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Banking and Malcolm, Oh, Malcolm

Going to the bank is a chore anyway, but doing it in Japanese makes it that much more difficult. It's not that I can't understand, it's just the pressure of knowing that eventually they'll ask or say something I don't get, and that's both scary and frustrating. I get the old "deer in the headlights" look--dunno what it looks like on me, but I know what it feels like--and it's awful. And I always have the same thought: WHY haven't I studied more Japanese?! If I studied [at all] I wouldn't be in this position. Of course, that's total bullshit. You can't study everything; they'll always say something in the end that you won't get. But the thought crosses my mind, anyway.

I asked the woman at the bank for traveler's cheques and she handed me cash. When I say "Traveler's Cheques," I'm not asking for genkin. Honestly woman. If people would just listen to me instead of assuming they know what I mean. She handed me these 5 sealed envelopes packed with mystery paper and I was like, "Uh, are the cheque codes inside or are they separate?" and she went insane. She started apologizing and ran around, printing out random pieces of paper that she immediately threw away. Then she had me fill out the same form 3 times and apologized again and gave me my damn cheques. All of which I had to sign. My hand stopped working after the 3rd pack. But, if nothing else, I got some money back for going with traveler's cheques instead of cash.

I sometimes have moments of perfect clarity which transcend language and help me bridge elements I've learned and some things I haven't. For example, the first time I went to the bank, this lady (who has the job of pulling tickets out of this mechanical green box and handing them to people who have gone over there to get a ticket to wait in line--by far one of the most useless jobs I've seen here) asked me what kind of traveler's cheques I wanted when I told her I needed to buy some. I had never heard a Japanese term for "American dollar" aside from "アメリカのドル," so I felt the headlights shining in my eyes when I heard "米ドル." Then it was like I had been struck by lightning. I knew that the Japanese name for America was Beikoku and dollar was doru, so I combined the first part of the former with all of the latter and miraculously understood what she was talking about. Every once in a long while God just gives up and gives me the answer. It's kinda like that time I was talking with Kou-chan and he asked what was wrong and I said, "Nan de mo nai." I was immediately embarrassed, 'cuz I thought I had made a mistake. I had never learned how to say "Never mind," and it made grammatical sense to say "Nani mo nai" ("Nothing"). I blushed--but then, I was always blushing around Kou-chan (stupid Abby--I no longer think he's gay, but his dad was right when he said Kou-chan's girlfriend was his car)--and beat myself in the head mentally for saying something incorrectly, but it turns out I was right. Why was I right? Who knows. I probably overheard it without registering it, but it stuck in my brain for some reason, coming out when I needed it and making feel dumb 'cuz I thought it was wrong.

Is there a day that goes by where my mouth doesn't screw me over? I don't hold a candle to Lara, of course, but still. How can you be sensitive and an ass at the same time? (That's a rhetorical question. I don't want to do that; it's just what I do.) I feel bad about shit, yet I'm always saying exactly what I think. (Well, not EVERYTHING I think. If I did that, I'd have been killed 10 times over by now....) I'm not sure how many lives I have left--lost count when I was about 15 years old--but I don't think I have too many left. (Not going to jump out in front of a MAC truck again. Man, that was scary. The street was clear. I stepped out into it and heard something beside me. I turned to see what it was and the word MAC was no more than 5 inches away from my eyes. I think that was life No. 5, but I'm not sure.) Lessee, I lost 1 to the MAC truck, 1 to my heart, 1 to drowning when I was 4 years old...I know I'm forgetting so many....

Speaking of near misses and stuff, that reminds me of my accident last week. (Oh, the catchy ending line I was going to have for the continuation entry which I sort of half wrote but gave up on was: The most ironic thing about yesterday? It never rained.) Anywho, my body's healing up nicely. My arm may be mostly healed by next week. There's all this viscous flesh on the surface that's pretty disturbing. There was this patch of wet, white flesh that kept oozing all last week, but the oozing's stopped now, thankfully. And I air it out every night, which gives it a chance to dry out, but the skin's really tight there and it hurts like the devil when I move my arm at all. I think I may have hit a nerve, too, since there are a lot of nerves in there and I get these random pains that go shooting up and down my arm from my elbow, even though I'm not moving. The tip of the elbow is still bruised pretty badly, and the wound itself burns like hellfire once every few hours. When I say "hellfire," I mean "HELLFIRE." Like somebody has a blowtorch aimed at my arm. The size of the wound is half the size it was a week ago (when it happened), which is a pretty good sign; the lower half of it has healed up completely and left nothing but [beautiful] skin.

