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Published: April 4th 2008
On the first night in Montana, we drew straws to figure out where people would sleep—since Ted was sleeping in the master bedroom, the 7 of us split up into 3 rooms:
Room 1: Me, Yuriko and Soon Hae
Room 2: Chiaki and Shin
Room 3: Yu and Yuki
The problem with this setup is that there were only 2 beds in our room. Feeling immensely chivalrous, I offered the two women the beds and slept on some window ledge/couch/bed hybrid (actually I was just fucking tired and didn’t care where I slept). It was skinny enough that one (skinny Japanese) person could lie on it with some degree of ease, but definitely not two. It was also immensely cold since it was pushed up against the chilly window.
I passed the fuck out, huddled under borrowed blankets, hugging a pillow for warmth and desperately sucking the oxygen out of the thin Montana air.
I woke up the next morning, freezing cold, wrapped up in the fetal position and with half my body hanging off this bed/couch/ledge contraption. Got up, showered, popped a few Advil for my throbbing headache, trudged to the kitchen for some
Me, Chiaki, Soon Hae
I love slapping girls with huge, flaccid cylindrical objects
eats and started suiting up.
In a slight aside, snowboarding, I must mention, is my favorite sport. I’ve never really featured my undying passion for snowboarding because this one-man sport doesn’t really lend itself to analogies about love (well, except the obvious analogy that all one-man sports can relate to) and all my crazy adventures invariably occur during the sunny days of summer, not the windy days of winter. It was the first sport outside of dodging bullets where my skinny frame wasn’t a disadvantage in and it is also the ONLY passion both my father and I share (my father also enjoys the pursuits of photography, fine art and making awkward statements about the sex he just had with my mother). This means when we happen to have a civilized conversation, its almost always about Burton’s new line or the base on the East Coast or the tricks we can throw down. It’s also the only sport I’m decent enough to not look like a complete fool.
Being an East Coaster, this was the first time I would be doing serious pow, so I was more than excited. From the windows I could eyeball a good foot
(if not more) of powder. We head outside, I park myself down to do the awkward strap-in that all snowboarders must do and Teddy starts leading the way through some trees around his house. After giving Teddy about two seconds, I stand. Beautiful day. Great weather. Sun shining. First run of the day, first run in Montana, first run of the season, first run in powder,
I point myself downhill.
Get myself pumped.
Clap my hands.
Let’s do this!
I fall flat on my face.
I quickly stand, making sure no one in the house was looking through the windows. I nonchalantly start again.
And fall flat on my face.
After falling over 5 times in the span of 5 meters, I finally catch up to an impatient Teddy. What looked like pristine, peaceful powder now takes the shape of an annoying menace. With over a foot of powder, I invariably got my nose jammed many a time, halting all forward progress and launching my body headfirst in a snowbank. I was fucking annoyed as hell: snowboarding is something I’m good at and here I was, getting owned like a beginner.
At the bottom of the hill
We finally got to a groomed trail, and I started to finally relax. This is what I’m used to. I started carving like a madman, hand trailing in the snow, wind whistling in my ears. This is it!
The sensation of floating, the scenery bursting by at breakneck speeds, the snow spraying up with each turn—if only I could bottle this feeling, I would never have to turn to women and porn for bliss.
The high altitude and the resulting lack of oxygen reaching my head probably helped my euphoria along—as my board drifted along the slope, my thoughts drifted to Chiaki. If anything did happen, where would we? Could I rely on Yuriko and Soon Hae to leave my room while I took care of business? Wait, two people can’t even fit on the thing I was sleeping on…could I use another room? Wait, Soon Hae doesn’t know anything…should I put her in my batting lineup? Would this be a mistake or an amazing coup? Is it worth the risk? They are good friends after all…but maybe if I can show her how much I like Chiaki…
…and I closed my eyes, envisioning a date with
me and Chiaki. Eating at some restaurant, taking a stroll through—my body flew up in the air, my eyes snapped open to see clear, blue, Montana sky, which quickly changed to clear, white, Montana snow, I managed to say “Oh…FUCK!”, my legs twisted underneath me, I heard something pop in my knee, my neck whiplashed, my ankles locked, my head slammed into the ground, my arms flailed helplessly, my goggles flew off and I tumbled about 40 feet, causing a mini avalanche and I found myself buried.
It took a minute to minute to realize I was still alive. I groaned. I shook my head awake. Face: cold. Sight: ok. Neck: sore. Arms: ok. Wrist: ok. Ribs: ok. Hips: ok. Knee: ok—no. No.
