Wednesday, August 17, 2011


I don't know how I do it. It's not as if I'm preternaturally beautiful. I don't wear an excess of perfume. I'm not practiced in the art of hypnotism. And yet, time and time again, I find myself with Japanese men falling at my feet.

Long-term readers will recall one incident during which a sake-soaked host-boy collapsed onto my shoulder like a lovelorn teenagers whilst I waited for the arrival of my subway. Turns out, this incident was not to be a one-off.

This evening, I was on the subway (scene of all things salacious) with my good friend S, her handsome child E and her dashing (albeit flat-footed) husband N, wending our way home from a night out on the town (burgers and Oreo shakes). The subway was full of teen girls and salary men and packs of junior high school students enjoying their last week of subway; so it wasn't unusual when a middle-aged man stood directly in front of where I was sitting, holding tight to the handles above his head.

Things took a turn when I felt pressure against my legs, and noticed that he had pressed both his knees directly against mine. My first thought was "creeper", and I conveyed this to Sarah through my eyebrows. I thought he'd processed my distaste, as he then stood back up, breaking contact. Ten second later, though, things got way worse.

Finger-tips still clinging tightly to the handles above his head, my new Japanese friend lost his footing completely and swung, like a child on a jungle gym, coming to rest with his khaki-clad groin, and full body-weight, directly on my left knee cap, legs astride mine. I stared into his eyes, which were now on a level with mine, for three seconds, and processed that this was not, in fact, a creeper, and that this man was either blind drunk, fainting, or having a stroke. I levered myself out from between his legs just in time for him to face-plant onto the subway seat directly where my buttocks had been only seconds prior. At least I'd made it nice and warm for him.

N moved to where he knelt and propped him up, so he was saved the indecency of getting horizontal on the subway floor. Between the efforts of N and the unconscious man's wife (who could have been, if her face was anything to go by, strolling the aisles of the supermarket deciding which brand of yoghurt to purchase that week), the gentleman was maneuvered onto the seat, where he eventually came to, sponging his face with a damp tissue, regathering himself with such aplomb that he even managed to offer us a faint English "sorry".

The hundred other people in the carriage looked on, unperturbed.

Perhaps the most shocking element of the whole thing was the fact that he wasn't drunk. Just hot, over-worked perhaps, dehydrated almost certainly. He has all my sympathies. The heat sucks. And now I've gained karma credits, so that the next time I feel faint, I'll feel free to plant my face in the nearest Japanese crotch.

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