Someone asked me last night, in broken English, what my goals in life are. Knowing the groups communication level I responded, “Not to kill myself before I am forty years old,” with a jolly smile. The smile is all they saw and the sentiment of my sentence was only known to me, but I kept the placid grin on my face interrupted only by the sip of alcohol as it reached my lips. It confuses even myself, to see such happiness on a daily basis and to feel such staunch despair, a knowing glimpse of reality in the mirror every morning as I apply the days make up to cover my sullen eyes and tired face. I wonder if this is it, for people like me, a struggle to see the gain of each day coming, with all the memories of what my life could have been as if they once were, and somehow slipped away through my fingers like silk blowing in the wind.
I so wished that my writing could return with a great fever of joy and the emphasis of the life that I see worth living, but that is not where my words come from. Instead, from the real place where my mind often finds itself, and not from the world where people know me, as the smiling happy face in the flower crown. The funny part, perhaps only to me, is that I am not even depressed. This is not me being depressed, it is a much worse state to be, a world that is without feeling. A transient day to day of nothing. I am embarrassed to share these kind of thoughts, I feel obligation to be more than this, more than morose, more than complaining. But I think that maybe there are others feeling the same things that I feel, and perhaps through a moment of sharing, someone else will realize that they are not alone.
I celebrated finding black beans at the grocery store near my house, in addition to the chickpeas and chili beans that I already knew existed. Now, despite being without lime, basic black pepper, or hot sauce, I could create in a saucepan a vague memory of something similar to a burrito. Living abroad frees me from the burden of choice while grocery shopping and eating. Being a repeat eater, I don’t mind eating veggie ramen or soba every day, breaking up the monotony on the weekends with trips outside the house for moroccan sandwiches or indian food.
This face is essentially representative about how I feel today. Last night after a short run and a don’thavetimetowashmyhair shower I put on a body concealing frock and headed across the river to the Gangnam area. My old and dear friends Mimi and Hanul were meeting me for whiskey. We went to a bar not from from Garasu (the main shopping street) called The Client. Mimi is a lot like me in that she has her bars that she frequents, to the point where the normal rules no longer apply. They had a bottle of her own Laphroaig single malt scotch behind the counter, and they served it to her a hefty pour with a bucket of ice. I had a bottle of Ballantine 12 year in my purse and Hanul and I drank that. We sat on the patio in the back that overlooked the small winding streets of Seoul.
In Tokyo my visa status is limited to an entertainer. This visa, the “Entertainment Visa,” commonly referred too amongst expats as the “Stripper Visa” is three months long, with a possible extension of three extra months, which if you include the month you spend waiting for an extension, is about seven months possible of living/working time in Japan. No matter how many times you come to Japan under this visa there is no moving beyond that amount of time, unless you appear on TV Drama or become a celebrity “Talent” of some kind. So I’m stuck with that visa unless I get married or sprout a career that evolves beyond the blogger/model equation. So! My visa expired, and now I’m in Seoul. I have to stay here until I am granted another stripper visa, and the lovely people at Japan’s immigration have decided to make it extra difficult for me this time, requesting papers from the IRS that will take upwards of a month to attain. Thank you Japan.