Hello, internets. It’s been a while — more than two years now since my last post, when I wrote about putting jalapeños on a demi-baguette to try to de-blandify the local food options.
I’ve thought a lot about this blog, and have wanted to do an update for some time. The problem is, that update would break one of my initial rules: that nitty-gritty, personal details should be avoided when possible. Ultimately, as you can see, I said screw it.
I started this blog during my fifth year in Japan, my second in Tokyo. After losing Office Job No. 1 due to the Lehmen Shock back in 2008, I bounced back and landed Office Job No. 2, a surprisingly well-paying position at a global financial institution.
It was fucking hell.
I loathed how the company was run. I dreamed of seeing my boss, whom I later learned was nicknamed “The Dragon Lady,” being stabbed to death by bloodthirsty Mongolians. But it was my primary source of income, and when the economy soured and I was let go from that job as well, it hit pretty hard. That’s when the former Mrs. Turningpin announced she was leaving.
Oh yes, dear Reader: I never mentioned her, but there was a Mrs. Turningpin. Ten years of marriage to a non-English-speaking Japanese can do wonders for one’s language skillz, but not even a decade is enough to address real, fundamental differences. Apparently, she’d been planning her exit strategy for a while; after informing her of my being released from the company, I was told over a dish of cold noodles, “Let me know when you’re done eating. Oh, you’re done? I can’t be with you anymore.”
I am Jack’s wasted life.
I had just over a week left on the spousal visa. I was able to get an extension, thank goodness, but the next month and a half was pretty miserable. I’d said my goodbyes, had moved to Japan with the intention of staying there for good, but now things were different. My personal life had gone to hell, and I was sick of the crowds and commutes and unrelenting asshole-ishness that permeates Tokyo. So I packed up and left.
Nothing quite spells fail like getting divorced in your mid-30s and moving in with your sister; with everything you own fitting inside 17 boxes, each having been lovingly ripped apart by customs; with, after hearing stories of husbands being suddenly left by their J-wives and thinking, “The poor bastards,” you are now one of those selfsame bastards. But somehow, I was already picking myself up.
In between drinking too much and interviewing for jobs in the heart of Fuck-All, Alabama, I began building a small but steady client base. It wasn’t long before I had more work than I knew what to do with, and — save for a four-month stint where things got slow and I took an office job, only to reaffirm that office jobs suck ass and I promptly quit — I have been working from home, doing Japanese translation while raging out to heavy metal.
I’m no longer living with family, I’m pleased to say. I’d been back in the U.S. for about five months when I started reconnecting with some of my old high-school friends through facebook. I sent one friend request, a simple “Remember me?” message, to a girl I had junior-year English and senior play with. She did remember me, and she wrote back.
We were married four months ago.
So there you have it. It wasn’t so long ago that, frankly, I was at the lowest point of my life. But I got through it, readjusted to life in the States; I bought my first truck, got a dog, put a 10-year mortgage on a house the size of which would have been impossible in Japan. I even married the cute girl I knew from high school 20 years ago. There’s still no shortage of things for me to hate on, but overall, life is pretty good.
As for this blog … there are some things I’d like to address (finish up the Matrix script, for sure, and bang out some of these long-lingering draft posts). But in the interim, I’m glad to have finally written this update, to let the rirekisho vultures, perverts and other wayward folk know what’s been going on with me.
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