Having this horrible scrape--I call it a scrape, but it's more, oh, so much more--reminds me of the time I skidded on my face across brushed concrete in 6th grade. Now, that wasn't what I was going for at the time. I was trying to hurdle over these benches in front of the girls' cabin at Bear Creek (was that an awesome trip or what?) and in mid-flight, I knew I wasn't going to make it. My front foot just barely caught the edge of the bench and I went face-first into the ground. I was like a field-plow. It was amazing. I actually slid across the ground on nothing but the side of my face. The rest of my body was untouched. (The idea at the time was that if I hurdled over the benches, I'd look cool. Although I'm sure watching me do a face-dive into concrete was cool to watch, it wasn't the look I was really going for at the time.) Needless to say, it hurt like a bitch with no one else to pick on. It took all the skin off my right cheek and alongside the eye. It was pretty deep, too, and would twitch at random. The doctor was a little worried about nerve damage, and although it did twitch for nearly a year afterwards, it healed up fine and I haven't had a problem with it since. It was wicked-cool-looking, though. I had this gaping wound that traveled down my face. Unfortunately for me, Ms. Malone took it on herself to take me down to the bathroom in the main hall and scrub it every night I was there. I knew I was one of her favorite students, but that was one hell of a way to show it. Damn. I thought I was going to scream. I even remember telling her--with the camp counsellor (who was a reeeeeeeally cute redhead named Malcolm) looking on in obvious concern--"Hahahah [grimace], this actually hurts more [clenches fists in pain] than when I got hurt [twitch] in the first place! Ha ha...." (I wanted to keep things light. Malcolm looked like he was going to pass out. Man, he was cute. I had forgotten about him. Always have had a thing for redheads--except Conan O'Brien--which is weird, 'cuz I've never dated one. Well, I guess Bushy sort of had red hair, but the thing with him was weird and we "went out" for like 2 weeks, not even. Malcolm kinda looked like Max from Eve6. Well, a camp-version of Max--nothing's as hot as Max. And he paid all this special attention to me 'cuz I got hurt and everything. And he even said goodbye after the trip to Bear Creek was over and told me to be careful. ::swoon::) Anyway, if anything, I think that made Ms. Malone scrub harder.

I just remembered, one of my sophomores who looks like Hoshida-san (from the Shelton-sensei fan club--still creeped out about that) was leaving the building after exams on Monday and they saw me and said, "Shelton!" to which I replied, "Call me Shelton-sensei!" (シェルトン先生ってちゃんと言いなさい!) I mean, honestly, how rude. Before I yelled my response however, the Hoshida-lookalike said, "Oh, Shelton, my Shelton!" Actually got a bit of a kick outta that one. Wonder where he heard "Oh, Captain, my Captain!" Maybe he watched "Dead Poets' Society" or read the original line or something (I can't remember for the life of me what that line's from--I'll probably remember in the middle of the night or something). Eh, most likely saw the movie. Anyway, it really tickled me and I've been running it over and over in my head.

Oh, Shelton, my Shelton! ^_^

So many more things to write about, but, as usual, there's not enough time to include them all. I'll do what I always do: promise to write about them tomorrow and never get around to it.

I have to talk about that "Obattalion" on the bike, the girl who took of her shirt, the foreigner frenzy at ACTA, the kid who got killed on the escalator and the new signs they put up for it, the manga I'm borrowing from Bon-kun called 花の慶次 (big crush on Keiji, the lead character), the new manga I bought today that I'm a bit excited about (new--?--series from CLAMP called "xxxHOLiC") that has the most gorgeous drawings in it and made me realize that I will never be a 漫画家 (comic book artist).

Anyway, some of those things'll probably show up in here in the future. Probably.


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Jul. 7th, 2004 02:00 am (UTC)
Dead Poets
If that kid is a middle school grad, than he saw Dead Poets in the English Conversation class. The first year I got here, there was one kid who kept calling me Keating after seeing that, but as it was Ito, I think he was trying to make fun of me.

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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