The Drama in Waves: 1 2 3 4 then this (which I found on her MySpace profile {yeah I know, it's for highschoolers and I should know better}).
So she says:

Why is it that I only post when I am upset? I guess it is best to write when you have the most emotion and my emotion best expressed in writing is frustration. Today's frustration, honestly I need someone to make me realize I am valuable again. I know that I am, but it would be nice to have a reasuring constant to steady my ego. It's hard work being happy by myself. In the words of Jack, "losing hope is easy when your only friend is gone." So here it goes again, another letter to someone that really could care a little more, another mistake I could have down without. I know I'm not perfect, especially when it comes to decesions, but it would be nice to make the right one once in awhile. Right now I'm batting a hundred.

Dear Sir,
I know that everyone does unwise things when they are drunk and to that we are no exception. I also know that you are stuborn and I may never get the response that I want, but I will sleep better at night knowing that I tried to make things right again. I am sorry. I should not have never accepted the dare to tempt disaster. We are both realizing life's cruelty and it was selfish of me to try to dilute my memories by adding you, my friend, to the list. Although I am not able to hold a grudge, some may even say I am even anti-confrontational, you have wronged as well and that will forever change my view of you. I will not be able to be the friends that we were without an apology from you. Of course I will still be friends with you, however I will never be able to look at you with a sense of respect. It does not need to be now, or before I leave or even in words, but I do need the respect that I have given to you. Please realize that life is not simply a few beers or a few blocks or even a few years. Life is what you take from the experiences, conversations, the relationships, the loss and so much more you have yet to realize.

Though it took me a little while to regain my composure over reading such an outright betrayal of what we were building upto as friends, I was able to muster a reply:

I too am sorry, I feel terrible that I've caused you pain that's grown into something much greater than I'd ever wanted it to. Life deals shitty cards at the shittiest of times, yet if there's one thing I've found it's that things grow better if you can just shrug off the worst of it and look to what's good in life and run with it. Believe in the truth of the goodness of humanity, which can only be found by getting on with life. There's only so much reminiscing to be done before you start damaging the part of you that should be entirely your own; and seeing you as being still dependent on something that is no longer there pains me. I think this very dependence was what inevitably led me to back out because I was scared that we would both lose our individuality which is essential to getting what you want out of life.

P.S. - In lighter news you wouldn't believe where my phone was taken. Tim, in a drunken stoopor, decided he'd grab it the night of his departure to Maui, and has been using it ever since to make calls arranging a hookup for a motorcycle. So I am without communication to anyone except through Amanda's phone, which is the absolute suck. My appartment has a huge living room but really small rooms, so all our stuff has been strewn about since we have no furniture in which to stash it. So I'm off to go build some bookshelves at my dad's. P.P.S. - You really should email me these instead of making them publicly annonymous (oi, my spelling skills have been fried from summer school).

Damange control is a full-time job, especially when dealing with something as touchy as an disgruntled ex-girlfriend. I recently got a phone message in which she said she had seen Julia (my current girlfriend) and no longer wanted to speak with me ever again. So that's that.

Please close the window.

let not the light come to my room,

darkness is my forte.

let it not be disturbed...

let me not get killed

I have forgotten, what is it called?

yes, it is called the ray of hope.

How I love the four walls,

and the old door of gothic architecture...

the dampness all around me,

my life support system of scribbled papers and pencils...

my nudity,

the butts of rolled cigarettes,

the clock which is too weak to traverse time...

now let me keep quiet

the wind has always been kind to me...

Previous day

First post and explanation

Next day

Here, stranger, by all means please take my bike and do god knows what with it

So yesterday was a bit of an adventure.

We've started our project work, where we have to organize a community survey, perform it, gather the data and give a presentation in front of our class. It's a complicated group assignment that's going to take an enormous amount of my work, but I'm intrigued by the topic my group chose and I know very little about it, so I should be able to summon the will to crack down (I mean, besides all the homework I'm doing... geez but do they pile it on a little here).

We're going to be studying Japanese-Russian relations. Since Hokkaido is very near to Russia and many of the people who were exiled from the Kuril Islands when Russia took them over after World War II resettled in Hokkaido, Russia is more relevant here than in the rest of Japan. We'll be doing a questionnaire covering various aspect of Japanese-Russian relations and respondants opinions about the Kuril Islands issue and the fact that Russia and Japan still haven't officially ended World War II (they never signed a peace treaty).

Project work held me fairly late, so after that finished I decided to head for home. I got sidetracked by a shop selling t-shirts with really cute crosslingual Japanese puns (I bought one that has what looks like the Puma logo, but instead it says "Kuma" and has a grizzly bear where the puma should be. "Kuma" is the Japanese word for 'bear.') I can be pretty sure the shirt I bought isn't lame, because just as I came out a group of high school students stopped dead in front of the display window and started talking about awesome the Kuma shirt was and debated whether they should in to buy it or not. So there!

Anyway, when I came out, I found that the bike tire of my bike was completely flat. I was still a good hour's bike ride away from home, to say nothing of how long it would take me to walk the distance, so I figured it'd probably work best if I could get it fixed right away. Problem was, I haven't had a chance to explore the waterfront area of Hakodate yet, so I have no idea where anything is.

