Day 78: Friday, May 27, 2011
Today I woke up at 6:30. I think it was because I have been super stressed. I used to wake up like this before when I was worried everyday about what I would do with my life, but now I’m worried because I don’t know how to sustain myself since I only made about 60,000 yen (US$600) this month, and it seems like my dream is still just a dream.
Ian mentioned the other day that when he was at the dentist, he had to write down on the questionnaire if he had any symptoms, so he jotted down that he had anxiety about being at the dentist. When it was finally Ian’s turn, the dentist came out with the paper in his hands asking him, “So you have anxiety, huh?” I think I have the same thing- anxiety. I never thought about using that word before, but I think that describes exactly what I have.
I used to use the word stressed, but what I had before went much deeper. I used to get up early all the time even on my days off. I thought it was from the habit of my job, but I also had trouble sleeping at nights as well because I would always think about how fast time was going by and that I would be stuck in this shitty job forever… and that fear would leave me short of breath, sweaty, and wide awake… and today it happened again.
When I woke up this morning, I had no idea of the time actually. I just thought about how it was already Friday- already one week- and I had nothing to show for it… and I had an erection, which felt unbearable… and then I thought about the married woman who I had recently liked and who I could tell liked me back(probably because she has been married way too long and at such a young age)… and then thought about how I was utterly alone… and how I would die like that…
Now I am in the kitchen writing. It’s quiet in the early morning and my head is clear- unnaturally clear- for the first time in a while. I feel like someone has pushed my lungs in because I can only breathe real shallow and the only sounds that can be heard are the vibrating hum of the fish tank behind me, the sounds of a kid crying next door, and birds chirping somewhere in the distance. I wonder if this anxiety is not a bad thing though because this past month I had been sleeping later and later, getting more passive, and falling into a rut…
Taking a shower, I think about my supposed show at the Logos gallery and how I haven’t heard back from the gallerist since our first meeting, which was over a month ago… And then I think about how I had shot my mouth off again to everyone too quickly because whenever you do that, it never seems to end up happening. But it’s okay, I reassure myself because that fell in my lap too easily… and I know deep down that I’ll have to make my own luck from now if I really want to get by and survive.
In the afternoon, Ian and I head to Denny’s for lunch. While we are walking, Ian begins telling me about his American friend/co-worker who had recently left Tokyo and how even though they were good friends, he didn’t really know him that well apparently because he supposedly led a double life. That friend let Ian in on what it’s like being a handsome white man in Tokyo, which he described as being “like a lion in a cage where the zoo keepers keep taking out and putting in new female lions in with [him] everyday…” Of course, I am a bit envious when I hear that, which is a reason why I don’t really like a lot of white people in Tokyo because they tend to live on a cloud of their own. I then try to imagine what it is like being a lion but can’t.
After lunch, I feel super sleepy because I got up so early, so I take a nap for 15 minutes and then tidy up because I have a meeting at home with a young woman from my favorite book publisher in Japan at 8:00, which I have been waiting for all week. The young woman and I had met briefly at an event and exchanged business cards a few days before the big quake, but never reconnected. Last week a friend told me that he had met her, and that she lives in the same neighborhood as me, so I decided to contact her because I am looking for someone to publish my animal series for the Logos show (if it ever happens). Afterwards I prepare for my meeting, but finish early and still have an hour to kill. I want to watch T.V., but since I promised myself to be this new man (who is hardworking and not addicted to television), I tell myself not to, but 5 minutes later, give in.
At 8:00, I meet her at the station. She is cuter than I remember; and I know now that I am in trouble… We decide to get dinner first since we both hadn’t eaten yet. The first hour is a bit awkward because we don’t know if this is business or just hanging out, so we talk about photography and her work. It turns out that she replaces Yuki for being the busiest person I know since she works from 10:00 am to about 1:00 am everyday and only has 3 days off a month… I feel guilty hearing that because I am probably the least busy person I know. Eventually I find out that she is interested in China and had learned a little bit of Chinese in college, so I give her a Chinese lesson and we both start to relax... Even though she is quite small, she keeps ordering drinks one after another, which leaves me embarrassed again because I can only handle two. We end up talking at the restaurant for three hours and the whole time I kept thinking about how lame I am for liking every cute girl I meet.
At home, I show her my work, which she seems to like, but she doesn’t mention at all about showing it to her boss… I don’t push the matter because I’m too shy and a bad businessman. We end up hanging out with Ian and Yuki till 4:00 in our living room, then I walk her home in the rain while the sky is getting light out. When we get somewhat near her building (which is only 8 minutes away from my place), she says goodnight, then quickly disappears. By the time I get back home, Ian and Yuki are already in bed… I lie down on my futon listening to the birds chirping again in the early morning and realize that this was the latest I had been up in a long while and then fall asleep.