Japan – Day 4

Day 3

It might be about time I finish the story of this disastrous trip. It’s only been over 3 years at this point. So, Day 4…

I woke up on what looked to be an auspicious, sunny day to find Reed in his flight suit and getting ready for work. This was the one day he couldn’t get out of working because he had to go in to train.

Now, before my visit when we had discussed this particular day, he told me I was free to hang around the house, or he could instruct me on how to get around on the train so I could get out of the house while he was gone…whatever I wanted to do.

As we were discussing it that morning, he was telling me about some shopping center that he thought I might like that was one train stop away from the train station nearest his house.

I followed him downstairs while he fixed his coffee or whatever to get more detailed instructions about how to get to it, as I was a little intimidated trying to take on a solo adventure. My previous international adventures involved English-speaking or Spanish-speaking countries where even though I might not be fluent (in the case of Spanish), I can still read and speak it a little bit. Or pretty much decipher any unknowns more accurately in any Latin-based language as opposed to Japanese.

As I asked him questions to make sure I understood everything he was telling me accurately, I could sense some irritation on his end. He was clearly annoyed with me. I asked him what was wrong and he snapped that I was asking him too many questions.

Oooookay…here we go with this shit again.

Having grown increasingly tired of his moodiness and snark over the past several days – these random bouts of attitude for seemingly no reason – I finally just had it up to *here* and asked him what the fuck his problem is.

The conversation that ensued was not a good one. He basically told me that he didn’t see this going anywhere because even when he got back to the US, he would still be 2,000 miles away from me. (Okay, we knew this beforehand.)

Oh! And apparently I looked “bigger” in person than in my pictures. Ummm…what?

One thing I do not do, and have never done, is catfish, kitten-fish, fat-fish, or what have you. I sent Reed selfies, videos, sugar, spice, and everything nice showing exactly what I looked like. So I was very taken aback by that comment. Granted, I was about 15 pounds heavier then than I am now, but now I’m thinner thanks to the subsequent complex that that very comment gave me. So maybe some good came out of it.

Soon enough though, after a bit of back and forth, we got down to the real crux of the issue: Reed’s ex.

As it turned out (and maybe I should’ve ascertained this before going halfway around the world – will be good to know for next time), Reed had broken up with some Marine Corps girl in May of that year. He hadn’t really been home a lot in the time since then and my visit, and in preparing for me to come, it was the first time he had the chance to clean out the remnants of her belongings from his house. That apparently brought up some residual feelings.

Ah…so that explains his apparent aggravation with my very presence that had been rearing its ugly head intermittently throughout our time together: he still has feelings for his ex and I’m not her. And in learning later what she looked like, his “big” comment made a little more sense too. She was very lanky. But frankly, not pretty at all. An awkward looking redhead with a big nose. But hey, if that’s what you’re into, then who am I to judge?

Soon after this conversation with all of its horrid revelations, Reed had to go to work. Suddenly, funnily enough, I didn’t feel like going anywhere so I resigned myself to a day of lounging on the couch, drinking Chu-His, and thinking about where exactly things went awry in my life to find myself in a foreign country in the house of a man who apparently didn’t want me there.

Though Reed had departed on tense terms, he eventually started texting me on Line throughout the day to check on me and see what I was doing.

He came home that evening with a bottle of wine for me, seemingly in the spirit of being conciliatory. I thought that was sweet of him.

That night, the plan was to go to his favorite neighborhood sushi spot where he was tight with the owner. Reed grabbed a bottle of Tullamore D.E.W. to present to the owner and we set off for the place, which was a 10-minute walk from his house. Despite the events of that morning, the atmosphere between us was normal and pleasant. No tension, no arguing. Neither of us brought anything up.

We got to the spot and were sat by the owner, who then proceeded to regale us with plate after plate of the most exquisite sushi I’ve ever had in my life, to include squid and whale varieties, which I had never had before.

Reed had made plans with one of his squadron mates to meet him there, and he did after a little bit. This appeared to be a place that his squadron frequented, as the owner had up various illustrations and pictures of jets that were signed by what I’m assuming are some of the pilots. The owner was very pleasant and his sushi was fantastic. Reed’s colleague was nice and I had a good time.