At this point though, I'm comfortable enough with my Japanese that I just walked into a 'police box' (this strange form of police outposts, I guess would be the best way to describe them) and asked one of the policeman if he knew where I could get my flat tire fixed. He pulled out a map and gave me directions in Japanese. They were fairly easy to follow, and I found the shop crowded with old bikes and all sorts of tools sitting next to a very old Shinto shrine stuffed into the corner of the block.

I entered the shop yelling, "Sumimasen!" but no one was there. A door from the back of the shop led to an apartment where a historical drama was playing on the TV, as I could see through the paper window, but no one responded when I knocked. I waited there for a while, tried to fill the tire up with a pump that was just sitting around in front of the shop to no avail, and was about to leave when an old woman rode up on a bicycle and asked if I needed help.

It turned out that she herself couldn't fix my bike, and her husband wouldn't be back for a little while. She asked how far away I lived and I explained that it was a quite a ways. So then she was like, "Well, why don't you leave your bike with us, I'll let you borrow this one," she pointed to one of the bikes in a row in front of the store, "and you can come back around this time tomorrow to return it."

I was so shocked by her generosity that I lost control of my Japanese and started stuttering through a mild refusal. It just seemed so way beyond what I could reasonably expect from her. She insisted though, and asked me a few questions about how long I'd studied Japanese and where I was from. She'd thought I was a Russian at first. After thanking her probably ten times or so in a row and bowing like mad, I took her bike and made it the rest of the way home.

Now, I know this wasn't some sort of normal Japanese excessive respect for the customer she was showing here, because when I told the story to my host mom she was like, "Ehhhhh?! She did what?! You're kidding!" My host dad was really surprised too.

I mean, all the worse that I was obviously a foreigner and I hadn't communicated my problem very fluently; she had every reason not to lend me a bike. I certainly didn't ask for it. I didn't even indicate it was any trouble that she couldn't fix it at that exact moment: she offered me the other bike before I'd quite understood that her husband wasn't going to be back for a while.

Man, gods bless generous, foreigner-tolerant people. Unfortunately, I'll have to miss an Igo class tomorrow in order to return her the bike, but it's worth it just to have experienced such unexpectedly kind treatment. Plus, I need to get pictures of that shrine. Crazy cool the way all these locales of concentrated mysticism are squeezed in to the middle of houses, apartments, shops and factories. It's homey in a wholey unfamiliar way.

Apollyon's Adventures in India

back to August 19, 2006

Embarrassment factor ten point five. I had just taken a remarkably good photo of Sanket and Deepti and I had to remark at how well it reflected how much they loved each other so close to an imminent departure for an indeterminate amount of time.
The tears hit the fan, and as we all know that is so much worse than anything else hitting it.
There was absolutely no way I could cheer her up so I went into full distraction mode. I ended up explaining how if life is so improbable as to be statistically impossible then there must be an entropy remover which could be attributed to (or actually be) 'God' and that the next major step in science must be to uncover the way energy 'likes' to be converted and whether this can explain why evolution happens. God is the source of all energy
Thank you philosophy degree, you’ve done it again!
She ended up laughing at the absurd approach and so I suppose it worked perfectly. It says in my journal 'why couldn't I have come up with something better?' but she later said that it struck a chord with her and that she would 'never forget it'. Deepti asked me many times what I was thinking at that exact moment and I always answered truthfully, I was normally trapped in a non-conversation with some Hindi speakers. She was quite used to my crazy theories by then. You know silly little things like trying to prove that it is morally wrong for someone who has never smoked to accept treatment for cancer from the NHS.

Sleeper busses make sleeper trains seem like first class on Cathay's Airlines. I have just had the worst journey of my life. I was shoved in a half width bunk with no safety support to stop you falling out. Sanket had to share with me. So did the luggage. If you lie on the floor squeeze your shoulders together so that both of your ears are warm screw your legs into a ball and then get your friend to nonchalantly elbow you in the kidneys every five seconds for nine hours you will have some idea what it was like. Oh also no toilet, so we had to stop all the time, and no air conditioning, so the window let in a Dyson’s worth of dust every half hour.

An open letter to railtrack:
Thank you so so much for your excellent service. Tickets are easy to buy, your lines are safe, and your trains are on time. I am so happy to be a loyal customer of yours. Sincerely, Apollyon.
P.s. The same goes for The Underground, Buses (even the bendy ones) and National Express coaches.

After that it was straight on to the Aganta caves. I slept sitting up for five hours on Vietnam era public buses. (why is it that every country has uncomfortable busses? In London the seats are too small and give me lower back pain but here they are built for Vietnam veterans, are too big, and give everyone but me neck ache from leaning forward)

My profound experiences at the Aganta cave system will be covered in a separate node.

I returned after doing about 20 hours of travelling in under 28 hours. I slept late and soon it was time to say goodbye to Jalgaon and to Sanket's parents for a second time.

forward to August 24, 2006

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