Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Great stuff on a Saturday night...

How about this for a scenario. 2am on a Sunday morning. Yours truly has just returned to his apartment from a farewell party in the city, and he comes across the scene seen to the left. A weary salaryman carries his paraletic wife up the apartment stairs, whilst his young son skips innocently ahead, the latter having no notion of the slow pickling of his mother's liver, or the inner struggle that currently besets his father.

Believe me, this is no mean feat for the company man. The stairs are rather pretty, but they are the very last thing you want to see after a night on the sauce and with a half cut trophy wife to get to bed. Sensing the problem, I offered my assistance, but the salaryman smiled and waved me away, apologising profusely. He was at the point of exhaustion, and his usually-better half was taking her toll. I went up the stairs ahead of them, wincing as she slipped a few times and bounced down a few steps, and tried to think about the hot shower and cup of milky tea that would soon be mine.

As it turned out, the elevator was on the 13th floor, so by the time it had descended to me, the party going family were right behind. I must admit to usually liking being in an elevator with Japanese people, as it gives me a chance to use some everyday expressions, but that morning I didn't much like the thought of a multicoloured yawn all over my new shoes. "Nan kai desu ka?" I asked. "Juu kai o onegaishimasu," the increasingly shattered salaryman responded with much deference. The wife stirred a few times, but her husband offered no words of encouragement. I had no way of knowing, but it seemed to me then that this was a weekly routine for them. Did he envisage this when he plucked up the courage to ask her out all those years ago - that he would be spending his precious Saturday nights with smeared make up, vomit spattered shoes, a Louis Vuitton handbag soaked with alcohol?

I got off and went to my apartment on the 6th floor, and I never saw them again. I kind of wanted to find them a few days later and see what had happened the next day. My money was on a hangover of unimagined severity (although we all have them, we can't fully appreciate the ferocity unless it is actually happening at that very instant - this is why we swear off alcohol forever and then the next week go straight back to it), though I'll never find out, as making such house calls to stangers, at least in my apartment, is not the done thing. That's a really sad state of affairs if you think about it...


Post a Comment

<< Home