Reunited in Tokyo – kiss
I took Stuart to Omotesando, where Japan’s kawaii & cool culture crush Tokyo’s sophistication. The memory of Tom the “tanpan” came back, and I chuckled to myself. Stuart wore a yellow t-shirt that fitted his slim torso nicely, not too tight or baggy. I liked he wore a bright color. Though as handsome as he was, he was thirty-two years old and had streaks of grey in his brown hair, so a conservative choice of color or an inch of mistake in the size would have marred his appeals to me.
We walked down Omotesando street toward Harajuku, took a turn, and went into the maze of narrow paths sided by shops and cafes until we came back to where we started. From there, we walked up the hill of Aoyama, looking over the cemetery on the left, and arrived at the Nishi-Azabu junction. It was evening by then, and I gave him two options to choose from – Japanese or Mexican? The Japanese restaurant was the one I took Klaus to a year before, but it was tourist-pleasing, and the food was good for its price. Stuart said he loved Mexican food, so we chose the farthest cuisine from either of our cultures.
It was the first time we sat face to face with each other, and shyness dawned on both of us. But the topic of conversation expanded beyond music, films, and work, and we shared stories of our family and childhood. He had lost his mother to cancer a few years before, and him being an only child, there were just his father and him. Sadness clouded his face, but there was tenderness to how he grieved his loss, as though he let the sorrow be rather than resisting it with masculine willpower. He also told me about an old girlfriend from college (high school equivalent) who entered medical school in her late twenties to pursue her dream to become a doctor. “By the time she graduates, she’ll be in her mid-thirties,” he said, incredulously, but with a hint of other feelings, like envy. I was twenty-eight at the time, and my hope of going to a business school was still no more than just an idea, but I found his insecurities with age (he also lamented his graying hair and receding hairline) were restrictive.
We took a short taxi ride back to the hotel. We came to the front of the entrance, and Stuart faced me to thank me for spending the day with him. I only murmured a reply as I could only think about whether he would kiss me. He lightly put his hands on my arms, leaned in to kiss on the left cheek, then on the right cheek. I placed my right hand on his waist and tugged the fabric of his t-shirt ever so slightly. His lips shifted to meet mine and, for just about three seconds, stayed there.