Boomer

I guess it’s about time I mention the latest and greatest, since it’s *seeming* like it might actually go somewhere. But if history is any indication, as soon as I feel like that might be so then shit will hit the fan and everything will crumble to pieces.

In any case, back in the early part of September I started talking to a gent I’ll call Boomer. We clicked pretty instantly. To the point where after exactly 8 days of talking, we both decided that I should go visit him in Dallas 6 weeks from that point while he is there for a couple of months to train for a new job.

And despite the fact that I’d never met him (and had no feasible possibility of meeting him beforehand since he lives over 1,000 miles from me as it is), had only talked to him for a little over a week, and was taking a gamble on booking a trip 6 weeks in the future when who knows if we’d still be talking then or whether one or both would lose interest…I figured, Sure, why not? Well, you know, probably because JAPAN…that’s why not. But when have I ever let common sense stop me?

Besides, I had a work situation brewing that was stressing me out, and this gave me something to focus on and look forward to while I was navigating through that maelstrom. A thin-skinned, idiotic, incompetent bastard of a superior had taken it upon himself to try to make my work life a living hell because he’s a buffoon, and it was taking its toll on me. (Imagine my delight when he got fired. Karma really is a bitch.)

Anyway, at least this endeavor would be way less pricey and way less travel time. And I booked my own separate room this time. I did learn SOMETHING.

Our original weekend was supposed to be November 2 – 4. But that was before he had even started the training and figured he’d be off on weekends for the most part. It turns out that wasn’t the case and in early October I actually had to adjust the trip because he’d be working that weekend. So we ended up moving it up to October 29 – 31. It worked out better that way anyway because I had originally booked a random-ish hotel since he didn’t know where he would be staying. The second time around I was able to book the same hotel. He did offer at that point for me to stay in his room with him, but I told him maybe for the first time around, this might be better so I don’t feel like I’m invading his space. (In reality, I just wanted my own room to be able to retreat to in case anything went sideways.) He was cool with that but said that he just felt like he should offer. That was sweet of him.

On October 29th I adjusted my work schedule so I could make an early afternoon flight and landed in Dallas a little before 4:00 pm. He had work that day and wasn’t sure when he’d get out, but he told me to text him when I landed and he’d possibly be able to pick me up from the airport. It turns out he was able to and so I walked right outside of the door and into his arms after retrieving my bag.

So cute! He looks better in person. Not so much in that he looks that different, but in that way that pictures don’t really do him justice, I should say. In pictures he actually looks kind of like a teenage boy in a way (he’s 39), but in person his face is definitely much more mature looking, even if still boyish. 6’4″, blonde hair, blue eyes. Handsome guy.

When we got to the hotel I got a room on the same floor and it just so happened we were just down the hall from each other, which worked out well in the end. He had mentioned in the car that he was going to “see me to my room so I can get settled” but I could tell in his tone it was actually more of a “so he can bang my brains out” kind of thing, and that’s exactly what happened. We step in and I put my bags down and before you know it we’re naked in bed. And that was totally okay with me.

We got 2 rounds of sex in and then I started unpacking and asking what was up for the night. He made dinner plans for us at an Italian place, so after a little bit of canoodling he left for his room to get ready and I showered and readied in mine (definitely where separate rooms came in handy).

I met him in his room and we drove to the restaurant and had a fabulous dinner. He picked a good spot. We got back to the hotel and decided to hit the hot tub. But not before we banged once again in my room when he walked me there so I could change into my swimsuit. I washed up and changed and met him back in his room, from where we proceeded out to the hot tub together with fresh drinks from the stash in his room. We sat out for a little while but it was pretty warm temperature wise so not the most comfy of hot tub experiences (I prefer when it’s cooler outside for the contrast). We soon decided our time might best be spent in the room, so we called it quits after 45 minutes or so. I changed into some silky night clothes I bought in green in his honor (favorite color) and we drank some more in his room before sexing ourselves to sleep.

