Sunday, September 17 at 5:16am. Reread the hour. I have yet to sleep. And now I'm going to hand this over to Bran. He's going to write for me so that when it appears as though I'm being an asshole, it's actually Bran being that asshole. Here's Bran.
Hi. This is Bran. Courtney asked that I write this entry for him. But I'm going to do it in the first person as I can't write from a third person perspective (regardless of how omniscient) to save my life. So from here on out, I, Bran, shall be telling the story of the regular narrator of this journal until such times as he reclaims his throne at the keyboard. Does this make sense? Here goes...
I'm sitting at a desk about fifteen feet from Noriki (whose actual name is Natsuko). Last night (and still it continues) was something of a different (agonizing) story. I would actually (with utmost sincerity) go as far as saying that it was the most painful experience I've ever endured since my conception, including (but not limited to) the latter stages of pregnancy where I was a fetus quarantined in an unyielding habitat with my squishy quarters closing in on me, bordered by loops of bowel, etc. Tonight was immeasurably worse. I would rather live the life of a cognitive fetus time and time again than any moment of what I've been through this night.
It started off with complete abandonment by both Taylor and Win, my two close friends that nursed me back to health on Friday, only to release me to the wilds on Saturday. It was really quite cruel.
Before we get into the events of the night, let me first tell you a little personal tidbit of information: I always take a long time to emotionally get over a partner. Danielle was the better half of (if not an entire) year. And this is where Natsuko made her first appearance. During our early-post-break-up days, Natsuko introduced herself as a fiery little enthusiast, pushing against my sexual avoidance. Her pushing resulted in a couple horribly uncomfortable kisses, but nothing more. I managed to avoid her until she eventually (weeks, maybe a month later) flew back to Japan and would not be seen again for several years.
Turns out that several year date just expired and as I mentioned in an earlier entry, she's back. And this time, it's Kristen that I'm still getting over. Mostly. Homesick memories of Danielle still bubble up (with increasing frequency as of late), but it has been the better half of a year since Kristen and I split up and tonight's thoughts were of her. And Natsuko's punctuality in these moments seems astronomically coincidental, but as recent dreamtime and not lottery would suggest, this is something of an inconsequential pattern.
I should also describe to you one of my somewhat irrational fears as it relates to the situation (before delving into the night). I fear continued or excessive native-language speaking to people across a language barrier on the grounds that I'm forced to base my use of language in monosyllabic words. The fear part is in the fact that the human mind adapts according to the functional stresses of the environment in which it's engaged (mine especially). Thus, my concern is that my mind (as it relates to speech and literacy) will grow increasingly monosyllabic on a chronic level.
In consideration of this fear, I decided that the best move I could make, given the situation, was to climb through Taylor's bedroom window while she was away (abandoning me) and steal Win's Lost in Translation DVD from her closet. This became the perfect opportunity to not only entertain, but eliminate conversation and learn insights into true Japanese culture through her feedback on the accuracy of the Japanese depictions.
So it was done (the break-in and subsequent movie). And the strategy worked splendidly for the entire duration of the movie. I didn't speak, learned some things, and combated what would have otherwise been excruciating awkwardness. There was only one problem. Realizing (in somewhat of a panic) that time was actually going to continue (as opposed to cease entirely) following the movie (somehow I hadn't realized this until the start of the credits), I recognized that I hadn't thought of a plan. Thus began my play-the-"nemutai"-card strategy, theatrically longing for sleep (in Japanese).
When I was sure she was equally ready to call it a night, I gave her four tiny yoga blankets (one to roll up into a pillow, two so that the whole body can be covered and one to spare just in case) and the good couch. In retrospect one blanket as a pillow would suffice as it's now sweltering in here. And in further retrospect, I wish I would have kept the good sofa as I still have zero hours and zero minutes of sleep.
Anyway, once I had her situated on her sofa, I turned my back and began to prepare my own. And then a turn of events happened that I had not planned: her movement for the goodnight kiss. A kiss which I didn't reciprocate.
"Oh. Okay. Night Natsuko." And I made a second attempt to finalize my sofa.
Apparently she interpreted my non-reciprocation as an invitation as she went straight for the penis. "Whoa. Um... hi. Listen, I'm not sure my place of work is really the best place for" she wasn't having it. Instead of hearing my words, she pulled down my pants completely, actually pressing them (with her hands) into the ground around my feet. I've never seen anyone do this before (Japanese cultural thing?). Anyway, it was weird.
