Focus, the art of the smile, rythm in quiet
I never claimed to be the sharpest tool in the shed, I know that.
But, what I do much better than most people is surround myself with people who do know something about something. I also have great focus. In America communication is easy... for obvious reasons. I have no problem expressing myself as crass and obnoxious as it may be.
Japan is different. It took my awhile to get a hold on the difference for what it is. I have to adapt the way I communicate. It is difficult to say what I mean in Japanese and it is also difficult to say what I mean in English to Japanese. My facial expressions; my smile, laugh, listening face, they mean everything. They mean much more than my words.
It took me a bit of time to make the connection that I understand right now, but I got it. The perfect look and smile; no hesitation, no weakness, no uncertainty. Content, friendly, interested confident, resourceful and powerful. The smile lasts about 3 seconds, but even for 0.00001 of a second, if all these angles aren`t covered, totally, from start to finish, you might as well not try to smile at all. It is difficult to fake it, but I can do it. I have to, it`s my job. If I am not interested or happy at the moment I smile, I fake it. If I am in a good mood and happy where I am at that moment I don`t need to fake it.
Vulnerability is strength. Letting down you guard and smiling and being happy to be with someone is a difficult thing to do because you don`t know how that action will be received. Being strong enough to do it, being open to the consequences because you know you can handle the response no matter what it be, is exactly what I`m talking about. I have a vested interest in my smile and the way I receive and associate with people. I do it almost everyday and if I fuck it up, it costs me money. That is motivation that is focus. It has to look and feel natural and most of the time it is, even when I couldn`t care less. Now, turn this onto to girls into Japan. Vulnerability is strength. Look into her eyes and smile. If she doesn`t smile back or ignores you it doesn`t matter. You prove you have the strength, skill and confidence to open yourself up to lose because you know you won`t. All corners at the same time for 3 seconds. 0.0001 second of doubt and you fucked up. I surrounded myself, through unintentional means, with people who can do this better than me.
Back to Mariko... Why can`t I just drop it? I should pick my shit up and just move on, out of the bar to a different place. I don`t. Who the fuck does she think she is dealing with here?! At the time I thought I was angry, but after I sobered up a bit I realized I was challenged and not angry. I tell her if she wants to sit down next to me and talk she has to go home and out on the fishnets. This girl then tells me she doesn`t wear fishnets, doesn`t have fishnets, and I must be confusing her with someone else....
Mother fcker, what?! She was serious.
I am not the sharpest tool in the shed but I have a memory that is nothing short of amazing, and considering the situation and how interested I was in those stockings, she is out of her fcking mind. I know now, knew then, that I should just drop it. I didn`t. I turned on my obnoxious, condescending, smug attitude you guys are all well aware of. I can`t fcking believe she is telling me this. She gets the full treatment. It has little effect. She won`t change her story. I can`t be much more of a dick. She is sticking to her story.
I should just stop. I smile like I am enjoying myself. I miss the mark by 0.0001 seconds. Mariko smiles back and flippin nails it. I look at my shoes embarrassed. Not angry, but embarrassed. Vulnerable and weak. Unable to respond in any way that demonstrates any kind of confidence. I can`t smile, or laugh to brush it off. Honestly, I didn`t know what to do. My shoulders felt weak...