The next morning started with a round of sex and then breakfast in the lobby. Then we just chilled around in his room for most of the morning. He was kind of doing his own thing trying to make arrangements to get his car fixed (he had gotten into a minor accident the week before). I let him be and lounged on the couch watching horrific reality shows that he later playfully made fun of me watching – like Catfish and Airplane Repo. But there were only so many channels, what’s a girl to do? (He drew the line at Maury, though.)

Even though there were intermittent spans of time where we’d sit in silence, it felt comfortable and natural. Not awkward. If he was on the couch with me I’d drape my legs over him or try to at least maintain some physical contact but I didn’t feel the need to run my mouth every second although there were moments where I would wonder if the silences are “natural” or if we just don’t have anything to talk about. It seemed more like the former.

These extended first dates can get kind of tricky because most first dates are only several hours at the most. In a situation like this where you’re going to be spending 48 straight hours with someone, it has to be expected that every single moment can’t be filled with conversation and activity. Being “On” for 48 straight hours would be exhausting. And that’s perfectly okay.

Around noon we ventured out to a barbecue spot for lunch and then he stopped at a bank to get cash out to fix his car. That night he had made us reservations at a Five Sixty,  a spot at the top of Dallas’ Reunion Tower, but dinner wasn’t until 8:30 pm so we spent most of the afternoon after lunch once again just shooting the breeze in his room. By late afternoon I had started drinking, and he joined in. We got a couple of rounds in before going to get ready. 

I dolled myself up and met up with him and we took an Uber to dinner, which was fabulous. Our waiter was awesome, which prompted me to ask for his manager at the end of the meal to tell the manager how much I enjoyed the meal and the waiter. I figure people are always quick to comment with complaints and dislikes, but we should remember to give praise when it is due as well.

We weren’t quite ready to call it a night at the end of dinner, but we decided to utilize the hotel bar for drinks in lieu of venturing elsewhere in the city. So we Ubered back to the hotel and had a couple of drinks in the lobby bar before going back up to his room and having sex on the floor. And then to bed we went.

On the 31st I had to check out of my room, but my flight wasn’t until the early evening, so when I woke up I went to my room to pack my things and haul everything back to Boomer’s room. Then I checked out and thus his room was my domicile for the remainder. We ate breakfast in the lobby again and then he firmed up plans for getting his car fixed, which his brother-in-law (sister’s husband) was helping with. Luckily for him I was there because he ended up putting me to work. Close to lunch time we drove to Enterprise so he could pick up a rental. We left there for a brief lunch and then drove back to Enterprise so I could retrieve his car and drive it to the car repair shop (about 30 minutes away) with him in the rental.

I must admit, I was slightly nervous to drive his car because it’s bigger than my own, I’m on unfamiliar territory (a different state, no less), and it was raining cats and dogs and there were accidents and backups everywhere once we hit the highway. My GPS was a champ and eventually redirected me from the highway we were on due to an extreme backup. Boomer called and asked where I was going and I told him the highway looked totally blocked and that he should get off too. I actually ended up beating him to the place by 5 minutes or so, with car in tact. I had a minor occurrence of skidding at one point on the highway but it was easily brought back under control. It just shook me up a little bit because I figure it would not make so much of a good impression if I crashed his car. On the way for it to get fixed.

He met me at the place, made the arrangements for his car, and then we went back to the hotel and just chilled out watching TV for the 2 hours or so we had left. Around 3 pm we left for the airport so I could make my 5 pm flight. He thanked me for coming out and we kissed goodbye.

And there officially began the period of “Will I hear from him or won’t I?” “Did he like me or will I get the ‘Thanks but no thanks’?”

To date, it seems like all is normal. We’ve been talking pretty normally and we’ve tenuously alluded to me coming to visit him when he gets back home, but nothing is set in stone yet.

But we shall see.

Southern Scouting Adventures

This past Saturday I found myself waking up to a 3 a.m. alarm, showering, throwing some things into an overnight bag, and driving an hour to an airport to catch a 7 a.m. flight to Atlanta for an impromptu (as in finalized on Wednesday) overnight rendezvous with Scout.