The owner delighted in the bottle of Tullamore D.E.W. that Reed brought and partook in a bit of it, but the majority was actually polished off by Reed himself. After we were done with sushi, the three of us headed over to a bar around the corner where we were supposed to meet up with his squadron mate’s girlfriend, but she ended up not coming.

Reed was drunk by then and only got drunker at the bar. But at least he was being nice. The only time he kind of snapped at me was when I could not stop being fascinated with a jar in the style of a Japanese cat sitting on the bar. He told me if I liked it all that much he would just buy it for me, but in a tone that suggested that he was tired of me being googly-eyed over it. But he made up for that by making me laugh by miming the pose of the cat repeatedly.

Reed was pissy drunk by the time we left and the walk back to his house was quite harrowing, especially with him stumbling and almost falling on the train tracks across from his house. Which a train travels along every 10 minutes or so. I was scared I would have to drag him across the tracks if he fell. But he managed to make it back to his house in all his drunken glory and we both passed out.

All-in-all, despite the events of that morning, it was a decent night and I had a good time.

Japan – Day 3

Day 2.5

So where we last left off, I had just come back from my impromptu late night jaunt with a complete stranger while Reed slept peacefully and probably never even knew I was gone. It was approaching daylight by the time I was back and I wasn’t tired so I figured I’d just get ready for the day so the bathroom would be free for him whenever he woke up.

When he did, I think I mentioned that I went out for a little bit but I don’t recall telling him the extent of my adventure.

Our plans for the day were to first get some breakfast and then to take a tour of some old castle he wanted to go to before we left Osaka.

We went downstairs to in the hotel to eat and while things were quiet I tried to make a joke of the night before, how we were really drunk and wandering around trying to find the restaurant that we never did. It was supposed to be in a “ha ha, wasn’t that hilarious?” kind of way. He completely failed to acknowledge me when I said it though, and it was in such a way that I knew that he was pointedly ignoring me. So I said it again.

He responded with, “WHAT, ARE YOU TRYING TO MAKE FUN OF ME BECAUSE I DIDN’T KNOW WHERE I WAS GOING?!”

Oh, good Lord.

No, Reed, I explained, I was not making fun of you…we were both drunk and had no idea where we were. I just thought it was funny. That’s all. Excuse me for breathing.

The rest of the breakfast was eaten in pretty much an awkward silence akin to the walk to the bar the day before.

When we were done eating we went to check out and to have the front desk hold our bags until we got back from the castle.

I truly forget if we had to take a train one stop or two, or if it was walking distance, but we got there successfully and by the time we were on the path in, he had apologized for being a dick at breakfast. But it was already becoming apparent by these sensitive outbursts of his that something was seriously awry here.

Anyway, pics from the castle…

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What’s a castle without a moat?

It was pretty much like a museum inside, with cool artifacts and what not.

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Osaka Castle history, for anyone interested.
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Mr. Sensitive

We stopped at a restaurant to have lunch afterward and then when we were done we retrieved our bags from the hotel and got back to the bullet train for the 2 or 3 hour or whatever it was journey back to Tokyo. I fell asleep for most of it.

We got back to his house without incident and he fixed us a frozen pizza for dinner. We were both beat and he had to work the next day, so sleep came pretty easily for both of us.

And thus concludes Day 3.

Day 4

And The Others…

Well there’s Scout, and then there are all the rest of them…

The Wiley situation isn’t quite deceased yet, but it is on life support. His birthday was actually that same week after we had our minor tiff. I oscillated mentally between whether I wanted to wish him a happy birthday or not but in the end I decided it’d be rude of me not to, so I did. He thanked me and that was the extent of that conversation.

A few days after that, after I’d gotten his birthday gift prettily boxed, I took a picture of it and texted it to him, to which he did not respond. That was discouraging, but no worries, because the things I got are not so much for him as they are for “us”…I figured it was way too early and we were way too much of a malleable thing for me to get him something personal, but I did want to acknowledge his birthday with something tangible being as at least at the time, the situation seemed semi-promising. But in the event that it suddenly did go south I didn’t want to be stuck with an abandoned gift that was too personalized to give to anyone else, so this is naughty stuff I can use with anyone. And when he didn’t answer I figured that’d probably end up being the case.