Shit. My knee was literally exploding in pain. Shit.
I managed to ride down, but to add insult to injury, I couldn’t tell Teddy why I was limping because I was busy searching for oxygen in the fucking air.
* My knee hurt like hell the rest of the trip but I gutted it out and snowboarded the next 5 days. Back in Montreal, I would discover that I actually tore my MCL. Yes,
Yuriko (in yellow) and Ted (Blue)
I snowboarded for 5 days with a torn MCL. Yes, I’m super amazing and super retarded.
After a few more runs-during which my knee scolded me like an Asian mother—we met up with the rest of the J-Crew, who were getting their rentals sorted out. Being a private mountain, these rentals were not your run of the mill public mountain crap but actually name brand, brand new, top of the line equipment. Burton, Rossignol, K2-these kids were getting hooked up. With this stuff strapped to their feet, they looked like professionals.
4 inches into our run, we find out that looks are deceiving. All the boarders are beginners, except for Chiaki, who is pretty decent (God, what does she do that isn’t attractive?). Yuki’s lines are as smarmy as his teeth, Shin can’t turn and Soon Hae looks like she wants to return to her dark corner and put on square frame glasses like all emo Koreans. Yu and Yuriko manage to hold their own on skis, though Yu looks goofy as fuck with huge brown goggles, a light blue jacket and a 1970’s-esque sweater.
After one run of watching him basically tumble down the
mountain, I decide to bust out my snowboard teaching skills and give Yuki a lesson on turning. I manage to teach him in one run the basic turn (I’ll take all the credit, thank you) and then we all cruise down the mountain for a couple of runs.
We head back to Ted’s lodge in a huge Suburban the mountain provides and I manage to nab a seat next to Chiaki in the third row. We bond in true New York City fashion by making fun of the others in front of us: Yuriko, sitting shotgun, for flirting with the Montana-hick driver, and the four space cadets sitting in the second row, Shin, Yu, Yuki and Soon Hae.
After thoroughly pointing out everyone’s deficiencies while pointedly ignoring our own, we get back to Ted’s lodge, devour snacks while waiting for dinner, devour dinner and then…head down to the basement bar to devour drinks. Ted being somewhat obsessed with them…and the J-Crew having never tried them, we drink the drink that all college students drink: Jagerbombs
Because of the lethal amalgamation of high altitude and a day of boarding, it didn’t take much to send us over the
edge. A Jagerbomb and two beers and I was pretty wasted. Pounding Jagerbombs and beer everynight, all 5 nights in Montana blurred into one mishmash of drunken fun so I really don’t recall what we did that first night.
Nevertheless, the night ended with me plopping my skinny self onto my skinny ledge bed, too drunk, too tired and too burning red to care that I happen to be lonely and cold with a bum knee.
I wake up as I would wake up for all the remaining days in Montana-cold, slightly hungover, slightly dizzy, definitely single and definitely throbbing in my knee. And I would use the same cure: shower for the cold, water, bacon and eggs for the hangover, Advil for the dizziness, wishful thinking for the relationship status and sheer stupidity for the knee. With this remedy, I could convince my body for another day of fun.
The runs were pretty much the same today, except we discovered a terrain park and Teddy and I decided to show how awesome we were by nailing jumps. However, said terrain park was basically three tiny jumps and a mix of rails. Since I hate
rails (it’ll destroy your base like nothing else) and the jumps were so badly made that you always overshot and landed on the flat, I didn’t get to display much. Just a few easy grabs as I was way too scared of making a fool of myself in front of Chiaki.
Got back after our runs, and there being ample time until dinner, we decided to watch a movie. After much debate, or actually, none at all since Japanese people are compliant and submissive, we decided on a J-chick flick called 電車男 (Densha Otoko, literally, Train Boy). The premise is wrapped around a late 20’s otaku (if you have no idea what an otaku is: go here
) saving a woman from harm and then his navigation, with the help of his otaku Internet chat friends, through the perils of his first relationship/love. I had heard great things about it so I was pretty excited, but even more excited when Chiaki sat next to me, we shared a blanket and the lights started dimming.