Several weeks ago when he came to see me and we went out for a few drinks, he mentioned he was going to Atlanta in several weeks to see one of his childhood buddies – Al – and said that I should come. Given that he had been drinking and I didn’t hear anything about it for a while, I couldn’t be sure how serious he was or wasn’t about it so I didn’t press the issue.

He was away the week before last on a family cruise during which time Tyra hit me up to ask if I could pass her number along to him for a work-related matter of discussion. I told her he was away but that I’d be sure to touch base with him once he was back. (Admittedly, I wasn’t really 100% comfortable with offline interactions between them taking place, but I eventually bit the bullet and did as she asked – it was a legitimate work matter, after all. He was warned though, “playfully,” that no shenanigans had better take place behind my back.)

Then that Friday afternoon shortly before I left work, Tyra hit me up again to see if I wanted to get drinks after. I did. We met up and were out half the night. I made sure to capture a picture of us to tease Scout with once he was back, of course. I’ve seen her in passing and we’ve texted here and there, but I  hadn’t hung out with her  since the night of the threesome, so I knew he’d get a kick out of that.

When Scout made contact last Monday, freshly back from his cruise, I regaled him with the picture of me and Tyra during our outing. He was sorry he missed out, of course, but not long after brought up Atlanta again by suggesting that we both meet him there  on Saturday night. Tyra couldn’t make it (not that I really wanted her to – but I did ask for the sake of carrying it honestly), but I said I’d be down for it.

The only problem was that Scout could only fit me in for one night. Given the last minute nature of it, the flights weren’t running cheap so I would rather have stayed two nights to get my money’s worth. However, he and Al had obligations with other people that would not so much have been cool with Scout’s “hot girlfriend” (as he put it), so he was only able to clear the way for me for one night, so c’est la vie.  The flight was the only cost I needed to incur at least, as we were going to be staying at Al’s place and Scout promised that I wouldn’t have to spend a penny once I got down there.

So there I was at 7 a.m. Saturday morning on a flight to Atlanta to spend the day/night with my married lover and one of his best friends. That’s…different.

Scout and I had only spent one night together before this. That was back in September – a week before I went to Japan, coincidentally. He went to the beach for the weekend with some military buddies, and while he was originally supposed to head home Sunday night, he said he’d keep the hotel for another night if I’d make the drive to see him. So I did. Sex, football, food, and more sex ensued. As well as my first bout with the morning after pill. Fun times. In any case, I learned from that experience that Scout and I could stand the company of one another other for at least 16 hours, so I figured adding on another 8 wouldn’t be so bad. It was only the unknown factor of Al being thrown into the mix that made me somewhat nervous.

I landed in Atlanta a little before 9 a.m. Scout was there to pick me up not long after, his 6’2″, 220-pound frame squeezed into Al’s tiny 2-door Toyota Yaris, which was quite the spectacle. I hadn’t ingested anything yet but a 0-calorie Monster energy drink on the way to the airport so breakfast was the most immediate priority. Scout considerately asked if I would rather it be just us or if I wanted Al to tag along, but I was having none of that alone business…I would have to meet Al eventually and I didn’t want Scout to feel like he couldn’t include Al in our activities, or for Al himself to feel left out, so he stopped back at Al’s to pick him up and we made our way to a diner not far from his place.

They really are kind of opposites, which adds a unique dynamic to the friendship, I suppose. Scout is a muscular, salt-and-pepper crew-cut sporting, gun-toting Republican ex-Marine, while Al, whom Scout lovingly described as his “hippie, liberal friend,” is a soft-bodied, black shaggy-haired glasses-wearing Chess geek.  And I liked him immediately. We warmed up to each other pretty quickly over breakfast which assuaged my nervousness a lot.

After breakfast (complete with a couple of mimosas for me), we went back to Al’s place where I continued my day drinking with a beer and Scout looked up the particulars of a waxing place he wanted to take me to. The day before I had a horrific experience with my regular place at home which kind of bummed me out because now I need to make some other arrangements to keep myself groomed on the regular.

