Minding my Own Business in Japan and Attacked in an Elf House

When I was twenty six I went to Japan with my roommate. It was a fantastic trip.  Liz, my roommate and good friend from Manhattan, karaoke serenaded me with a lovely rendition of  "My Humps" by the Black Eyed Peas, when we accidentally stayed at a love hotel together in Shibuya.

Further along our trip, we stayed at the nicest hostel you will ever find right on the main river in Kyoto, the most beautiful place in the world.  Our room was full of us blissed out to be in this paradise, a Chu-Hi in each hand (a fruit sparkling alcoholic beverage sold in vending machines) and four bunk beds.  Liz and I put our stuff on one bunk bed unit and the others seemed occupied with, as it would turn out, dudes. Yes dudes, they had put us in a mixed gender room. Luckily, we made a friend.

Willard* was a tall, really skinny, balding, blond, and Britsh. He had just left his job in real estate and told us that he was going to sit on all of his money until the American housing community tanked and then he was.going to go on a massive building shopping spree. “Willard, you fool!” We laughed at his pipe dream.  It was 2007.

Liz and I showed Willard our favorite takoyaki (octopus balls) hut.  He burnt his tongue and could not taste anything for days.  We slipped into hidden bars dangling over the river and drank and laughed. After a few days, Liz and I headed back to Tokyo.

Liz and I had many adventures involving massage chairs, running in the rain with new purses towards tables of grilled meats, crazy ass friends, carefree bike riding and stuff memories are made of. Unfortunately, she left three days before me and I was left to make one more memory.

Willard showed up. We were staying at the same hotel/hostel.  Rooms were gender split and each bed was in a type of cubby hole in the wall.  About three feet tall and four feet wide, just long enough.  The rest of the building looked like an average trendy hostel.

After a day of drinking and tee shirt shopping in Harajuku, Willard asked if I wanted to go to a baseball game. Sounded great!

We took a train to Yokohama, where I suddenly realized that without the distraction of buying stuff or booze, we were totally conversation-less.  Dead air time hung heavy.  I could barely remember his name.  Luckily, we were greeted at the stadium by a giant mascot with a ball for a head, who insisted on enveloping us in a choke hold/group hug.

We went into the stadium. The game started, there was cheering, dancing on the field,  cute beer girls and huge masses of unified singing groups.  There was so much food!  Willard and I created our own buffet and hours passed. We were having so much fun!  So much distraction!  Until suddenly, he leaned closer and closer and I began to feel nauseous and even less interested than when I first saw him and was very not interested.

The game ended, we went back to the hostel.  Well no, first we got off a train stop early and walked for what seemed like four years, so we could "See the sights" as Willard called it.  The sites turned out to be closed shops and folded boxes waiting for trash pick up in the morning.  It was magical.

Back at the hostel, with my teeth brushed, I crawled into my little hovel and closed the curtain for privacy.  I felt like a Keebler Elf in my treehome.  Completely exhausted, my eyelids sank down and I began to drift off. 

Swoosh!  My curtain was flung open and Willard sailed into my nook. Immediately a hostel worker ran into the room and started yelling at him, thinking I was being attacked.

Willard whispered loudly "We're together go away!"

I tried to poke my head out of the hole to explain further to a room of sleeping women who had been startled and the attendant.

"Well, no. We're not together. I mean I know him--but we're not--you know."

Willard was dragged out.  I fell asleep and had weird dreams.

The next morning, I bumped into Willard in the lobby.  He apologized and asked if we could hang out, since it was my last day.

"I'm going to the war museum," I told him.

"Can I come?"

"Uh no sorry," I told him.  "I really need to do this myself."

If that is not the creepiest thing you can tell someone I don't know what is. Truth was, I did go to the museum for about thirty minutes. It was interesting, but extremely depressing and I had to go immediately to the chain Moss Burger and then play games at an arcade to regain my soul, which at this point in the trip was 80% Moss Burger.  Mostly I ate all day... Never to see Willard again.

*This name was changed because I think it's funny