A Brief Encounter

This is a true story. The names have been changed to protect the ignorant.


I was occupying my usual stool at the counter in my local bar, exchanging banter with the owner and other customers when in walked Simon, an American English teacher whom I had met when helping friend and co-worker Brett move into his new apartment. Simon, it appeared, lived on the same floor with his Japanese wife, a woman I recall in my mind's eye now with far too much makeup, and a similar degree of body fat.

Simon recognised me, and came over to sit down beside me. It became clear within minutes of his report of having spent the entire day at a baseball game in Tokyo Dome, that he had also been enjoying the hospitality of the young girls with beer barrel backpacks. I did my best to respond to his occasionally non-sequitur pronouncements, endeavouring not to add any content to the conversation in the hopes that it would peter off quickly. As he lost interest in my hesitant conversation, he turned his attentions to the bar patron on his other side. 

Some minutes after striking up an intermittent conversation with the "yankee" type Osaka girl, he belts out in a loud voice that he recognizes her;

"I remember you! We had sex in the street!"

As I had just taken a mouthful of beer, I had to excuse myself to the bathroom to sort out the train wreck that was happening in my throat; the result of a head on collision between the mouthful of beer and a belly laugh that would not be restrained. Thus I was not present to observe how the conversation played out after that, but by the time I had returned to my seat, the mood in the bar had cooled somewhat, and Simon was sitting away from the bar at a table, alone, looking a lot more sober than he had been. All the patrons at the counter were staring into their drinks in silence, while the owner counted toothpicks and sorted coasters, with a frown on his face that would bring even the wildest karaoke party to a dead halt.


I did not see Simon at the bar again.



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