Long story short:  I was 10 minutes late for my appointment due to rush hour (I normally go on weekends but wanted to be freshly groomed for Atlanta) and they told me they couldn’t see me that day once I arrived. I was not a happy camper with this “policy” that seemed to spring up out of nowhere, plus the fact that the 20 minutes left in my appointment block would have been MORE THAN ENOUGH time to get me in and out. My girl was more than happy to accommodate me, as I’ve been a faithful customer of hers (and hence, the establishment) for a year and a half now, but the owner and the receptionist were such bitches about it that it turned me off and I walked out.And that was that.

Which is just as well since I’ve been considering getting a consultation for laser hair removal for a while now after pondering the pointlessness of waxing. I pay 50-ish dollars a pop every 5 weeks to rip hair off my bikini area that only ends up growing back. It’d definitely be more fiscally intelligent to invest in a permanent solution instead of throwing away money waxing endlessly. So here is my opportunity.

Anyway, I had briefly touched on that experience to Scout the night before, and he later asked out of the blue  if I had ever tried brazilian “sugaring.” I’d heard of it, but never tried it, and he said that he had an activity in mind for me the next day. So back at Al’s we were able to get a 3 p.m. appointment.

During this initial time at Al’s place, I noted that Scout put his hand affectionately on my thigh while he was sitting next to me on the couch. I found that gesture remarkable firstly because this is the rare chance that he has been able to let his guard down with me when there are other people around. Otherwise he has never really had the opportunity to express physical affection with me outside of touching me when we are engaged in either pre- or post-coital activity. As such, I never really had a real chance to assess whether he is an affectionate person or not. That simple gesture answered my question.

Secondly, I was a little nervous about how the vibe would be with Al around. As it happens, Al is actually dating the best friend of Scout’s wife, and obviously seriously so because he’s in the process of moving out of state to move in with her. So him not only having knowledge of, but even being complicit with Scout’s infidelity necessitates a certain level of secrecy and deceit within his own relationship so as not to cause problems for Scout. So I’m not only Scout’s secret at this point, I’ve become Al’s secret as well, as this excursion would definitely be something he has to keep from his own girlfriend.

So even though Scout made it clear that he trusted Al wholeheartedly, I was nervous about that whole dynamic. Would Al feel uncomfortable around me/us? Would Scout keep me at arm’s length around Al just like he does when we’re around other people we know? Would there be any awkwardness?

No, no, and no. The fact that Scout felt comfortable being affectionate with me around Al spoke volumes about the level of trust and comfort he feels within their friendship, and that realization helped to set me even more at ease. We were safe there. We could be ourselves.

Eventually Al started rattling off suggestions for things we could do before it was time for my appointment. We all decided that the High Museum of Art sounded like a safe bet, so off we went. I’ve only been to Atlanta once, when I was 5 or so. I barely remember anything about it from then so it was nice to take in the sights and energy of new surroundings. Scout was gracious enough to let me sit in the front seat while Al drove so I could easily observe the passing scenery as we went. Atlanta is a really beautiful, green, city in some parts.

The museum was interesting. I can’t remember the last time I’ve been to one, but I guess, given the nature of my visit, something “different” was definitely in order. Not that I don’t like them or am generally opposed, because I love art and culture, but it’s just not something I’d ordinarily take it upon myself to do on my own.

One particular favorite..a painting I thought was a photograph at first with the exquisite detail:

EstesSupremeHardware1974
Richard Estes – Supreme Hardware, 1974

After the museum we journeyed to the waxing salon. With the events of the day before at my home salon still fresh in my head, I was glad to be 20 minutes early. Accompanying male figures weren’t welcome to linger around the waiting area, so Al and Scout dropped me off and went on to find some other way to amuse themselves, but not before Scout handed me a $100.00 bill and told me he was treating me. I kind of figured he was going to do that since it was his idea in the first place, but it was still a nice half-surprise.

I’d never done the sugaring thing. It’s supposed to be slightly less painful and less irritating to the skin than wax, but to me, at least in feeling/pain level, there was no big difference between that and regular waxing. I can’t really tell if my skin is less irritated or not after the one occasion. Either way, it got the job done. And it was Scout’s gift to me, so if he likes it, I love it.