"Right. Okay, you're fast aren't you? Listen, still... I'm hesitant to say this is okay."
At this point I'm standing in the center of the room, windows behind me, her in front, and I'm (ineffectively, monosyllabically) trying to articulate my defense. I say ineffective because about two sentences in she did the push-the-clothing-into-the-ground thing with my boxers. Now all I have on (other than around my ankles) is a sweater. Otherwise I'm now naked, which she sees as an opportunity to lift my sweater up around my chest so that a) it's awkward looking and feeling, and b) to make sure the windows assist my fellow Pacific students in understanding the crux of the situation.
At this point, I have yet to touch her, only clumsily try to explain to her the problematic nature of it all. When that didn't work, I raised my voice a little. "Natsuko." Half stern-like. "Honestly. I work here. We're not doing this."
In all honesty though (despite my using that word in my sentence to Natsuko), the issue was more so my still-lingering feelings for Kristen rather than my concern of the workplace. Granted Kristen and I broke up in January and I'm quite positive (in my position) she would have saddled up on the evening in full enjoyment of the pleasure. I don't say that gleefully. It's just that she was dating while I was crying in my miserable Stockton solitude.
So I feel my case is evident enough. And I tried to use that evidence to convince myself that what I was doing wasn't in fact wrong (other than the workplace issue). Still it wasn't working. I'm a tough cookie to crack even in my sincerest effort.
So Natsuko goes down on me. That was her next move (trying to call my bluff?). Most males would think this sounds wonderful. Not me. I'm not even erect. I feel like an early Hemmingway character. Being as my penis isn't actually mangled, but just momentarily (and inalterably) bloodless, I guess I'm among the cast of Torrents of Spring. And in both cases, I'm the hero. I'm willing to abdicate this position however, so long as it re-clothes my genitals.
But a re-clothing wasn't in the mix. Instead she began her dirty talk. Even with my penis being all squashy and pliable (her probable interpretation of erectile dysfunction), she loudly announced to our audience (hopefully of zero though the volume was questionable for such a case) how big it was. Over and over. The "it so big!" comments went on for probably five to eight minutes (hard to accurately keep track of time in such a situation) and I have to continue my honesty here: this was not helping anything.
I'm not sure it's quite the mammoth she was building it up to be. I would actually assume it falls right into the absolute mean value for twenty-six year old, five-foot-eleven Caucasian males. I have no evidence of this as I've never measured. Despite all my insecurities, this was never one of them. And if I went about measuring like I predict most males do (from the back of the perineum to roughly a centimeter beyond the tip, justified by "the angle I'm looking from" akin to reading a gas gauge), I'm sure I might be able to uphold the "it so big!" comments with something other than laughable awkwardness.
Granted, in reality, the size of my penis is actually several hundred square miles, but much like that of Ned Lingamon, it's mostly in the fourth dimension – and so she would have no way of knowing.
Thus, as is, I think it's more of an issue of relative comparison. I can (with a lot of confidence) say that her dirty praise sides with racial categorization more than universal accuracy. I think her basis of comparison is several standard deviations off the human mean, where my penis (who will join the anonymity of earlier with the pseudonym of Seth) resides. Welcome to the normative values, Natsuko.
After several minutes of Japanese accented monologue about Seth's dimensions, I had to put an end to it. "Okay. Really. I do appreciate your... forwardness, but this isn't right."
"I so fwet-o."
"I soooo fwet-o" (Japanese accented "wet" in case you hadn't figured it out yet - it took me a minute too).
Silence (on my part, loud moaning on hers which worried me considerably – really loud – I was convinced that campus safety was going to show up at any moment). As that worry developed into panic, I began growing more and more flaccid, eventually beginning to fear that Seth would actually just up and vanish completely.
I think it was in recognition of Seth's and my disinterest that motivated her to take my hands and move them to her breasts, where they then sat motionless.
"Oh Kotoni san!"
I'm still doing effectively nothing here, but her volume is now outright obscene. The Kotoni sans keep coming (uninvited and in all ways unwilled) and sound as though she's really pulling all the stops on theatrical pleasure (but has problems with volume control). And still I'm just standing there, hoping my motionlessness would diminish her enthusiasm. But it didn't. Still they come: "oh... oh Kotoni san!!"
Now I'm sweating profusely, wondering how long this is going to last. And as the sweat comes pouring off of me, she probably begins to assume that, not only do I have erectile dysfunction, but I also have hyperhydrosis.
