You Ever Run into Your Ex?

To: Crecente From: Bashcraft

Glad to see you made it to Germany, Bird Shirt and all.

Had to run a few errands and needed to swing by Yodobashi Camera in Umeda to pick up some crap for my computer. As I was making a beeline through the store, I saw a woman descending down the elevator. An ex-girlfriend. Not just someone I dated once or twice, but someone I lived with for a few months light years ago.

Nice enough girl. We got on decent enough. She was, however, a hostess. Not really a concept I understood when I moved in with her. At that time, I was still rather green Japan-wise and young and really didn't give a toss. So when she said her job was to pour drinks for old men, I just kinda wrote it off as a Japanese custom! The short of it: I was young, she was young, it didn't work out. She didn't want to quit — the money was too good. And the entire situation started to weird me out, her being in her early twenties and pulling in ten grand a month.

I decided to move out. Met Mrs. Bashcraft. At a bookstore. We became inseparable. Started writing professionally around that time. Things started happening. (For those who don't know: Hostesses work in bars where they talk and drink with salarymen. It's usually pillow talk or the old guy bitching about his job or family. Expensive hostess bars will set you back a couple hundred bucks easy. That's for one night. No sex. Just talking. Granted, there is certainly pressure to have sex. However, a smart hostess knows that if she sleeps with her customer, she will lose that customer who will move onto his next conquest. The women try to drag out not having sex as long as possible and keep the customer coming back to the bar.)

But there she was today. Coming down that elevator, gone were here pin heels and miniskirts. And she was with a guy about our age! Feigning being pissed at him for some reason, pouty look on her face. She was laughing, too, leaving me with a tinge of hope: That she was happy.

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