They obviously hadn’t ventured far because they were back to retrieve me within minutes of me texting Scout t0 let him know I was done (and in 20 minutes, so SCREW YOU to my former salon) and we went back to Al’s where he laid out a spread of cheese (first time having manchego – yum), crackers, salami, chips, and salsa, and we chilled out for a little while. I partook in more beer and this time around Scout joined in as well. Al has to refrain from drinking for the most part  due to health ailments, so he stuck to water. We sat around talking for a bit. Al and I bonded over our mutual love and ownership of cats (his was already stationed in his new home, thank goodness, because Scout is allergic) and we contemplated what we wanted to do with the evening and night.

When I talked to Scout the night before, he said they were at a bar playing some golf arcade game that they make a point of playing every year during his visit. It sounded entertaining, so I said I definitely wanted to try that out and then afterward the general plan was to grab dinner and then find a chill bar to close out the night. They both showered, I refreshed my makeup, and we went to hit the town.

I got my ass kicked by both of them in the golf game, but it was fun. From there we went to a place called Murphy’s for a fabulous dinner, and then right around the way to a cool little bar that the Murphy’s waitress had suggested. This is where I was able to pry some more stories out of Al about a young Scout, who sounded like a bit of a hell-raiser with some of his adolescent antics. It was interesting to observe their interactions and conversations then and over the course of the day – there is obviously a strong bond there forged through over 30 years of  history and friendship, though the odd couple they may be.

As it was nearing 11 p.m. my energy started to wane. I’d been up for 20 straight hours at that point, and even the little bit of sleep I did get Friday night was only about 3 hours’ worth. I started dozing somewhat at the table, so we decided to call it a night and retire back to Al’s place to drink there. But I didn’t get more than half a beer in before dozing off some more on Al’s couch and spilling some of it on myself, so at that point I decided it was time for bed. But not before Scout took my fresh brazilian for a spin. Only this time there was no time limit – he didn’t have to jump up and shower and leave by 2 a.m. and I got to sleep in his arms.

The next morning I was back at the airport at 8 a.m. kissing him goodbye and headed back for home. Quickest vacation ever, but it was worth it. It was an occasion of positive firsts: Our first time engaging in daytime activities together. Our first time hanging out with one of his friends. Our first time having a sit-down dinner together (bar food doesn’t count).

And I guess I consider it flattering, and maybe even kind of validating of my importance to him, that he would have me meet one of his best friends. As I said previously, I was a little afraid the experience might be awkward with me being the secret mistress and/or Al possibly feeling like a third wheel, but it wasn’t at all. As Al is leaving Atlanta to move in with Scout’s wife’s bff, it was actually their “last hurrah” of sorts, and I got to be apart of it. Al is really nice guy and I enjoyed the chance to meet him and to interact with such a pertinent part of Scout’s life, history, and development. Through getting to know Al, I feel like I got to know Scout a little better. The kinds of friends people choose are very telling.

Most importantly, I found out Scout’s biggest secret of all: He’s actually a big sweetheart. Not that I ever had reason to think he’s not…he’s never been a dick to me and we’ve always gotten along well…but our situation has always been on the one-dimensional side, given the inherent limitations. He comes over in the later hours of the night, we may or may not chill for a little while before we have sex, we cuddle for a while after, then he has to shower and leave. On occasion I’ll see him out at events for colleagues or we will sneak out to a bar together, and we had the beach rendezvous that time, but other than that we typically have to shy away from the public eye…we can’t really “date” freely. So being away from out native land together where we CAN interact and express ourselves freely in public without being wary of who’s watching or might see gave us the opportunity to behave more like a normal couple. And he treated me like a princess. It was wonderful.

He even seemed to get somewhat wistful at points, expressing surprise at how long we’ve been involved now – a year and a half – and asking if I ever imagined when we first met that we’d be one day sitting where we are – in his best friend’s place in Atlanta. That it would get this…deep, basically.

And I didn’t. I never imagined it would last this long or that he would become such a steadfast factor in my life. He’s one of my best friends. I trust him. He obviously trusts me. I love him. He more than likely loves me. But we’ve never said anything like that to each other and it’s probably best that we don’t because those kind of sentiments would only be dangerous. But I hope he knows.

