Beyond the funeral, things have been a bit mad as well.
Nothing especially memorable seems to have happened on Friday the 16th, but I seem to remember that there was something.
I taught at Eshin that day, and it was fun. I usually enjoy teaching there, especially now that the students I hated last year (the 6th graders) are now my favorite kids (junior high first years). I don’t know how that happened. Lunch was very fun. A girl I sat with jokingly(?) suggested that I date her mom. I surprised them by saying I was single, and then said that all the women in Satsuma were kids, married, or old ladies. Well, this girl’s mom is single. Didn’t know the polite way to tell her that that’s a deal breaker too.
I hadn’t seen the kids since July, possibly June, and little kids have arbitrary memories. A little kid asked me who I was, and, in my very best Handsome President Oz voice, I asked, “How could you forget so handsome of a face,” to which they replied, matter-of-factly, “Oh, it’s Oz.” That was all it took. I was happy.
I got a call when I was home from Misato-Sensei. She said that her mother was sic, and that our tea lesson had to be canceled. I was a bit worried, but, the last time I’d seen Hirata Sensei (granted, nearly two months ago) she’d seemed fine. I was a bit concerned, but didn’t think too much of it.
Saturday was dull. We had a somewhat interesting one off game instead of our normal Pathfinder game. Matthew ran it. I think that his 0th edition stuff is fun in person, but falls flat online. Well, nothing to be done about that. I should have walked when I woke up that morning, but I didn’t. For whatever stupid reason. Probably playing Civ or something. Then, after the game, Matthew didn’t have time to talk long, so I didn’t do my post game walk-and-talk like normal. By the time I finally got out, I’d only walked a few kilometers before I got caught in a massive downpour. The rain continued intermittently and I just couldn’t bring myself to go out in it. We were expecting a typhoon, it didn’t come as it turns out, and I used that as an excuse. I also didn’t swim. Or do my affirmations. It was an utter waste of a day. I noticed a lot of cars at Misato’s house either Saturday or Sunday. I feared the worst. I was right, as it turns out.
I got up on Sunday, and I believe that I went for a walk. Then, I headed out for the sports festival at Riusui. I only stayed for the opening ceremony. I went in my samue because, after, I was going to go to a dance festival in Nakatsugawa. The kids kept calling it my pajamas. Normally I like it at Riusui, but it wasn’t a great experience that time. Also my samue had a hole. Dammit.
I left after the opening ceremony. It was another sweet one. The locals, farmers for the most part, who had graduated from the school joined the ranks of the sports fest to raise up the numbers and keep things competitive. It’s sad to watch a school die. I know it’ll be closed soon. Still, the people who stayed there are going to get to be a part of it right up until the end. What’s more important, the school as a building or the memory of the school in their hearts? Hard to say. I’ve been thinking about memory a lot, especially this morning as I walked by Hirata’s. How much is lost when we die. Is this good or bad? I don’t know.
Consulting my phone, I messaged Kyoko on Sunday morning. She replied, and this is when I’d found out about it.
For whatever reason, I always mistake Kashiwabaru and Nakatsugawa, and was pleasantly surprised to see how close Kashiwabaru was to Riusui, only to arrive and realize my mistake. I made it to Nakatsugawa and caught the bus to the event. It was, again, perfect.
The shuttle bus takes you from the parking off into the deep woods and mountains. You walk down a path that goes from the upper area of the road, down a bit, then back up to a clearing. Standing roughly in the center is a beautiful shrine. The thing looked like it was out of a Kurosawa movie. The sky was gray and somehow eerily it. The shrine was beautiful and pristine in its aged dirt. The clearing was perfect dirt, soft, moist, but not yet muddied. All around the outside were observers. They accumulated as time went on.
While I was there, I saw Maa-san. It was fun. He’s a great guy. I also saw Satomi, the Mama-san of Bara. She was there with her daughter. I also saw the town event guy who works in the new office that they set up in town. We didn’t talk much. I won 5Kg of rice for being the person who’d come the farthest to see the dance. I wish I hadn’t. I don’t like that I always end up winning everything, even though I (often) actually do win stuff. I got called the Nanko king again. That seems to be what I’ll be known for, and I rather enjoy it. I also didn’t like that they said I’d come the farthest to see the dance. I live in Satsuma now. Still, I don’t know if the Kanto people live here now, either. Who can say?