I gave it another whirl the Sunday before last. I realized that that past weekend he would’ve been busy with the then-upcoming Republican National Convention, and that that Monday started the Democratic National Convention, so I’m sure he was still embroiled in a whirlwind of political mayhem, but I wanted to at least maintain the lines of communication…to at least make an effort on my end not to let it “die by neglect,” as he had remarked once. So I simply texted him saying I hope all is well. Nothing again.

Blah. At that point, with 2 non-responses in the bucket over the course of a week I figured the writing was on the wall – we’re done. And I wasn’t really that sad about it. It is what it is…I liked him, but we hadn’t had the chance to really heat up to the point where his exit would cause me any significant distress. It was more of in the sense that I really don’t like to lose at anything.

Yet Wiley once again randomly quelled all suspicions and fears when he texted me out of the blue that Monday night with a picture of what I assume was his view of Michelle Obama at the Democratic National Convention. I sent a smiley back, figuring he probably wouldn’t respond that night given his obvious location. I was hoping maybe he would on Tuesday, but nope. Later in the week with nothing better to do, I took a quick selfie of me lying in bed (PG-13ish) and sent it to him. Nothing as of yet. The conventions are long over, so at this point I have no idea.

Making the effort to reach out with the picture demonstrated that he was making an valiant effort to stay on the radar – or so I thought. As we haven’t talked in a couple of weeks I’m not exactly sure what his schedule was supposed to be post-conventions. He’d mentioned vacations and family activities up until the second week of August, so I guess we’ll see when the time comes if I hear from him or not.

In other news, I seemed to have caught a coworker’s interest as a result of some drunken antics some weeks back when I made some alcohol-induced romantic overtures and thus opened a door I’m not sure I really wanted to open. I’ve known Manny for a while as a colleague. He’s nice and I guess I’d say attractive though not exactly swoon-worthy, but I don’t really feel a strong romantic interest. He’s trying though. He invited me to go to a wine festival with him 3 Sundays ago, and when we talked about it the day before I said I was in, but I didn’t really want him monopolizing my whole Sunday so I feigned illness early the next morning. Mean – I know. Since then he has offered to cook me dinner via text and I’ve seen him out and he’s mentioned going out to dinner and all that. This past Saturday he texted asking if I wanted to plan something for Sunday, but I blew him off and said maybe next week. He didn’t answer. Eh.

Let’s see…Elliot and I have been moderately communicative lately. I hadn’t talked to him for a while when several weeks ago he texted me about something work-related and from there somehow over the course of some days we delved into sexual territory. And I’d say over the course of the weeks since then we’ve spoken about a litany of subjects – a lot of work and politics – and that he seems generally like he’s making a moderate effort to not be so wishy-washy with his responses. He still sometimes drops off the face of the earth during a conversation, but there were a couple of times he actually seemed apologetic about not answering due to work and what not. So it’s a mix, but I do generally think we’ve reached a happy medium where it’s clear we are attracted to each other but I guess with his girlfriend or whatever is going on there, nothing’s going to happen on that front at this time. But I really like talking to him and we mesh very well in our political and general philosophies so I’m satisfied with having him as a sounding board of sorts when I want to talk about certain things.

I actually happened to see him in passing at work last week (Monday), which was the first time we’d crossed paths since the Memorial Day 5K we ran. I had to retrieve something from my car in the garage, but ran into someone else I know right outside the door of the building and was making idle chit chat when Elliot comes out with some other coworkers. He saw me and greeted me and then went on his way. But then it turned out that the area where my car was actually an area he was venturing to as well; when I saw him down that way again with his crew I made sure to play it smooth and not even acknowledge him again or look in his direction. When I got what I needed and was walking off, he made a point of saying something to me and sucking me into conversation with he and the other coworkers for a couple of minutes. And hence I was glad I wore a cute dress to work that day and generally looked pretty hot – for exactly potential moments like those.

What’s interesting is that there is a work conference coming up in two weeks that he and I will both be in attendance at, among other colleagues and other general industry professionals. It involves several nights of a hotel stay, so we shall see if any new developments arise from that.