<Cue MLB on FOX theme song
Remember, the last time me and Chiaki had done anything of consequence was in the jazz bar from Day 2
. I was amped. Obviously I
Yuki, Shin and Yu
This is how space cadets mate
couldn’t talk or even whisper as there were 8 of us packed into the tiny theater room and everything would be heard. I had to use “physical speech”. During the emotional scenes, I “inadvertently” touched her foot with mine or touched her hand with mine, but she always shied away. A bit confused considering how well things were going, I decided to try a more subtle approach. I leaned a bit into her after pretending to shift my body but once again she shied away. I decided to take her hint, stopped and started concentrating on the movie. I won’t spoil it for any of you, but about 20 minutes before the end of the movie, I got bored. That’s not to say that the movie is boring at the end, quite the contrary, it was reaching its climax, but being a young American male, if guns, boobs or explosions don’t appear on the screen for 30 seconds, I start yawning.
I fell asleep.
I drift back to consciousness, eyes still closed. From the silence, the movie’s done and everyone’s left. It’s warm, its soft. For the first time, I’m sleeping in peace. No cold, skinny
ledge, hugging a pillow. Just a huge, warm sofa. Everything smells fresh and nice. I’m content. I realize I’m hugging a pillow. But its warm and soft as well. Everything feels so good. I sigh in peace and my pillow sighs back. My knee doesn’t even—wait…
My eyes snap open and I realize the “pillow” I’m hugging not an inanimate piece of cloth stuffed with cotton but a living, breathing, small Japanese girl wearing hipster clothes.
My mind reels: “Think, think, think. You went to sleep first, while everyone was there. Ok, ok. So that means she fell asleep after you…or she came back. Ok. Cool. If she came back, that…holy shit! That means—wait, what if she slept right after you? Umm…think…that’s normal, right? But the position you guys are lying in…she had to have made that on purpose…There’s no way you guys ended up that way normally…She had to have at least consented….Ok, but what if—"
She sighed and readjusted herself, and I frantically closed my eyes shut and pretended to sleep while my heart beat rapidly in my chest. “Ok, ok, stay cool, Gen. Ok, um…What do you do now? What
Yuriko, Me, Chiaki
Instead of using the bathroom for its intended purposes, Japanese people find another excuse to take pictures
do you do now? Stay cool. WHAT DO YOU NOW? HOW THE FUCK AM I SUPPOSED TO STAY CALM? She’s inches—no she’s pressed up against me! I can feel her! And my arms are around her midsection and I can feel her heartbeat her scent is driving me crazy and her breathing is synced up with mine and she fits perfectly in my arms and she looks so FUCKING adorable!” She sighed again, and I tensed, thinking she had somehow knew I was awake. She readjusted herself, scratching her chin—and that’s when I realized her movements weren’t natural for a sleeping human…she was feigning sleep!
Jackpot. “Ok, ok. What to do now?”
Knowing that she was pretending to sleep and actually allowing this position gave me a boost of confidence and sent cold, calculated calmness coursing through my body. “The spoon state is good for a first state…but to progress, you need to face her or at least have her on her back. You could theoretically go to second from the spoon state, but anyone who goes to second without touching first is automatically out. You need to get to first base. That’s your mission now. Get to
Get to first.
I tried applying some light pressure to make her turn towards me. After about 5 minutes and her not budging, I was a little confused…but still game. Ok, another angle. I pretended to adjust my leg in my sleep and let it rest on hers. No reaction. I tried applying, light, sleepy pressure to try to make her slowly roll…but she didn’t budge. Ok, something drastic. I pretended to do a sleep roll so that now I was back to back with her. Hopefully, she would take the role of big spoon, in which case things would be exceptionally easy. I waited 5 minutes…nothing happened.
Why? She was fake-sleeping. This much was obvious. Btu why didn’t she bite on any of my hints? That’s when I remembered her shying away during the movie. Maybe this is her style? Slow and steady, at her pace? Yea, that’s probably it. She’s Japanese after all, where people take months, sometimes years, to start dating. Ok, then this is major progress. Ok, slow and steady. Remember it. Baby steps. Slow and steady.
I sleepily rolled back and relinquished my big spoon position, slowly drifting off, my pulse synced with hers.
Due to finals and such, this might be the last update for sometime.
I also have no idea how to score this night (no, we didn’t progress past the spooning)…is it a single? But in any universally accepted baseball field, first base is definitely not spooning…so am I at a base halfway between home and first? Two balls? The first time this analogy fails I guess…
Tot: 1.433s; Tpl: 0.073s; cc: 12; qc: 62; dbt: 0.0746s; 1; m:saturn w:www (184.108.40.206); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.4mb