Monkey lately keeps calling me “Nezumi (Rat) Bancho (thuggish boss of ruffians)” because of my way of talking in Japanese, which is pretty boorish and full of swear words used by ordinary street thugs.
Apparently, when people imagine him having a Japanese wife, they picture someone who fits one of these 4 stereotypes (from left to right, the Virgin-Maid Cafe type, the Sadist cool queen type, the healing calm maiden type, and the active, sporty “gal” type)…
And they’re kind of…surprised? dismayed? when they learn my general way of speaking in Japanese is more like this
Kuze Daisaku, the manly-man from Yakuza 0, one of my favourite video games.
In light of that moniker, I decided to draw that “Nezumi Bancho” on my tablet….
And wear it as a T-shirt. So there’s no confusion about what to expect.
My partner (Monkey) revealed to me that my attempts at…caressing? fondling? him when he comes to bed at night is not quite romantic, but actually rather creepy. All this time I’d been trying to be affectionate, and it turns out I’d been making him feel like a groping victim of the Sloth from Hell.
We were missing a few players last night at Dungeons and Dragons, namely the two people playing archetypal hero characters. As a result, all three of our characters were slightly scummy, morally questionable heroes who would think of all kinds of dirty tricks to a) not fight b) trick the enemy c) inflict cruel and unusual punishment on the enemy. Worse, all three characters were unsympathetic to children.
We got into a lot of dumb conversations around dirty tactics to get the upper hand. One of them was about charming a monster so we don’t have to fight it head-on.
I’ve been quiet about the Rat Chronicles for awhile and that’s because I’m working on 2 new stories, set in the Apocalypse. The first one, a short, is called “Tea.” Characters are Dru, a former slave with a missing leg, and Virgil, a blind kid whose father worked for “N” water corporation (also known as the “Three Birds”).
Monkey is a giant, lifelong Dungeons & Dragons player and DM (dungeon master). He’s a gifted storyteller, and never misses an episode of Critical Role with Matt Mercer. I never got into it until he showed me how to play. There’s an awful lot of planning that goes into DM-ing: reading the story, creating the world, playing the characters.
I asked him what he and other DMs get out of it. Is it the feeling of calling the shots? Is it the friendship? This was our convo.
“Foot slugs” are what Monkey calls my socks, left haphazardly around the house. They look something like slugs, randomly crawling on the ground. When I go about my morning, I feel like I’m just eating and relaxing normally, but I often walk around dropping crumbs onto his carpet. This is what it looks like from his perspective.
I wonder sometimes about people who get married yet are totally the opposite types of people. Monkey is extraordinarily organized, likes to stack his books organized by series, keeps them in pristine, spotless condition. I on the other hand am disorganized by default, my books are all over the place in at least five locations throughout the house and regularly drag my favourite books to the bathtub to read.
He likes direct communication. For cultural or personality reasons, a lot of my communication is indirect, implied, and we fight sometimes when he doesn’t immediately understand what I’m trying to imply.
My mother says opposite types sometimes end up getting along pretty well. Here’s hoping!
A work in progress…I’m basing this sketch on an incredible dagashi bar I went to with my Monkey hunny in Tokyo’s Shinjuku. これから、どう生きるか。
I came back home for the first time in a long time. My father looked at me using this new tablet and said, え、らしくない！もっとこう貧乏くさいものでないと。He felt it was very unlike me to use advanced technology, that it was unlike me to be fashionable and trendy, that it was unlike me to have trendy nice Jin’s glasses.
わたしはあらゆるひとを失望させている気がしてならなかった。でもおとうさん、わたしはまだおなじ私なんだよ。ちょっと変わっただけ。I am still myself. I’ve changed and evolved but I’m still none other than myself.
My dad thinks I ought to bave faith. believe in Monkey. I will.