There had been little-to-no activity on the Tinder front lately on my part, but I’ve done some swiping recently. I had turned off all notifications from pushing through to my phone because they were annoying me, so I had no idea when people were writing to me back or when I was getting matches or what have you until I took the time to open the app. I lost a few people from the neglect, but whatevs. I turned notifications for messages back on at least for now, until it starts irritating me again. Taking it with a grain of salt, as usual.

There was one recent blast from the past that popped up out of the blue. He was a Navy sailor I matched with around the middle of last summer when I went to Virginia Beach the first time, but we didn’t start talking until after I had left already. But we seemed to connect and he was the front-runner there for a little bit, to the point where when he deployed he gave me his ship email address and we exchanged emails for a little while until his contact started getting more and more sporadic. I called him on it and he seemed to give some BS excuse so I wrote him off. He reestablished contact at some point while I was already Reed-crazy, but when I told him the deal he shoved off again. I hit him up after the disaster that was Japan to kind of test the waters but he didn’t seem very interested. Oh well.

Last week I got a text from a random number and it was him. He was disappointed  when he found that I didn’t have his number in my phone any longer. Why would I? I’m not in the habit of keeping phone numbers in my phone for the sake of having them if I don’t expect to talk to someone again – double that for someone I’ve never even met. He said he had just been going through his contacts when my name popped up and he wanted to say hi. His real intention seemed to be letting me know that he’d be in my neck of the woods later this year. Cordial conversation, but I wasn’t really that eager. I wasn’t rude or terse, but I didn’t go out of my way to be particularly flirtatious and perhaps he picked up on that because I haven’t heard from him since even though the conversation was left pretty open-ended. I did add him back to my contacts though.

This guy Chester and I still talk sporadically. Despite our humble Tinder beginnings never translating into nothing much beyond a few hookups, we’ve remained in contact and are maybe even sort of friends. He mostly only texts me when he seems to be in a randy sort of mood, but here and there he will make normal innocuous contact to check up on me. I actually would hook up with him again if he wanted to make the effort to plan a night instead of his pattern of impromptu hinting or overt requests for me to come over. He lives 40 minutes from me, so I’m never really keen on putting in that much effort for just an old-news hookup.

Then there’s a guy from work who has come sniffing around out of the blue just yesterday. I met him last week at an evening work event – don’t recall ever seeing him before prior to that. I was sitting at a table talking to an acquaintance and he sat down to converse with said acquaintance as well. But when he first sat down I picked up on the several glances he shot my way in that whole looking-but-trying-not-to-be-obvious sort of way. We made idle chit chat as a trio and then as more people sat and joined off an on; I thought he was pretty cute and interesting but he mentioned a girlfriend so I didn’t think much of it.

Well he emailed me out of the blue at work yesterday, ostensibly about a work matter but it was an obviously thinly-veiled attempt to speak to me as there was really no point to his email. I thought it was cute though. Even more so when after a few exchanges of pleasantries he found a reason to slip his phone number in under the guise of being able to get me on the field for an NFL practice. I texted him to tell him I appreciate it but I wouldn’t be able to make it that night.

His response was that he would have to find out another way for us to run into each other. He proceeded to ask what my schedule was and where exactly my office is; he was working in the evening but wanted to stop by beforehand. He did text me later to do so but by the time I answered 5 minutes later he was already occupied. But he continued texting me throughout the evening  and even surprised me with a phone call which resulted in a 35-minute conversation. He said he’d swing by today in the afternoon. We shall see. He’s obviously interested…but in what is a mystery because he definitely said he had a girlfriend last week. So…

Then there’s yet ANOTHER guy who I’ve been Facebook friends with for a while due to being in the same profession and having mutual friends, but had actually never met until several weeks ago. He has been displaying a lot of interest in recent weeks with messages and conversations. He lives not far from me and was supposed to cook me dinner one night and I was all for it until a genuine last-minute schedule change caused me to have to reschedule. We’ve so far not been able to align our schedules up for another try, but he gets points for bringing me McDonald’s hangover food one Sunday several weeks ago when Carly and I crashed in my living room from the night before. Seems attractive, I guess. Maybe worth exploring.

Who knows…