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Week two of teaching completed. I love the students; I love the actual in-classroom time. Actually being employed by the jail, though, is stressful and traumatic. I haven't felt so much free-floating anxiety in a long time. I keep telling myself to breath deeply. This story is unrelated.

The first time I lived in Japan was after college. I lived for a while in special housing for foreign exchange students, where my closest friends were two women my age--a French exchange student and an Italian one. The French one, S, was ethnically Chinese, born in Tahiti, and grew up in New Caledonia, mais comme une vraie française, elle se identifie comme française, et pas comme chinoise ou caledonienne. (Not sure how grammatical that French is... just wanted to see what I could recall.)

She had a way of pulling me in. We'd be sitting in her room on her bed; she'd be looking at a magazine of photography and smoking (everyone smoked, it seemed to me, except me). So she'd be looking at this magazine, and she'd take a drag on the cigarette and thrust the magazine in front of me and say, "What do you think of this photo?" And she'd look at me intently, like it was the most important question of the decade, or at least the evening. And so I'd say what I thought. And if she agreed, she'd say "Yes! YES!" positively joyfully, and we'd talk on about the picture. And if she disagreed, she'd say vehemently, "Not me--I think [whatever]," but not with huge disappointment that we weren't in accord, but just as if it was very necessary to share what she felt.

I felt so delighted when we agreed, and so desperate to understand her point of view when we didn't.

Like me, she had a Japanese boyfriend. One time we somehow got into a conversation that somehow led to something like, What if the two of us kissed? "I don't think it would be cheating," S said, "because we're girls."

I don't have the world's strongest sex drive, but I felt a thrill just then, and a sense of possibility, but also danger.

"I think it probably would be cheating," I said.

. . . Nothing ended up happening.

We stayed in touch for a long time and even now are tenuously connected thanks to Facebook.

This memory brought to you courtesy of [personal profile] mallorys_camera, who was writing about attraction and got me thinking.

This entry was originally posted at https://asakiyume.dreamwidth.org/908452.html. Comments are welcome at either location.


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 22nd, 2019 08:53 pm (UTC)
I love the topic of attraction, and didn't know mallorys_camera, so thank you for both! I'll have to think about my own attractions.
Mar. 22nd, 2019 10:35 pm (UTC)
I'm glad to have pointed you to her journal; she writes so engagingly.
Mar. 22nd, 2019 11:31 pm (UTC)
Bing Translate has Tahitian, which is really cool.

I found a collection of recordings in a New Caledonian language. Except I can't find the actual links. Maybe they got Myspaced.
Mar. 23rd, 2019 02:25 pm (UTC)
"Myspaced" is such a perfect word.

Mar. 23rd, 2019 06:25 pm (UTC)
Did you hear about Myspace baleeting all their music?
Mar. 22nd, 2019 11:51 pm (UTC)
What a vivid word picture!

I remember French girls back in the early seventies. And yes, they all smoked, and spoke French so rapidly, managing to move their lips maybe two millimeters, but what they didn't express facially they expressed with their hands.
Mar. 23rd, 2019 02:30 pm (UTC)
Yes! Hands and eyes. Well, but she was expressive with her mouth too--breaking into a smile, laughing, or also frowning. We'd talk over our pasts, our love lives ... of course both she and my Italian friend had dramatic love lives, but what was so great about them, for me, was that they took mine seriously, too. In America, my friends had been in the habit of talking about love in psychological terms, but these friends used romantic ones, and it felt like that *dignified* the feelings (.... maybe when the feelings didn't merit the honor, but it felt **good** not to belittle and dismiss, for a change).
Mar. 23rd, 2019 04:31 pm (UTC)
How lovely!
Mar. 23rd, 2019 02:03 am (UTC)
what's the attraction?
some of my best love interests were unrequited..

; ))
Mar. 23rd, 2019 02:33 pm (UTC)
Re: what's the attraction?
In my own experience, the only love that really felt like what's classically called "being in love" was unrequited love. The loves that were reciprocated and actually developed into something were/are very special and dear, but they don't feel like what I see in art represented as "in love." But unrequited love sure does.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )



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