True to his word, dé Dale did indeed take the Amazon home with him the night of the salsa event. I don’t know how the little bastard broke the ice—I had been in a toilet stall topping off when he made his move. By the time I returned to the hall, the two of them were standing close to each other, enganged in an animated repartee. Dé Dale said something that made the tall, gorgeous woman laugh—a laugh that always reminded me of shattering glass. She gave her long, straight hair a playful flick, touched his meaty shoulder.
And there you have it, boys: make a girl laugh and in no time you’ll be halfway up her leg.
When the event was coming to an end, dé Dale invited Nori, that was the Amazon’s name, and the nag she had ridden in on to join us for drinks later. With a wink and a nod, a battlefield commission was handed down to me: wingman. My mission: keep “Rocinante” happily engaged for the rest of the evening as my friend made his move. It was a thankless task but I performed above and beyond the call to duty. That’s what friends are for, right? By and by, dé Dale would cajole Nori back to his place where they would go at it all night long like a bulldog giving an Afghan hound the bone.
Around the same time that dé Dale had met Nori, I too was struck by a lightning bolt.
Things had been going pretty damn well at the time. Business in particular was booming no thanks to that buffoon Mori who was bumblind along as Prime Minister in those days. Because I advertised regularly, it was not uncommon for prospective students to call me to arrange a time to observe a lesson. It was, however, unusual to get three inquiries in one day like I did the day Azami called.
And yet her call stood out. Where most people who called left me with the impression that they didn’t have the slightest clue of why they were calling, her voice was clear and businesslike. Instead of hemming and hawing over the phone, this Azami was eager to come by and start up—today.
I told her I appreciated her enthusiasm, but suggested she observe a lesson first and decide later. Shortly before the six-thirty lesson was about to start, she arrived.
Azami was fairly tall, not model tall like dé Dale’s Nori, but taller than average. She also had shoulder-length black hair. Blackhair. Of the fifty or sixty young women visiting me each week for lessons, only one other had black hair: a real beauty by the name of Eiko. The remainder in some crazy attempt to project their individual personalities all had their hair colored brown or dark blond. It was enough to make the Eikos and Azamis of Japan seem exotic.
And, boy, was this Azami ever exotic! With her large brown eyes, strong masculine features, and a complexion that was naturally darker than most women’s, what the Japanese call jiguro, it was as if the girl had just stepped right out of a Gauguin canvas. And so, when Azami told me that she wanted to have private lessons, I was only happy to oblige the beauty, twelve years my junior.
Private lessons to English teachers can sometimes be what lap dances are to strippers and so it was with Azami and me from the get-go. A typical conversation went something like this:
“Men don’t find me attractive,” Azami said.
“What would you make you think a thing like that?”
“I’ve never met a chikan,” she answered.
By chikan, of course, she meant that uniquely Japanese variety of pervert who got his rocks off by groping women on crowded trains.
“You’ve never been molested?” I asked.
“And you’d like to be molested?”
“Yes! I want to be molested,” she cried out. “I want to be molested. I want to be molested. I want to be molested!”
“Perhaps I can arrange something for you.”
It wasn’t long after that that we became lovers.
Rocinante was the name of Don Quixote’s horse.
The first posting/chapter in this series can be found here.
Rokuban: Too Close to the Sun and other works are available in e-book form and paperback at Amazon.
All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.