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Skinny Jeans Beach Clean   Leave a comment

June 7th, 2009

In Skinny jeans and shoes unfit for sand, I’m helping to clean a beach.

I’m an unofficial member of Surfquest, run by a tall manly-man looking guy named Mike, who’s responsible for thirteen miles of beach in Hamamatsu. I’d met him once in the city. He’s a builder. He built his house, skateboards and has plans for a lodge beside his house to sell books, house wayward surfers and have events.
The beach clean is pretty popular. Afterwards we have a barbeque and there is a book sale for those of us fiengning for English novels to read. When I arrived, I saw a couple fellow employees and familiar faces from around town.

We grabbed bags and went through an enclave of trees to the beach. Seeing the ocean for the first time since I’d been in Hamamatsu washed me with a sense of calm. I felt quiet and in touch internally as I walked and talked, happily picking up garbage and sorting into different bags. We had red bags and blue bags. “Red is for unburnable, blue for burnable.” Mike told the group earlier. We were all commissioned straw hats, little dirty gloves and a few plastic bags each. With only two colours of bags, people still asked during the clean which was which. I was putting the non burnables in the red bag, which luckily for me, was correct.

In terms of my life I didn’t know how I was feeling. The days still seemed a little fuzzy, and I often wondered what I was doing in Japan, so far from everything and everyone I know. This event helped my mood significantly. I fed everyone around me with questions, made jokes and played racing games with Mike’s dog, Chai. I felt free.

Later, there was a veggie barbeque at Mike’s place. Darkness started to fall, and I was eating loads of curried beans, peppery black beans and chips. There were lots of beers and green tea. Somewhere around this time, I met a girl. I’ll call her Z.

She wore a white a purple skirt that fitted her form perfectly. She was small, but more curvy than the majority of the Japanese women I had met so far. I recognized her immediately. I met her one night I had a DJ stint at a local bar. My buddy had been chatting her up, but I had no idea if he succeeded.
I liked her face. She was cute, with round bright eyes and a button nose. Occassionally her eyes would slant and a spark of sexuality would spread across her face. Then, like nothing, it was gone. I had seen her tipsy, and that look remained in my mind as I saw her the first time. She spoke great English. Her family traveled around. She also had a playful sense of humor.
I pretended to look through books in the book sale room to chat to her. We did small-talk. As I gauged her interest, I started to feel that she was someone worth some kind of effort. I puffed myself up somewhat, demonstrating my interesting life and telling lots of anecdotes, bridging the gap between my raging passions for certain things, with subtle hints about my sexual proclivities and love life.
She’s the kind of girls that foreigners here love–a well traveled Japanese chick who speaks English. The benefit of these women is three fold. One, they are open minded. Two they have probably been ina relationship with a foreigner (which can remove oodles of awkward situations), and three, they themselves have a different perspective on Japan after leaving it. She had been to America, Asia and Europe

I fed her story after story, wondering in my mind how I had morphed from my bumbling, sorry self of two days before into a person with what I call “life fire”. Time was dragging on, and I wanted to catch the last bus back to the city. K and a few other people wanted to take a walk on the beach, meaning we’d catch a cab home. I didn’t travel with much money on me that day, but I was down. I was enjoying everything about the evening, especially talking to K. Most women I had met so far were either shy or distant with language, or immediately proclaimed their status as taken.
A full moon was out and it lit our way as we made our way back through the enclave of trees to the beach. I will still chatting to K, and felt my sappy self coming out. I love beautiful moments in life, the kind that are priceless and are extremely simple. Standing with someone you care about on a beach somewhere, or in a mall holding hands waiting for a movie… these things always go straight in my subconscious as things I value. This was no different. The blue moonbeams illuminated the forestry around us, giving the dark leaves a touch of watered down indigo. Me, four other people and a cute girl were going for a moon-lit walk in Japan. It was a drop of heaven.

We when exited the forest, my jaw dropped. The sky above me was brightly lit; wrapped by a belt of puffy clouds beneath the shining moon in a semi-circular arch. Breathtaking, I thought. Now I was holding K’s hand, feeling her soft skin against my palms, smiling fiendishly. We stopped at the seashore, near the tall shadows of tetrapods, where a few Japanese guys were lighting fireworks. There we stood the six of us; Mike’s tall silhouette about fifteen feet away with a friend. Behind me, another couple held hands and quietly took in the vista. Me, I was standing with my arms outstretched and my eyes closed, feeling warm ocean breeze caress my body like a thousand hands.
“This is what living is all about.” I said to myself. “This is life.”
I was lost in thought, and completely overwhelmed by the beauty of the ocean and the moon. I stood there for a while, until I felt a hand touch me. It was K. “Don’t get left behind.” She said with a smile.
I was happy to see the moonlit beach. I was happy to spend time around people with good energy. I was happy to meet K. As usual, the work week loomed ahead like a burly taskmaster with a whip of chains, but at least for a moment, I could say I smiled for no other reason, than to smile.