16 March 2008

Stephen has a weekend of the flesh, reflects

This weekend., which began innocently enough as I blogged using stolen wi-fi yesterday, further descended into mayhem as I went out to E's party and had a very good time. Being older now, I think I know my limits a little better as far as the booze go and I've gotten more comfortable having more to drink than I would in the past. The result last night was a really, really good time that involved great conversations about:
  • England and where the best place to live there is,
  • God and whether or not God is real,
  • Japan and how to stay here for 20 years,
  • Halliburton and whether or not Dick Cheney was having me followed,
  • Obama and how honesty is the best policy,
  • the USA economy and how we really need to bottom out to get back into shape, and
  • the baby and how cute she is.
I really didn't drink that much because I remember everything from the night perfectly well, I didn't do anything that was embarrassing (I mean more than normal), and I didn't get sick. It was just really good fun. And I rode the train home at 11:34, perfectly content.

Waking up was easier to do than it should have been and we went to church and then to a party for Yoko's co-worker who is going home in the next couple of weeks. Yoko's co-workers are cool cats, quite possibly the coolest cats in Japan. They treat me like a normal person, not an English teacher, not a foreigner. Just another guy. After that, we grabbed coffee and headed out to S and T's house for an Irish party. And here the plot thickens.

I brought my cheap netbook to show S because he was interested in checking it out. We were clicking around trying to make the Internets hum and somehow Windows Media Player came up and in the window was the name of a file that was terribly, terribly terrible: including the words Japanese and Lesbians. Oh, I said, does that say what I think it says? To which S answered, Yes, and promptly shut the window explaining that sometimes WMP can download things without our knowledge, basically trying to bail me out.

I fell under a huge cloud of  'Oh fuck...' thinking that although I had never knowingly downloaded that particular file, I can imagine that I had some sort of hand in it one way or the other. But that feeling, if you've ever had it, of whatever your darkest thought or action in the last three months or so being laid right out there... well, it's sort of like being naked. S, of course, is probably the best person for this to happen in front of, but still, I had the profound feeling of, 'Yeah, that's something that I would much rather have kept hidden.'

Guilt is crippling, and I know that my guilt is always run, not by what I've done, but what've I done that I've managed to hide. Obviously, I've blogged about porn a lot, so that's shouldn't be a surprise to anyone, but suddenly confronting it in this sort of situation is really awful.

Yoko and I had a great talk about it on the way home because I felt like I had to, the moment it happened, tell her. The Japanese and the American (especially the American Fundamentalist Christian seed from which I sprang) look at porn in totally different ways, evidenced first in our uses of words. I chose the word 問題 or problem, and Yoko used the word 興味or interest in talking about men using porn. For the Japanese person, saying you looked at porn is sort of like saying you had too much to drink: people chuckle and could really care less. The seed I sprang from says that porn is about as bad as it gets, and every porn movie you have seen equals one time you have had sex with a complete stranger. Upon telling Yoko about the situation, she laughed and said, So everybody laughed when they saw it? You can see the trouble in my conflicted heart.

The truth is that I think it's sort of in the middle of that. I told Yoko that my goal in life is to strive to be someone who doesn't look at pornography because I think it does bad things to thoughts about women, sex, and normalcy) but isn't all destroyed if I should happen to. The Internet is always humming, full of Japanese lesbians doing all sorts of embarrassing things — should I get snagged here and there, I want to recognize that it isn't healthy, but that it's also human nature. We, like Hillary Clinton, have to dust ourselves off and have another go of it.

I got emotional finally as I talked about Naomi and how I want her to see me. I don't want her to know that I am a moral failure. I don't want her to ever see me as anything but completely and steadfastly committed to Yoko. But the truth is much, much more complicated and I hope as we move on in life I am able to explain that to her as I can. Of course, if her love for me and her family is modeled after Yoko's love for me and her family, I think we're going to be okay.

So I would encourage you to all go now: Clear all your caches and reboot your computer, thinking, What will I do if this comes out tomorrow?