Japan – Day 2

Day 1

I woke up on the early-ish side to a bright, sunny, glorious day. I was momentarily taken aback to open my eyes to a room that was not my own, and then it suddenly hit me: I’m in Japan. Reed was still asleep; I let him be because I wanted him to rest and I really didn’t know what his routine was. Besides, I wanted to get the chance to primp and look my best without him being privy to all my beauty secrets. It’s a girl thing. I showered and dressed and made myself up and then kind of just waltzed around the house on my own, exploring some.

When Reed eventually awakened and got his morning hygiene routine going, I took the opportunity to venture outside and check out the neighborhood some in the daylight. His house was about 30 feet away from some train tracks that brought a train rumbling through a couple of times or so an hour, but it wasn’t particularly loud or disturbing, thank goodness. Seemed to be a pretty decent neighborhood. Clean and quiet and scenic.

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The tracks.

 

Japan2
Cute houses in the hills.

I only had a vague idea of what the plan for the day was. I knew we were going to Osaka, but I wasn’t really clear on how far away it was or how long we were staying. I learned last minute that it was several hours away by train ride and we’d be staying overnight, so I had to hurriedly pack. Part of me was not so keen on having to do any heavy traveling again being barely half a day removed from a 12-hour flight, but I set my feelings aside in the spirit of going with the flow.

My spirits lifted exponentially once I saw that Reed came out of the house holding a beer for himself and a chu-hi for me, properly equipped with koozies. A chu-hi is a Japanese flavored malt beverage drink very similar to the American Four Loko. That told me he was in the mood to relax and chill out and make a whimsical adventure of our journey at least, so that put me in a better mood. One great thing about Japan, among the plethora of great things, is that public alcohol consumption is not illegal, and thus we were free to comfortably partake in our respective beverages along our half-mile journey to the train station.

A chu-hi.
A chu-hi.

Reed was delightful in showing me the ropes in navigating the Japanese metro system. I suppose it’s pretty standard issue despite being in a foreign country, but I’ve not taken public transportation much since my high school and college days so I’m pretty much a novice at it. We had to take a couple of metro trains until we finally arrived at the station which housed the bullet train, or shinkansen. There, Reed secured us 2 tickets for the train that would take us to Osaka. I later found out they were a plenty hefty price – I think they were a little over $100 U.S. dollars a piece, which he graciously paid for without mention. I told him I’d pay for them on the return trip.

The bullet train was a pleasant experience. It was a 3+ hour trip, so that gave Reed and I chance to connect some and I got to see some beautiful Japan scenery.  The seats were comfy and a cart came around every so often filled to the brim with snacks and chu-his. We had our fill of alcohol along the way, but it wasn’t to the point of drunkenness…just a giddy tipsiness.

Once we arrived to our destination station and disembarked, I think we had to take one more normal metro to get us within walking distance of the hotel. Or perhaps we were already within walking distance of the hotel as it is. I can’t remember.

In any case, we arrived and checked in to the lovely Cross Hotel Osaka. I had absolutely no input into the hotel selection process, which didn’t bother me a bit as I’m not astoundingly picky when it comes to accommodations, but Reed made a good call. I always especially enjoy boutique hotels as opposed to the ubiquitous chain. Boutique hotels have character. And Cross Hotel Osaka was all about character – it wasn’t particularly bright and smiley and inviting…it was dark and moody and atmospheric. It was almost a little scary, with its black walls and blood red striping on the doors in the hallways. Something different though, at least.

CrossHotel
Cross Hotel Osaka – our hallway.

It was mid- to late-afternoon at this point. Reed and I got to our room and settled and then chilled out a bit while we decided what to do for the evening. Dinner was definitely markered in on our agenda for some time later in the night, but to whet our appetites beforehand we decided to head to a bar or something to continue getting our drink on and maybe a snack.  In the meantime we were just lying together on the bed talking and having not a problem in the world. Great day so far.

Until I jokingly made reference to an incident involving a Chinese fighter jet toying with a U.S. plane. And yeah, I  made it in an impish sort of way to pick at Reed the Navy pilot, i.e. in a manner as to suggest that the U.S. military got punked by the Chinese military, but in a completely light-hearted way.

