Thoughts before Disney Sea

|Written by Sushilove51| Photo on pexels.com |

“Vacation, All I ever wanted, Vacation had to get away…”

– The Go-Go’s

 

Years back.

You may have seen a comic strip by Adam Ellis that trended for a while on the internet.

It was a four scene story with a memorable line a lot of us could relate to. Two buddies sit on a couch. One is watching football on T.V. with a generic t-shirt that reads sports team.

The other guy sits next to him and begins to complain about the game of football. Then he begins to gives reasons of why it sucks.

The football fan then shuts his mouth closed and whispers.

“Let people enjoy things”.

It’s a comic strip that does the dirty work for you. If you have some person in your life adamant on taking the fun out of life. This is your battle cry.

Still at the same time it’s weirdly comforting to know others been in this situation. Your not alone in this.

And when it does the go to attitude was aloof and tune them out. Those who like to crap on beautiful things. It’s an ugly vibe I try to stay clear from.

Which brings me to when a person tried to ruin Disneyland for me. A person I barely knew and seen in passing. The military base community is a small world and news travels quicker than in hair saloons even the most useless information that has nothing to do with you.

I was filling up a mug with coffee when I heard my name.

“Hey what’s going on?”

“Sup you”

“Good man, Heard from so and so you were going to Disney”

“Yeah, I leave this weekend”

“Really man, you’re going to support Disney?”

“Yeah”

“There’s an evil corporation that has been influence the minds of the youth with evil imagery…There connected with so much of the elites…”

“Hey man, good talk…I don’t have time for this…ever”

I prefer a positive vibe.

Have you meet killjoys and wanted to say “Let people enjoy things” ?

Advertisements

Night Shift at Aomori

|Written by Sushilove51 | Photo by A. Chandra|

“Funny thing is I used to stay up all night and called it Fun”

– unknown author

 

I know there’s a stigma about working the night shift. It isn’t good for your health. It isn’t natural your body wants you to be tucked away in bed. Still, despite all of this. I’ll always prefer Nights to Day and wouldn’t have it any other way.

I’m not sure as to why. Except for the tranquility I feel during those late hours.

It may be a useless talent of mine that has developed over time. By “Useless Talent” I’m piggy-backing of the theory mentioned in that Tarantino film, “Planet Terror”. It was said during a dialogue between the character Dr. Dakota to a patient.

“You know, my girlfriend had a theory. She said at some point in your life, you find a use for every useless talent you ever had. It’s like connecting the dots.”

Having grown up in Southern California. Very close to Mexico. I’ve partied very frequently since the age of 15. (All you really needed was $15 and a fake id.) While I was up at any hour who knew that I was possibly training my body to be ready for the graveyard shift.

It’s not something you can put on your resume. Word-for-Word. You have to spice it up. Instead, of saying something like.

“I’m able to rock out for 48 hours straight”

You can instead say “I’m able to give 110% working long hours on any shift”

like I said, “Spice”.

When the time for our base’s deployment exercise came around. I’d gotten tasked as a Guard to work the Night Shift. This connected the dots of my useless talents to other useless talents I had.

I remembered every time I spent sitting in a garage watching movies with buddies. Kind of what a guard does. In the sense that you sit on your butt and are required to be alert for long period of time. (Of course, credit the fact that your head is on a swivel ready for bad guys.)

Who knew that chit-chatting about random topics like who has the best crossover in the NBA, The law of attraction or the benefits of wheat grass. In front of Soda, Monster energy drinks, and McDonald’s would someday give me the skills I needed for a future career.

I looked around and thought that life has started to get better. Deciding to stick around has finally started to pay off. I wouldn’t let nothing ruin the good news I’d been giving. Even if I had to work it alongside someone with one of the worst reputations.

To me he wasn’t all that bad.  He was from Sudan. Had a very Sudanese name. However, was preferred to be called Matthew. I assume he was tired from American guys mispronouncing it. I knew him from Basic Training. I’ve always thought he was an “all right” guy. But then again we didn’t really speak a lot to each other. A lot of the other guys avoided him like a wild fire.

One of the reasons was his Temperament. They said he didn’t know how to take a joke. It was said that whatever was said to him he took very personal. And taking everything people say to you personal can get your feeling hurt a lot in the military.

Since, most of the Leadership are straight shooters when it comes to talking and they could care less about your feelings. For example: if we are exercising and someone’s not fit enough and slowing everyone else down. None of them will baby you. Instead, You’ll more than likely hear leadership say.

“Hey fat ass, you should start throwing up after you eat. Then you’ll finally make the run time”.

Also, Americans participate in the Art of roasting. Which by definition is insulting your fellow man for fun. And when it comes to roasting I believe there aren’t any safe zones. It’s pretty much open season for everyone. But, to Matthews credit this is something you have to kind of grow up in to get used to.

The other main reason no one wanted to work with him was because of his smell. Which I admit was an acquired kind of off putting. Back in Training school, we stayed on the same floor and you knew which room he stayed in by that pungent, combo that could be confused with hamster cage hay and ripe onions.

