My ninth roommate, a 20-something American whom I affectionately refer to as “The Phantom White Dude” has a girlfriend…and she is really hot.
This probably won’t come as a surprise to anyone who’s familiar with expat life in Asia. After all, the whole ‘weird white dude + supermodel gorgeous girlfriend = typical relationship’ is an equation that you learn not to question when you live in Japan. It’s a fact of life, a universal truth…and you learn quickly that life is a lot easier here if you just accept it and move on. The Earth is round. Madonna ages backwards. And in Tokyo, coffee costs US $5 and dorky guys are King. Don’t complain about it, don’t question it and for heavens sake, don’t try to understand it. You’ll just give yourself a headache.
But I think the Phantom White Dude sort of takes this to a whole new level. For one, he’s a bit on the anti-social side. Since last writing about him, I’ve caught a glimpse of him on a few separate occasions. Yeah, glimpse would definitely be the right word choice here. I once spotted him rinsing a dish in the sink as I was leaving my room. I desperately wanted to talk to him, but I had to duck back into my room to shut off my heater. I was literally gone for maybe a max of 15 seconds, but by the time I re-entered the living room, he’d vanished.
For another, he’s a huge slob. No, I haven’t been in his room before…but I can see into it. A balcony separates our two rooms and he often leaves his curtains open at night, which gives me a clear view of the piles of half-eaten bento boxes and ramen bowls. His bed is nearly hidden under a pile of dirty laundry. Can you imagine any girl electing to sleep over in that mess, let alone a Japanese girl (who comes from the cleanest country in the World?).
I met her last night…only I didn’t know it at the time. My Taiwanese roommate and I were watching this German prison movie when we heard the key turn in the front door and then watched as the Japanese version of Charlize Thereon stepped into our living room.
“Uh. Can I use the bathroom?”
“Yeah, OK. Do you live here?” A legitimate question, being that our apartment is more of a youth hostel for long-term travelers than an actual permanent residence. I was confused as to how she’d gotten a key and it didn’t even occur to me that she was a guest of the The Phantom who lives in the hallway.
“No.” She headed headed down the hallway to the bathroom.
“Do you know her?” I whispered to the Taiwanese girl.
“No, I never saw her before.” She shrugged, as if it was perfectly normal to have supermodel Japanese girls waltz into your apartment at 9:30 at night to use your toilet. “She must be HIS…(she indicated towards the outside hallway) girlfriend.”
It’s interesting how my Taiwanese roommate refuses to ever say his name. It’s always “HE” or “THAT man”. Maybe it’s because she doesn’t remember his name? Or perhaps it’s because (like me), she’s a little afraid of him?
Even as I type this, I’m worried that he’ll somehow stumble upon this blog, recognize me and my description of him, sneak across our balcony in the middle of the night…and smother me in a pile of his dirty laundry.
Seriously. I think he’s got some Voldemort mind-control thing going on with that model, because, really, how else can you explain it?
If you don’t hear from me again…you’ll know why.