Saturday is my last day of ESL pseudo-work, and I'm sad to see it go. Not just because of the money, but because I've grown attached to the kids. They were all so cool; I've even developed favourites. The fact that I did it for such a short period makes me feel like I've somehow left a job unfinished. I hate to admit it, but I may never see any of them ever again. I barely know them, and yet I'll miss them.
Heh. This blog is pretty sappy lately, eh? And here you all thought I didn't have a heart.
Oh my God, this is how it starts, isn't it? This is how they get you. One minute you're cooing over cute kids. Then suddenly you're waking up in a house that you own, and there's a stationwagon parked outside, and you have a real job, and screaming brats, and you've been with the same person for the last 30 years.
Since I'm already halfway there anyway, I head over to Pokemon Centre Oosaka so I can buy a bunch more useless crap I don't need. Apparently a new Pokemon game has been released this very day, and the place is packed with people here for the associated merchandise. Afterwards, I take a long stroll through Umeda. Kyouto's grown on me, but I can't wait until I someday move to Oosaka.
As it turns out, Gundam capsules are actually in every major arcade, including Kawaramachi Round1. To make full use of the game, though, you need a BaNa Passport, which allows you to save your profile data to Bandai Namco's servers and access it from any cabinet, anywhere. Unfortunately I'm too shy to ask where I can buy one. I get glum. No wonder I have so few friends – I'm too shy to even talk to a store clerk! And if this is what my social life looks like when I'm in fucking university, how the hell do I ever expect to meet anybody if I start working as a teacher? The longer I think, the more upset and pissed off I become. I decide to take a walk through Gion to clear my head.
As my legs grow sore, it suddenly hits me. Dumbass. I'm not upset, I'm tired. I have sleep issues in the best of times, but they've been particularly severe in the last couple of weeks, and sleep fatigue aggravates my depression. At least I'm getting better at recognizing when my mood is being caused by chemicals rather than my situation. If I know what's causing it, I can talk myself out of it...or at least avoid talking myself farther into it.
Seven, always looking for ways to include me, has invited me to her graduation. My suit is cobbled together from my own shoes, a shirt and pair of pants that I received from an old roommate, a tie borrowed from my father and a jacket borrowed from Cologne. The results should logically be offensive at best, and yet, against all odds, this completely stupid combination somehow comes together to form a cohesive and very nice-looking outfit.
Unfortunately, Insufferable Dumbass has somehow heard about the ceremony and decided to go as well. Worse, he somehow zeroes in on me as his would-be comrade, making him all but impossible to duck. Fortunately Cologne tags along as well, reducing the chance that sheer frustration will drive me to stab Insufferable Dumbass in the face, but he spends literally the entire ceremony squirming around, playing with his phone, and fidgeting with anything in reach. He's such a child he literally can't even sit still for five seconds at a time, never mind two hours. I have no idea why he came.
The ceremony is basically indistinguishable from a Western one, with two major differences: There is a great deal more bowing, and the girls all wear hakama instead of suits. Why only the girls I have no idea, but I heartily approve.
On the pretense of looking for people we know, Cologne and I manage to lose Insufferable Dumbass in the crowd, after which he decides he will return to the dorm and come back to catch the next faculty. In the intervening time, I attend an English Club meeting congratulating the graduating members. Very nearly everybody is there – including those entering fourth year (who have thus left the club) and even a couple who have already entered the workforce – so I'm able to catch up with some old favourites. Seven, dressed in her purple hakama, is even more adorable than usual.
I kill a few hours with Shiga, and when we board the bus to the evening's nomikai we're met with a glut of English Clubbers already en route. Super Junior and I engage in animated chatter for a good twenty minutes or so, at which point one of two middle-aged women who weren't adventurous enough in their youth and have been left nothing but dry husks with nothing but bitterness for the world, who have not said or done anything up to this point, grabs my arm out of nowhere.
“The way you're leaning over and talking is really fucking annoying,” she tells me, without preamble.
“Um,” I say. But I bite my tongue. “My apologies.”
“So could you shut the fuck up?”
“That's right!” says the other one, and I turn to her.
For a long moment, I give her a hard stare, trying to decide whether or not to tell her to eat a dick. After a few seconds of this, she squirms in her seat and breaks my gaze. I turn on my heel and go farther up the bus to talk to Shiga, angling my body towards the two old maids and laughing as joyfully as possible at every opportunity. I've had entire nights ruined by one asshole comment before; I'm not letting that happen tonight. But something must have betrayed my emotions, because later Super Junior tells me not to care about it.
As befits the mood of her final English Club event ever, Seven gets incredibly drunk and starts kissing every girl within striking distance. Izakaya is followed by all-night karaoke, specifically one of those hilarious ones where the background of each song is spliced together from a limited amount of stock footage that ends up becoming very familiar by the time you leave, and which all appears to have been shot in the early 1990's.
All in all, a pretty awesome weekend.