The dancing was fun. I was called over to a tent area with some of the dancers, and I watched with them. They wanted me to drink a lot with them, but I had a single can of beer as I had to drive home after lunch. I picked up a little Kagoshima dialect, and I practiced with them. I’m pretty sure that’s one reason they wanted me to win the rice. They wanted me to give a self-introduction in Japanese and to show off my dialect skill. Which is to say, I used about three words of Kagoshima dialect. Still, everybody liked it.
The dancing was great. It’s all folk dancing. I enjoy the work of amateurs. I enjoy the passion and the fire. I enjoy the mistakes because . . . they’re people. They’re normal people. And they’re doing wonderful things. I was invited to join in next year. I need to contact people about that, but I’m still broken up from the funeral.
I had to leave early to head out to a taiko concert with Dozono-san. I found out about Hirata’s pre funeral event around this time, but I didn’t want to cancel with Dozono, and I wasn’t sure if I should go. Well, I had a great time with Dozono. The Taiko group was amazing. I can’t really describe it. They did amazing tricks and gymnastics while playing beautiful music. I should look the name of the group and share them. I also got my actual funeral invite after the concert, then I had to call Kazumi and reschedule the Eikaiwa plans for the 19th.
The concert was in Minamisatsuma, which is far from Satsuma. I had to meet Dozono-san at my house at 3, and that’s why I had to leave the dancing early. We stopped by Satsumasendai on our way to Satsuma, and we went to an Indian place that we both love. I hadn’t been there in a while, and I explained to the owner why. His daughter was there. She’s growing up so fast! It’s amazing how quickly kids grow, especially when you see them rarely. I’d never really understood adults saying that until now. Well, I treated Dozono to dinner as he’d taken me to the concert, and then I went home. It was pleasant.
Apparently he’d asked Sam this year to go, but Sam gave him a vague and noncommittal answer, so he gave up. I guess that he’d invited Sam to see the same group last year, but Sam flaked out the day before, leaving Dozono with a $50 ticket and nobody to take on short notice. He seemed upset. I don’t think that Sam realizes he’s pissing people off. I think he’s a bit mad at me, too, but I don’t see him enough for it to especially matter. He’s been on my mind a lot, especially since I’ve been back, and even more so since I’ve been getting back into Chris-Chan.
I’d never understood the feminist strawman of the “Entitled Man” who thinks he just deserves a girlfriend. Most of the guys I know never expressed anything like that. Sam did, though, and he’s a self-proclaimed SJW. He just . . . wants things. And he doesn’t seem like he’s going to work for them. And, specifically, he wants a girl. I bring this up partly because he had Dozono set him up, and he’s been leading the girl along ever since. He admitted to me, after a bit of Protean wiggling to avoid admitting it, that he’s just leading this girl along (a 32 year old single mother) because he thinks he can do better but he doesn’t want to risk it yet. I was appalled. Sure, I did stuff like that. But it’s a bit different when you’re 22 year old college kids. I’m starting to understand situational morality a bit more. And I’m starting to understand morality differently. Basically, he’s wasting her time, and she hasn’t got much left. And that’s terrible. Leading someone on is wrong, but doing it to somebody in her circumstance? It’s awful. And it’s dehumanizing. I also wonder why he thinks he can do better. When you’re thirty, have a mere four year degree, are working in a job you can’t legally do for more than five years, and are functionally illiterate and barely conversational . . . you’d best be super hot. And while he’s certainly an attractive seeming man, he prefers computers to actual people. Frustration.
Well, yesterday I got up, then walked too much and injured myself, then had the funeral. After that, I rushed to Isa city and went to an art exhibit of one of the Eikaiwa ladies. I was happy that one of my favorite pieces was one of hers, but I don’t think she believed me. Which made me sad. She did a beautiful painting of a glass block wall. It blew my mind when I saw it, and only after did I find out it was hers. There’d been a full day outing, but I’d had to miss most of it for obvious reasons. After the short time at the exhibit, where I actually bumped into one of my first year students, we went to a famous sweet shop. Kazumi bought us sweets, which I ate at home. I was unimpressed. What did impress me were the little mascot items. The mascot of Isa is the Isa King. He’s freaking adorable.
I regifted my rice to one of the eikaiwa ladies, then drove home. The typhoon came. I ate a 7-11 dinner and did laundry. I went to bed. It was a day.