She starts moving my hands around elsewhere (using my pooling hand sweat as lubricant?) and my fears of a vanishing penis finished their materialization. Vonnegut would accurately compare my little penile phenomenon to airplane wheels retracting into the fuselage after takeoff. It's just that my situation was a little more violating than an ordinary plane flight.
And as I had literally no dignity left, I began to make games out of it. With my hands pressed against a part of her body (of her choosing) I'd try to make my knuckles crack really loud and go "ow" each time. Didn't phase her. She just got excited. And her excitement immediately de-motivated my inclination to play games at all.
So instead, I just sat back and silently thought about Kristen. Thinking about eating Alpine Lace cheese and apple sandwiches by fires with her. Thinking about how she reads a billion pages of everything every day while chewing some sort of off-brand half granola cereal. But this just started to make the whole experience worse. So I decided to (instead) picture Kristen having sex with someone she dated after me (I'm aware that this is a bizarre way to sexually excite myself and qualifies as an inappropriate fetish, but it wasn't just that, I was also trying to convince myself that it wouldn't be a relationship sin as we no longer have that relationship, as depicted by my mental imagery). The former worked (again, I realize this is weird), and the latter didn't. So I stopped it for real this time. "Natsuko" I said, and then I didn't finish my sentence. I just looked at her for a moment then put my clothes back on. Actions speak louder than words so they say in an embarrassing expression.
And since I don't masturbate on Sundays, I now have to wait until Monday to orgasm out the tension. Should I explain that one? I guess I should explain that one. When I was about twelve, maybe thirteen. Maybe eleven. Within that age range, I came up with this rule for myself (with strong religious conviction) that I wouldn't masturbate on Sundays. I found it completely ridiculous to believe that one shouldn't masturbate ever in life, so I figured I'd meet the God of my youth half way and make a promise I was actually able to keep. I did. And it’s been years since I last went to church, and can't really place myself among the same religious bracket I was in when I established this rule, but I have yet to break it.
And years later, I included Christmas and Christmas Eve into the Sunday rule (I think Kristen is, up until now, the only person who I ever told my unusual rules to, this being one of the many she knows – or once upon a time knew). The reason for those dates is because one year when Christmas fell on a weekday, I off'd a healthy seminal load into the toilet before going out to embrace the day. And when I laid down to sleep that night I was joined by unbelievable whole body itchiness. For the next about eight months or so I itched beyond my preconceived notions of the worst itchiness a human can endure. I went to the doctor, he told me I had hives and gave me Prednisone. I didn't have hives and Prednisone didn't help with anything but the production of nausea. So then I was itchy and vomitous. Months later I made my Christmas pact and it didn't go away. A couple weeks later I included Christmas Eve, BAM. Gone. Coincidental? Sure. I believe mostly in my heart (or rather brain) in the coincidental timing of it all. But that itching was unbearable and I'm not going to risk it again on the off-chance that those evangelicals aren't going to rot in the ground at death after all (and instead burn in hell for all the dehumanizing they've done in life).
Anyway, back to my story of Natsuko. I felt obligated to halt the whole experience when my imagery accomplished excitement without the relief of the guilt.
After getting dressed, I responded to the look of inquisition on her face. "Let's just go to bed now okay?" That was me.
"What's that smell?" That was her after we returned to the sofas.
Obviously she noticed and was referring to the smell of rotting mouse, wafting up from the space where the two sofas come together. I didn't expect her not to notice as it was so potent you can actually taste it every time you breathe out. Still, I hoped she wouldn't notice. Obviously, as I already pointed out, that hope didn't pan out.
Natsuko raises her hand as if I was Mr. Jensen and this was the fourth grade.
"Are there mice or cockroaches in here?"
Not remembering what I had told her in the past, but trying to calm her down so she could sleep, I replied with "oh there used to be. Mice I mean. Never cockroaches. But that was a long time ago. I promise there won't be any tonight."
That was a blatant lie, but convincing. Hand goes back up.
"Is anyone going to come in while we're in here?"
"Honestly I don’t know. Probably. I was pretty worried about that while you were pulling down my pants in front of the windows, but I've got them on again, so it's not really a concern of mine anymore."
And she lays down to sleep for the night. But as I gave her the good sofa in post-awkward politeness, I lie awake right now dictating my (Bran's) thoughts on the matter.
And in the past several hours of my wake, I've watched several mice scurry by her sleeping body, no more than two feet from her mouth (which was so loud and invasive just hours ago). The climax of the mice was the duel over chip crumbs in the vicinity of Natsuko's knees. And for the last hour (roughly the time it took me to write this), there has been what appears to be a dying cat pinned up against the door (on the outside, clearly audible inside). I just hope it will hurry up and die before waking Natsuko back up into sexual alertness.