If he said that he was growing onions in his room. I could imagine people saying, “Oh it makes perfect sense”.

Instead people said “Bro, you smell like crap. Did you take a shower?”

I admit this would make me want to get out of guarding a post for 12 hours with him. But, it didn’t bother me so much. Because, since I got to Japan. I had the worst allergies of my life. My skin would flare up and get red. I would wheeze when I went to sleep. And, I was immune to the smell because my sinus where always stuffed. I wouldn’t be able to smell the gun smoke if I fired a rifle. Everything was okay.

As far as how Matthew’s personality. I’m the type of person who tries to understand. And if he was sensitive I wasn’t going to try to bother him. I didn’t need to roast him. He’s probably had enough of a hard time coming to America from Sudan and all. I had no problem with him.

One top of everything. The Supervisor said we’d be guarding the exit gate on the West Side. This was easiest task. When you’re guarding the exit gate your required to do nothing but sit there, couple radio checks and grab your binoculars every now and then. And whenever they simulate a Chemical Attack you can pretend to put a Gas Mask while the guards at the Entrance gate have to actually have it on for hours at a time. Running around like toddlers while the Training Instructors are evaluating their every move. But, who knows maybe I would have been happy either way. Looking at the bright side might be another useless talent being put to use.

*The day our shift started*

We sat there two men making a living sitting down, chit-chat about random topics. In front of Coke, Monster energy drinks and McDonald’s. All my life I thought that this was just a Useless Talent. Well, past negative thoughts. Look at me now because It can’t be that useless if it puts food on the table.

During our shift Matthew and I converse about life experiences but after about two hours in there is only so much that we can talk about. Until the two of us start to get tired. We retreat to our books or magazine.

*Three hours later* Matthew starts to giggle.

I question him out of curiosity. “What’s so funny man? you read something good?”

Out of nowhere Matthew says, “You know the guys at work like to joke around a lot”.

“Yeah, nothing like a good laugh” I respond.

“Yeah, it’s very different from where I’m from”

“How so?”

“It’s a sign of aggression to make fun of someone the way they do it” Matthew says sternly.

“Really?”

“Yes, and you don’t want to start fights where I’m from…Because we’re I’m from we fight until the death”.

I just nodded along, and thought to myself. “Wow, this got uncomfortable fast” I pulled out my book. And decided not to talk the rest of the shift. because I wasn’t ready to die nor to kill. I was just looking forward for time to pass. Not out of fear of him. But more so we can get into my favorite time period.

It begins at 0400 and ends around 0445 this is when the sun starts to rise.

To me there is something, “magical” about this time period. I know that once I’m here I get this burst of energy. Everything feels more calm. Everyone gets calm. The wind isn’t moving. The air seems to feel fresher. I think about a new beginning. And the inability to articulate words to convey the beauty of it all.

I just learned accept that you don’t need it. All the understanding of why something is enjoyable. I have to tell myself “How about you just enjoy the mystery”.

Then another memory comes to mind. I smile about it. Even if it’s kind of sad because it’s a story of wasted opportunity. And not much can irk a person’s soul worse. There’s that sense of regret of saying the wrong words or not saying anything at all.

Then all that’s left is hope. The hope that something better will come. A better chance. Your life’s Destiny.

 

Are there any talents you thought were useless but a moment they became useful?

Goodbye at Haneda-Airport

|Written by Sushilove51| Photo by T. Gouw |

 

“We’re becoming mortal. It’s us, being close to each other. It never happened this fast before. You have to leave. The further you get from me, the better you’re going to feel”

– Charlize Theron, Hancock Movie

 

Thousands of people walk to and from the Haneda-Airport. Some on time moving according to schedule and some are in a rush barely making it. Just like the McAllister family in the Home Alone movie.

Everyone has a journey and sometimes I wonder how nice it’d be if everyone would just stopped what they were doing and enjoyed life with each other. One of the tragic things about time on earth, is that our time is limited. Each of us are giving an unknown amount. With this in perspective, I hope to make an effort doing things I enjoy with the people I care for.

This day helped me realized this truth. Considering the circumstance.

Depending on what brings you to airport changes your entire body language. For instance, If you are going to see someone you love. You are all smiles you walk around like your at Disneyland, “The happiest place on earth”. Nothing will take you of this high.

But if you’re leaving someone behind it can be sadder than a cemetery visit. Which happened to be the case for me.

I didn’t want to fly. I didn’t want to leave. I didn’t care to travel. Even though, I’ve always considered myself a traveler. I used to want to see the world. Part of the reason I joined the military in the first place. I knew I’d be given the chance to see parts to the world I’ve wanted to go.

My second year in; I’ve traveled throughout the U.S., Mid-west, East Coast, and I was able to have great experiences like drinking a Pint of Guinness fresh from the tap at an Ireland pub. Speaking to people I barely understood. Only making out that there were giving off some good vibes. I met Jesus in Brazil as a statue called “Christ the Redeemer” who welcomed me with his arms spread open.

Then it all changed. The Traveling adventurer side of me disappeared. When I got stationed to Japan. All of a sudden I no longer felt the need to travel after I looked around, settled in and saw where I was at.

