japan, it’s always dark. I see myself in a dimly lit bar after five hours of drinking – chain-smoking to keep from drinking more, one hand between my thighs for warmth, waiting for some deep-fried chicken to sober me up. My world is spinning and I would get up to dance some more, but my legs are killing me. I see myself huddled in the dark folds of my comforter – wet strands of hair clinging to wetter cheeks, trying to figure out how to escape. I feel as if my body is about to cave in on itself, like that time when I smoked too much pot and spent an hour tweaking in the backseat of a car, muscles tensing so tightly that I imagined myself to be a black hole, sucking in and destroying everything about me. I see myself walking from the bus stop to my house at night – slipping down the icy street, breath white in the air, making fresh footprints in the snow on my hill. I take one last look before going in and I think, “God, Sapporo is beautiful at night.”

But let’s be honest – I think I’ve just bought myself another 20 entries.

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