I don't know how I'm going to get through the discomfort of tomorrow. This is actually (and miraculously) worse than my day of illness ravaging my guts and precipitating thoughts of suicide. At least that feeling will pass (and mostly already has).
Oh, and the burden of homelessness is now a solo project of mine. Win moved in with Courtney, which I'm effectively responsible for. I suggested Courtney take interest in him (instead of me) as a strategy to avoid having a stalker this year. Now they have a relationship and I'm the miserable (homeless) one.
Sunday, September 17 at 2:06pm. Bran is done writing though Courtney is not yet ready to reclaim his pen and thus, I, Orfeo will carry the torch. I'm somewhat of a religious entity and quite omniscient. And although I could choose to use that omniscience in any form of text, I will uphold the preexisting style and continue down the path of the first person narrative. And we begin...
Natsuko's a smart girl. She's lived in several countries and speaks as many languages. She's studied the academic spectrum and immerses herself into every culture. She's very smart. I'm quite certain she has the ability to read into other people's feelings and pick up on awkward vibes as they're being sent out. Why then, I wonder, has she not backed down at the sense of mine?
I finished teaching my CPR class at 2:00. I then sat with my head buried in my arms for six minutes, followed by my writing of this entry. Natsuko's been waiting in the library for me all morning. I'm supposed to meet her there right now but I can't bring myself to leave this room and can't think of a valid reason not to (that I can articulate to her).
Win's off surfing in Santa Cruz (which Natsuko interprets as Santa Clause and I didn't want to explain otherwise). I wish I was out surfing, but instead I'm in a little kid's chair at a fold out table thinking of how bad my day will be. I guess it's okay (that I'm not out surfing too) as I suck to an extent beyond embarrassment. But so does Win. And one time I read something about surfers that I liked. I tried to apply it to my homelessness. And if I tried to summarize it to you (without just quoting it), it wouldn't really do the trick. So let me go find it.
Sunday, September 17 at 2:19pm. Found it. It's Wheaton discussing Urry: Surfers are what Urry calls 'diasporic travelers'; unlike conventional tourism based upon clear distinctions between 'home' and 'away', s/he has 'no clear temporal boundaries as one activity tends to flow into the next.'
I guess it wasn't as good as I remembered it to be. The worthwhile part of it still stands though: the boundary-less philosophy which I hoped to embrace upon my moving down here, and have tried to for the past (almost) month. I'm not sure it's working. I think I need a real home. Some place to retreat to for months on end when my life begins to read like the past (almost) month of this journal.
Nonetheless, it seems to be working for Win despite the fact that he's not actually a surfer (other than today). And given the general absence of surfing, I'd compare him more closely to Kerouac's Dean, but he doesn't really do drugs either. He just kind of has the persona.
I'd like to acquire more of that for the remainder of this month.
Sunday, September 17 at 9:20pm. It's Courtney. Hi. I'm back because I wanted to say that I find enjoyment in nothing but writing. And only writing this. I now completely lack the ability to write anything else. The only thing that pleases me in life (other than an occasional successful masturbation to recollected thoughts of sex with Kristen) is documenting my descending self esteem in this journal.
I took Natsuko home and she really believes that she loves me more than any other human ever has. And I don't love her back. Not even a little bit. And I can't bring myself to feel bad about that either. I wish her endless happiness in life, but just as a heads up: I'm not going to be a part of that regimen of happiness. And she'll probably read this at some point and feel awful and think to herself "I thought I knew Courtney – what an asshole." And I'll think back (knowing that's what she thought): "we never spoke."
And then she'll ultimately conclude that "Courtney was right. We didn't know each other at all and we have nothing in common." And then her next realization will be that the love she has for me is some misguided image of perfection (because we don't actually speak) and is therefore no different than what I used to feel in my green-light dreams in the seventh grade. No different. Just an arcane tension that I grew out of and am resultantly depressed about, and you (Natsuko) still have. I envy you.
Please see this in a positive light (in a color other than green) and grow as a result of it. You're smart. Use the experience. Add another stitch to the tapestry of a life that's not worth living unstitched.
That last sentence was mostly the words of Fred. And now I'm laying down for the night in the heart of the decaying rodent's stench, homeless and hopeless. I just want to go masturbate to thoughts of Kristen but I have to wait until tomorrow.