Well, Reed took serious offense to my comment to the extent where he snapped at me very abrasively. I don’t remember exactly what his initial comment was, but he went off on a rant about how I don’t know what I’m talking about and I don’t know anything about the U.S. military.

Hmmmkay.

Well that caught me off guard because that was the first time that he had ever been mean to me. Scathingly, willfully mean. It hurt my feelings and it’s not my normal style, but it was within hours of being my time of the month and he was being a first-class prick, so I got a little teary-eyed. I didn’t, like, start boo-hooing or anything, but that did sting me a little.

I apologized, turned away from him, and then we sat in awkward silence for a little while as he looked up local bars. He kind of thought out loud at some points as if he wanted feedback, and I would give him short answers that I’m sure made it clear that I wasn’t really in the mood to talk with him. At one point he DID actually make a half-ass apology, but I didn’t really wanna hear it at that point and I made it known. Which never helps matters because at this point I’m just tossing the volley back at him when he was trying to make amends, but again, IT WAS ALMOST MY TIME OF THE MONTH AND I AM ALLOWED TO BE SALTY FOR AS LONG AS I WANT!

But I would never let a sour attitude get in the way of drinking, so once he found a place he was satisfied with and figured out how to get there and was ready to go, I dutifully followed him out of the hotel and we embarked on probably the quietest, most awkward 10-minute walk that has ever taken place in the world. Very physically together; very mentally distant. And it showed, as he walked slightly ahead of me most of the way and I lagged behind. But again, to his credit, he would make intermittent efforts to communicate on the way – like pointing things out to me about our surroundings.

It wasn’t long before the bar was in sight and I felt a sense of relief at the opportunity to be around the energy of other people that would help to dilute the tension between Reed and I. Success!

Or not. The bar wasn’t open yet. We were like 12 minutes too early. Round 2 of forced-company awkwardness as we stood on the street looking dumb waiting for the bar to open. Not speaking, not making eye contact – like strangers.

This episode lasted until Reed made some comment on something or other and I replied back that I’m actually not stupid, which he never actually said to me, but I guess that’s just how his mini-tirade made me feel for some reason. He came over to me, stood right in front of me and explained that he never said I was stupid and then apologized again and gave me a kiss. Aw.

We debriefed each other right after on why this became a “thing” – the moral of that story was that Reed takes it severely personally when he thinks anyone is trash-talking the American military. Duly noted. Very Type-A, prima donna-ish characteristics that I guess I should’ve expected from a Navy pilot and been careful about.

After that, all was well. We let bygones be bygones and by that time the bar had opened and so lots of ingestion of alcohol ensued. I can’t remember if we ate anything there or not, but we had several rounds of drinks and did a shot or two. I got pretty inebriated, so exactly when we left is a mystery to me, but I know that Reed had selected a restaurant within walking distance that he wanted to go to and we were headed there. Only…he had trouble finding it. Most likely because was drunk. And maybe a little bit too that it was his first time in Osaka, but probably more so because he was drunk.

Osaka
Osaka!

But we had not a care in the world because we were drunkenly meandering around the neon-lit streets of Osaka together, giggling away when each successive person we tried to have direct us to this restaurant didn’t really seem to know what we were talking about or where this place was. We pressed on for a little while despite the odds, but then eventually hunger got the best of us and we decided to head into another random restaurant we happened past.

It turned out to be a yakiniku restaurant. There was a small grill pit in the center of the table, and the servers brought out bite-sized portions of raw meats of our choosing, along with various chopped vegetables and rice, and we grilled them right there at the table. Reed took care of all the grilling, and the result was absolute delectable-ness.

After that we made our way to another bar…God knows where because I was intoxicated and know nothing about Osaka but it was all within walking distance. We weren’t there for too long though because eventually I started feeling worn down and suggested we head back to the hotel. There, we secured ourselves a couple more chu-his from the lobby area or wherever and then returned to the room for a little more drinking and a little more sex. And passed out. The end.

Day 2.5