It’s been a year of living in Tokyo. A dramatic time has been had by all.
I moved to Tokyo in late March of 2019, after living in Ishikawa Prefecture for 4.5 years. I started a new job in April while my son, Jeremy, started elementary school. He didn’t last 6 months in the Japanese elementary school, so I took him to Kenya to stay with my parents in late October while I figured things out. I thought I would definitely have it all figured out by the first quarter of 2020, and in fact, I had a couple of plans well laid out. Then coronavirus happened and everything is basically on hold. I mean, the Olympics are
cancelled postponed. Over 300,000 people have died. I’m just grateful I have a job I like and I can comfortably work from home. Jeremy remains in Kenya under the care of my parents. I miss my family very much.
Okay, back to the topic at hand. I know you all want an update on the actor I went on a date with. Sorry, I remain mum on that particular person but all I can say is that he did get me these flowers on my birthday.
Today’s post is about another gentleman I met back in January. He goes by the name Tak*. I’ve shortened it for anonymity. There must be at least a million Takashis and Takeshis in Tokyo alone lol.
I’d just come back from Kenya after the December holidays. January was cold and lonely. So when my friends invited me to go out dancing to cheer me up, I gladly accepted. Ah, remember when we used to go dancing? #covid19.
The date was set. It was a Friday evening after work. On this day, I didn’t even bother dressing up. There I was rocking my jeans and a t-shirt. Fuck contacts, glasses all the way. We had dinner at a cheap restaurant, as usual, then turned up at the Latina club which is located in one of Tokyo’s
more notorious entertainment districts. I won’t say which one. Luckily, I didn’t have to worry about babysitters.
The club was crowded by the time we paid the entrance fee and squeezed our way in. At the time, there were whispers of some outbreak in far away China. Nothing to do with us. We put our bags in a locker, got our drinks and scoped the dance floor.
Now, I know “they” say Japanese people can’t dance, but it’s like all the ones who can dance had turned up here. The dance floor was alive, full of beautiful couples moving intricately, turning here, dipping there, swirling close before twirling away, all so seamlessly. The ladies were dressed in tight shorts or dresses, effortlessly rocking 6-inch heels. The men were also in slim jeans and fitting shirts, flipping their hair back, leading their partners in salsa and bachata. Man, Latina music is beautiful. Even though one of my friends complains it’s repetitive, the same beat over and over again. (Side eye to Martina). It’s enough to just go there and watch the couples dance.
So I was watching this couple dance. By couple, I don’t mean that they are together together. Just dance partners for the moment. The guy had caught my eye. He looked late 30’s/early 40’s. He knew his way around the dance floor, he was so graceful. I caught him once or twice stealing glances my way. He was in a light blue shirt and dark blue slacks. He had a full head of hair which he had slicked back with gel, but in the heat and sweat of the dance club atmosphere, it was becoming loose in a very becoming way.
When there was a break in the music, he thanked his dance partner then came over to the counter where my left feet and I were chilling. He bought me a drink and introduced himself. I was fumbling in Japanese so we switched to English. He spoke fluent English. He asked me to dance. I stepped all over his toes but he was patient with me. At the end of the evening, he gave me his business card, he is a producer with a leading media company and had lived in London for some time. My friends and I then rushed to catch the last train. That’s literally how 90% of evenings used to go pre-covid19. You always kept one eye on the clock for the last train.
A few days later, I decided to text him. That was the start the most bizarre texting thread I’ve ever had.
It started well enough. I’m the one in blue, his replies are pale blue.
Our schedules didn’t agree at the time but we decided to meet later that week.
Unfortunately, at this time again, our schedules just couldn’t match. I had a farewell party to attend. Ah, any excuse for a nomikai. But this was a nomikai I couldn’t miss as a colleague was leaving Japan.
I figured it was a one-week business trip and texted a week later on Jan 31st. Two months went by before a reply! Note the dates. The reply came back on March 22nd at 3am, by which time I had totally forgotten all about him. I’d lost interest and was busy coming to the terms with the new reality. Coronavirus had spread faster than bush fires in an Australian summer and borders were closing. (It was around this time my friend was rushing to catch the last flight out of Japan to Kenya, another dramatic event characterized by cancelled flights, a suicide and the last Narita Express.)
Tak’s reply was was a simple “Yes”. Huh? Cat got his tongue?
Anyway, working from home, I find myself fiddling with my phone much more than when at work. That must explain why I continued to text back, right?
I don’t know what was happening to the formerly fluent English speaker and texter. Did someone else take over his number while he was in M****** for two months? Did he forget his English in that time?
Then I noticed all his texts kept coming between the ungodly hours of 2 and 4 am.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, binaries and non-binaries, is the reason I am still single.
The moral of the story is: dating is hard in Tokyo. For those in Japan, how is/was your dating life?