Posted on 2022.05.30
“He felt like having sushi, so he took me to Japan”, will probably be the first sentence in my future memoir. The best part is that it’s true.
I first met this Gentleman on a regular date. We went to dinner at one of the city’s best Japanese restaurants where he was apparently a regular; the kind who is greeted by the chef and says things like omosake (“I’ll leave it up to you”) when asked what he would like to eat. I had started eating sushi only a few years ago when I started university and was looking for affordable food I could eat quickly between classes. This meal was way better than all the sushi I had eaten over the last few years, combined.
As the chef presented us with different delicacies, I asked the Gentleman how he came to learn so much about sushi. It turned out that he had lived in Japan for 6 years while working for his current company. When he got a chance to move back home, he jumped at the opportunity and since he’d been back, he had been on the search for a restaurant that came close.
While in Japan he learned that the art of being a courtesan had not died out, and he kept up that practice when he returned home. Testing the waters, I asked if he had found a Companion here, that came close to his Japanese experience. He smiled and said, “not yet.”
That night was the first of three amazing nights with each one being better than the last. Much like the courses at the first sushi dinner. Then, he suddenly disappeared. He stopped calling and I actually worried that I had done something to offend him.
Two months went by and I enjoyed the company of a few other clients, even suggesting to one that we go to dinner at the same restaurant, but that felt a bit off. One day, I get a message that he’s looking for me, but not for a regular date or even an extended one.
He wants to take me to Japan. If I agreed, it would all be booked. First class travel. Accommodations. An allowance. I was stunned and when I picked my jaw up off the floor I said yes. My bestie had always said “have your passport up to date” and I’m glad I listened.
A week later, I was sitting in the departure lounge waiting for him and our fight. This was my first trip there and I was excited about possibly seeing some sites, so I was scrolling through some travel guides to see what might be nearby. I looked up from my tablet and saw him approaching. Again, people just seemed to know him like a regular and treated him with the kind of respect that tells you he earned and deserved it. His face lit up when he saw me and I was equally pleased to see him. Before even saying hello, he said sorry for being absent these past few weeks, but there had a crisis in the company, which required his full attention.
I asked him if that’s why we were going to Japan, because he had to work? I would be okay with that and it would allow me to schedule my time accordingly. He laughed and said, “no. I’m on vacation. I haven’t had a break in nearly two years. I felt I earned one and deserved one. So now that the fires have been put out, I felt like having some really good sushi…”
Of course. The best sushi was in Japan. In all his time here, he had come close. But nothing would top the source. Somehow, this made perfect sense to me.
As we boarded and settled into our first class pods, he explained that he had some ideas for our trip, but wanted me to let him know where I wanted to go. It then occurred to me that if he was going to Japan for the best sushi…
“Hey. I thought you had company in Japan. Why bring me?”
He smiled softly and said, “I realized they didn’t come close to what I had at home.”
Again. That made perfect sense to me.
“Have you thought about what you want to do when you arrive?”
I smiled back at him and said,
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