Befriending a white man
I kept seeing Tom but never told anyone else but my friend Sachi. I told Tom to keep it a secret, too, which hurt his feelings. He eventually texted me in the middle of Sunday afternoon, telling me he wanted to focus on his career and had no time for a relationship with me. Were we in a relationship? I almost teased him but texted back that we could be friends. 2 months later, we went back to his place after a gathering with a group of friends.
I was attracted to him despite his ridiculous sense of style. He was caring and honest most of the time. But I also loathed his domineering disposition. He was made of every conceivable privilege in the world and elbowed his way through his life without realizing that he pushed others into the corners. Once, he told me he accidentally knocked a glass of red wine at a TGI Friday’s and splashed the crimson liquid over a white jacket of a customer sat next to him. The bar manager and the customer wanted him to compensate, but he insisted he shouldn’t have to because 1. maybe there wasn’t enough space between customers; therefore, it is the bar’s fault. Or 2. the customer shouldn’t have had placed her white jacket where there was the risk of splashing spilled wine. He probably earned way more than the bar manager and the customer’s combined salary. The jacket only cost about 20,000 yen ($200,) an insignificant portion of his monthly earnings. It wasn’t a matter of money to him. It was his conviction that he could make his perspectives the truth in the situation where the less privileged would be willing to yield. I empathized with the woman who had just had her jacket damaged by this big white man, who blamed her for misplacing her belongings when all she did was dining peacefully. I told him to give her money. Begrudgingly, he did.
It had been a long time since I saw him last when my friend told me he was seeing a girl from the circle of Waseda friends. I felt better because now I didn’t have to restrain myself from being as feisty as I wanted toward him. In one texting banter, he sent me, “KMA.” I had to pause for a moment until I realized it read, “Kiss My Ass.” He degraded himself to foul-mouthing, but I counter-punched him by, “You wish.” His reply was a “:)”
Since the skirmish, we became friends with mutual respect. Tom seemed to be more pleased with my forthright treatment of him. Because he could take my sharp blows without hard feelings, I didn’t have to act as a desirable woman who would care, encourage, and listen to men.