I don’t remember if I got those classes that I wanted on the second. I also don’t remember anything about the third or 4th. Evidently I taught at an elementary school on the 3rd. Though, now that I think of it, I believe that I sat at the BOE, making my utter lack of an entry even more surprising and unforgivable.
I just smelled the instant coffee in my steel cup. I couldn’t stop myself from visibly wincing.
Friday night seems like it had some significance to or for me, though what it was now escapes me utterly. I really don’t know.
Wait! The third was a vacation day! I remember.
On the second, I didn’t end up with a fever. I went out with the guys, and it honestly did feel good. I started to feel better as soon as I was with them. We had a meal whereas I was constantly hounded to eat more (and obliged to the extent that I was able). It was at a little cafe near the station in Sendai. So, yeah, that was fun. They wanted me to drink, but, when I told them that I was driving, they dropped it. Japan is very strict about that mess. I had thought about staying in Sendai, but, that was going to be expensive, if possible, so I gave up on that rather quickly. I could have found a way if I’d honestly felt like it, but I didn’t. Thankfully, dinner didn’t run too late.
I got up the next morning and then drove back to Sendai and hopped on the Shinkansen to Kagoshima. I talked to Tristan a lot in the process. That was fun. We haven’t talked much lately, and it was really good to talk to him. He seems to be out of his funk, which is really good. At least, he’s somewhat out. He’s also making a killing as a driver right now, which would help anybody’s mood. Made $300 in one day recently.
I got there early and met up with Megumi. We mostly followed the area of the Matsuri where her nieces and sister were dancing. I met her parents, and they were both cool, along with her sister and nieces. I was invited to go with them to see Japanese West Side Story, which should be interesting. I may end up going to see Miss Saigon as well. We got lunch at the perpetually closed Mexican place that we’d tried to get into last time. The owner was Puerto Rican, so, I guess it’s not especially Mexican. However, it was delicious, and that counts for a lot more than Google mislabeling something.
We went to Maruya Garden and looked at beer, which was fun. Then she took me to a foreign food market in the shopping plaza next to the train station. I had told her, the day before, that I’d never been there, but, in wandering around that morning, I’d stumbled into it and had to act super impressed. Which, wasn’t hard as I had left it soon after discovering it earlier that day for just such a reason.
I then went back home, allegedly to do work for the JET meeting next week (well, now this week), but I ended up going to bed almost as soon as I got home. I was just too damned exhausted from . . . life. Though I really had had a good time.
Friday was as uninteresting as ever. I was feeling quite down and wanted to do something, anything, but couldn’t quite do it. I taught in class, but it’s pretty obvious that I’m not my old self. I actually used this a bit during lunch. I was supposed to eat with 2-1, and I did. At first, when the students weren’t happy to see me, I played it off as a joke, as I always do. But it’s gotten to the point where it does bother me just how much the second years dislike me and/or feel it’s encouraged to do so. So, I sat there. And I didn’t fake myself like normal. My face showed how sad, lonely, miserable, and utterly broken I felt. And the kids noticed. As a bitter/feel good icing on the cake, I told the girl who I’d sat next to (I sit in whatever seat is empty if there’s an absent kid) and who had freaked out when I sat down, that I was very sorry that I was such an unpleasant person and that I sincerely apologized for having sat next to her.
I’m never sure whether to count feelings as real or not. I’ve always had a certain dislike for using real feeling to manipulate the people around you. That always seems like you’re not really feeling things. But, you know, I was hurt. And I wanted these kids to understand just how much these everyday things can get to me. And it felt good to show them. It felt good. Maybe that’s the issue? I’m so utterly artificial most of the time that it actually takes significant effort to show people when I actually feel something? I used to say that when I was drunk, nothing changed because I was so uninhibited. Maybe that’s not the case at all. Maybe I’m just all pretense. I don’t know. Beyond the apology, I told them that even gaijin have hearts. I think that the subtle racial tones may have hurt them. But, you know, they would never treat a Japanese teacher like this. I don’t know how much of it is because of my skin and how much is because I’m only an ALT and how much is because of my language ability. I can’t break this down. But, I don’t care. I wanted those kids to get feels. I think that maybe it worked.
On Saturday we had Pathfinder, which has continued to be mediocre. At best. There was no Armand, which helped. But nothing happened. Just low quality roll play. I’m getting very frustrated and bored in the game. But if I leave, it’d ruin it for everybody because I’m what’s holding the group together.
Saturday was the roughest day that I’ve had in a very long time. I was actively worried, as I drove, that I’d lose the ability to stay on the road. I had to actively keep myself together as I watched incoming trucks zip by and as I saw each and every sudden, deadly, hairpin turn. I was desperate and on the verge of a very unpleasant episode. I ended up calling my mother because I knew that nobody would pick up. She’s one of the least pleasant people in the world to talk to when I get like this, but if I hadn’t had a human voice listening, or talking, I’d have had an even worse reaction. My mother means well, but after seventeen years of ignoring every indication that maybe her son wasn’t 100% okay and normal, it’s hard to talk to her about anything. And even when she means well, I just get angry that it’s gotten to this point when so many problems could have been avoided if she’d listened to me in the first place. My sleep. My leg. Getting help during school. It never mattered then.
