Wednesday, January 25, 2006
Hot Toddy in a Window
To date this is the only picture I have of myself from my trip to Japan. I think we're getting together to exchange photos and reminisce about the trip soon, so maybe I'll have more pictures to post.
(Pony, I am leaving the poor alignment in that last paragraph intentionally, because I know it will drive you crazy). I carried a camera around for a couple days, but there was so much to take in, and I rarely remembered to snap a picture. Thank goodness gcb took pictures.
In this photo, I'm standing in a window on the 60th floor of the Sunshine City Building (if you don't know Japanese, there's probably no point in clicking that link), where Superman and gcb and I enjoyed a panoramic view of Tokyo.
Our group was very diverse, and I thought that we got along great. One evening at our ryokan (inn) we met Phillippa, an acting and modeling agent from New Zealand. Phillippa and I met while I was taking a shower. Actually, I was getting out of the shower, and she was standing at the sink in our shared bathroom area. Then we met up again while I was in the ryokan lounge drinking with the guys. She and I joked around a bit, and Superman pretended to be jealous. "So, who's your friend?" he snarled.
20 minutes later, you'd think Superman and Phillippa had known each other for years. The three of us got along very well. I think this happened because she knew we were gay guys, and some women just really dig gay guys, which works out well because a lot of us gay guys just really dig women. Initially, Phillippa was told that two of us in the group were gay. She picked out Superman right away. According to him, this is because he's the best looking one of all of us. After correctly identifying Superman as a Superfag, Phillippa then guessed the other gay guy must be either gcb (the one on the right in the photo - not the one with blue hair) or Metro (shown with his fiance, Juju). Wrong! I guess I was her fourth guess since I was drinking whiskey (surprise). If I remember not to hold out my pinky while I'm drinking whiskey, I can look pretty butch. Or maybe just pretty. Or maybe just pretty drunk.
Anyway, Phillippa accompanied us out for a night on the town. Things went pretty well, but after a certain point (the point where everyone was drunk) Phillippa and gcb started arguing. I didn't hear the whole thing, but she was complaining about the way Americans stereotype New Zealanders. He did little to diffuse her anger when gcb replied, "I don't think Americans even really know about New Zealand or acknowledge its existence, so I wouldn't worry about our stereotyping you." He was kidding, of course, but it didn't sit well with our Kiwi friend. You know how sensitive all those people can be. Every last one of them. Not that I'm stereotyping.
Things never went south with Superman and Phillippa and I (both literally and figuratively speaking), so the next morning I received a gift from her. It was a tin of mints labeled "Sentimintal Guy Charlie Brown Peppermints". It was such a sweet gesture of kindness. So I started crying really hard. I'm just kidding. I didn't cry, but I'll bet you totally believed that for a second, didn't you? Yeah, you did. It's because I cry a LOT. Too much.
In fact, on the way to the airport, I watched two old women saying goodbye to each other. One of the women got on our train and sat next to us. Through the window, she waved goodbye to her friend once again. "If they don't stop, I'm going to lose it," I whispered to Superman. Moments later, as the train pulled away, my eyes filled with tears. I subtly looked over at the woman on the train and saw that she was leafing through a magazine and was not the least bit upset. As I wiped a tear off my cheek, I started chuckling. Superman looked over and saw me laughing and crying at the same time and seemed baffled.
"I'm crying because that woman had to say goodbye to her friend. The funny thing is that woman isn't even crying because she had to say goodbye to her friend. I'm crying, and she's the one who had to say goodbye!"
I am such a "sentimintal" guy.