I realized a truth about myself. When I was traveling I must of not been doing it aimlessly like I thought I was. The curiosity I felt when I stepped of different airports and the happiness I felt when I looked around. Taking in all the new decor and the smiles from the friendly host. The curiosity was there because I was looking for something. Not sure what it was exactly but perhaps home.

While in Japan I felt a comfort I never knew. That’s when I had the epiphany and I see it more clear. I wasn’t traveling just to travel. I needed to find something. And that’s what happened when I moved to Japan. The perfect location and the person.

For the past two years me and here spent all our free time with each other. I was a busy young man serving in the Military. The training. The exercising. The war games. Still we made time for each other. This made the entire work cycle worth every minute. I would do it again. As long as I knew sometime during the week we would eventually get back to each other.

Imagine how I felt when we were at the airport knowing that I had to go to the Middle East for a year. It’s very cliché to say but we have to take the good with the bad. When we look at the situation at face value it was sad. She cried the whole way there up until we said goodbye. But then I got to see her cry. Which says a lot more than what anyone can express with words.

Watching her demeanor was bitter sweet. You know the military was easy for me. I may have gotten PTSD before I even joined. The environment I was raised in forced me to control my emotion, even withdraw because if I succumbed to the feeling that were necessary for the situation. I’m sure I would have cried my entire child hood.

Years later, I’m at an airport. It’s okay to be vulnerable because she is. She doesn’t care how she looks. All she cares about is that she wants me to come back safe. That’s up in the air it’s a mystery. Anything can happen in the Middle East. But, nothing is more dishonorable than a man who doesn’t fulfill his obligation. The military provided me with a chance to be better. Now it was time to fulfill my side of the deal.

Airports can the saddest/romantic places on earth. I needed a cigarette.

What was your hardest good bye?

Late Night McDonald’s Japan |Part One|

|Written by Sushilove51 | Photo by M. Wakui |

“We must have a pie. Stress cannot exist in the presence of a pie.”

-D. Mamet

 

On sleepless nights.

I lay in bed with eyes shut wondering “What the heck?” and “Not, again”.

I’m annoyed by whatever this condition is. It’s not consistent enough to be insomnia. At the most it’ll happen twice a month.

Am I in a re-boot. That happens periodically. I can’t sleep sometimes and my thoughts bounce from idea to idea.

I used to try and get more sleep but I gave up on that idea. I learned to do something I need to get done, a chore. Something that burns calories to get me tired enough to fall into slumber.

Trying to to figure out what awoke me, a bad dream, a random thought, must of been something strange and for whatever reason. I’m up. Getting sleep shouldn’t take this much effort. We should just sail into it.

Like having to use the restroom. When it’s time to go and nature calls. You pick up, take a shot, swish.

I wake up and do whatever I want until I’m tired. The level of beat where I’m able to sleep where I stand. Friends who know me know I’m able. They’ve seen me in action.

This night I was far from it. Starving for something tasty. Thirsty for something root- beerish. No matter what the calorie count was. When I’m tired I act like a hungry drunk in that I have no resistance to what I’ll eat.

Lord knows. I’ve never woken up for midnight snack to eat a celery stick. My midnight snacks are sloppy and disgusting. A meal for Pregnant women and the Head of Biker Gangs.

Something like a bag of chips laid as a bed for a fat boy sandwich which is simply; two, three, four, slices of bread, and anything in the fridge to go in between. Drizzled with ketchup, relish, salt, pepper, hot sauce, soy sauce, Campbell’s Tomato Soup, no rules, anything goes.

And If this doesn’t satisfy me. I dig into a cereal box and eat claws full of it.

Tonight, I knew the food I wanted that my fridge didn’t have. It was a ten minute drive from my dorm room. And it’s no use of thinking of not going. My body’s been craving McDonald’s. Now, normally this wouldn’t happen in the States.

The restaurant has never been a priority to me. We have a Denny’s (Chicken-fried steak, Sampler Platter) We have a Jack in the box (eat anything as long as we have buttermilk ranch).

There are at least three other restaurants that I’d consider before thinking about a McDonald’s. But, the thing is…I’m in Japan and over here McDonald’s you get more than what you pay for.

I rose from my futon and went to my freshening up routine.

Brush Teeth, Wash Face, Wash Hands, Change Clothes. Out the door.

For a second I thought about knocking on the door of a neighbor. To see if anyone shared a desire to chow down burgers and fries. Then I thought about the added time I’d waste if they weren’t ready.

I couldn’t decide. But, I luckily I didn’t need to. While I was contemplating inviting people my legs didn’t stop from taking strides towards my car. And there in front of car.

I stepped in. Where I could still smell the cigarette smoke.Not because of me, but because I decided to be a bro and gave a co-worker a drive home hours before. Thankfully it wasn’t mine. I had been battling my cigarette addiction for a while. It’s kicked my butt for a while. This time I got the upper-hand.

So far at least. I cruise onto the streets that are lit by the amber glow of street lights.

8 minutes later, I pull into my destination.

 

What’s your favorite midnight meal?