Eventually, I calmed down a bit and got a massage which calmed me down a bit more. I drove back home, with some difficulty, and decided that I’d better hit the bar. Walking towards the bar (hoping for a taxi as my back still hurts a lot) I was ushered into the little storefront community center, wherein three people were drinking. I joined in and we had a lovely conversation about many random things as I imbibed a moderate amount of shochu and hot water. However, I excused myself at 9:50 because I wanted to get to Bara by 10 (Karaoke ends at 12 and you have to buy two hours drink time there). However, I’d forgotten the fudge that I’d brought for them, so I had to run home, then grab it. Thankfully I found a taxi and got there by just after ten.
While there, I met the guy whose dog I saved last year, which was nice. I also met a new bar girl. She’s 19 and told me that the picture of a baby on her LINE account isn’t her’s, it’s her sister’s. She didn’t say she hasn’t got a kid, though. If she hasn’t she’ll be the only one there without one.
I met two young guys, I think they’re related/knew the new girl, Mio, and they’re workers up at the Tsuruda Dam. I told them to be careful and do their jobs because otherwise they’d kill me, which entertained them. I sang a lot, and I drank a lot, and it helped. However, I’d gone there hoping for some false affection from Unwed-mother-chan. However, as I was sitting on a bar stool, it never happened. She was on the couch flirting with other patrons. Mio, behind the bar, was sweet enough, but last July, when Unwed-mother-chan, oh so briefly, nestled up under my arm, it felt good. Human contact in any form is good. But it’s nice for a moment, just a moment, to feel wanted. Even if you know that it’s not real.
I’m disgusted with myself for finding comfort in lies. But I do not know how I could go on with no comfort.
On Sunday I did nothing until 1:30, then dashed off, unshowered, to Rara. I knew that I had to pick up business cards to give out at the JET event next week. Nikita was there, so we talked through a lot of lunch. She’s a smart kid. I like her. Speaks three languages, working on a fourth. I love her whole freaking family. The owner’s wife gave me chili peppers to take home with me because I told her that Rara is my only source of spicy food. I love these people. My goodness I wish I could get them green cards.
After that, I went to Taiyo for yogurt. I ended up spending a bunch of money on one of those Capsule machines. It had Gundam Wing toys! I couldn’t believe. It just goes to show you how out of the way this place is. Nobody in Japan even remembers the show. Those toys have probably been sitting there for damn near twenty years. Or, maybe not? I just remember when I bought that Anastasia calculator at The Wizard of Odds on the Ohio Turnpike. It was just so bizarre to see something so utterly out of place, and so untouched, for such a long time.
I ate KFC because I’m disgusting, then went home, watched some videos online, played Civ, finally did my laundry, did more Civ and wasted my life for hours, eating and drinking garbage, until I finally went to bed. The Benedryl I took to try and sleep made everything worse.
I woke up this morning and had to go to the physical that everybody gets once a year. I ate breakfast, which you’re not supposed to do. I didn’t know that. Oh well. I’m scheduled with Tateishi Sensei today, but it seems that he’s absent, so, I’ve had literally nothing to do. Long entry, some writing, and a bit of Civ in addition to general online chatting. Eikaiwa is 2:30. I may go to an Onsen. I just don’t know.
I have been at my lowest point for some time. I do not know why. I suspect weight gain and an inability to exercise are the major culprits. But there’s more than that. I feel empty, and I feel increasingly empty with each passing day. My memory doesn’t work. I can read a book and not remember a word that I read even after three readings. I can go through the day and I can’t tell you anything that I did. I feel like each day is a hideous mockery of a day, where I live some vapid copy of an existence that I once had. Everything feels twisted and wrong. There’s some tiny voice inside of me, screaming at the center of a giant white emptiness, and I can barely hear the shrieks. But it’s not enough to do anything.
I can be happy. My goodness, I was happy with the old men. I was happy with Megumi. I was happy at the bar. But the only time I feel like I’m even a human is when I’m performing. And the high that I get from that gives out faster and faster with each passing day. It takes more to get my fixes, my fixes are shorter, and I’m running out of supply.
I can’t bear to be alone. I can’t bear to not have some video playing, or to be reading. I can’t bear to be around myself or to be by myself. I cannot let my mind wander or myself to experience things. When I try to read books, books that I know are good, sometimes books that I even think that I’m enjoying, I feel such anxiety and pressure. It’s like I’ve taken Benedryl and my mind is racing every direction and my legs are spastic. I don’t know what to do. I feel so cut off from myself, from everyone else, and from anything with meaning. I feel exhausted and miserable. It’s awful to put one foot in front of the other, and I see that I’ve got so many opportunities here that I can’t bring myself to use because I’m spending all of my effort to go through the motions of the day. Even when I sleep, I’m tired. I don’t know how I’m sleeping. Sometimes I think I’m sleeping better. It doesn’t matter. I’m exhausted. Utterly exhausted. Every second of every day. Every moment. I feel as though I’m wearing weights and drowning, crushed by pressure at the same time, struggling to continue any movement. And all of the things that I should be doing, that I could be doing, make this even worse.
Mum suggested that I leave Satsuma. I don’t think that will help. That’s a symptom. What’s wrong with me? What’s so broken? Why is it so impossible?
I miss my anger. I miss my hate. I can’t even bring myself to hate anymore. That hate, that sense of being wronged, that vengeance was the fire that fueled me and kept me warm for so many years. A dim hope could dull pain. Now? I don’t even think I’m a person anymore.