Menu

Hidemi Woods 

Singer, Songwriter and Author from Kyoto, Japan.

header photo

A Breakthrough hr616

The day arrived unexpectedly that the spell under which I had been for a long time was finally broken.

   Because my mother had nurtured excessive self-consciousness in me since my childhood, I had cared about how I look, how I behave, and what others think of me more than enough. I would be drenched in sweat from chatting casually with others as a thought I should look my best tenses me up abnormally. I’m now aware that this nature of mine was the culprit that cornered me with pursuit of fame and wealth although I became a singer-songwriter purely from love for music in the beginning.
   On that particular day, I got in the communal spa of my apartment building as usual.It was an evening bath time for the regular residents and quite a few people were taking a bath there. Among them was this woman who had moved in about two years ago. My bath time coincides with hers every day and hostility toward her had gradually grown inside me. She is thin and beautiful, a little younger than I am. She is always posturing and self-assured. For some reason, she imitates almost everything I do in the spa, from the way of taking a bath to bath tools she brings in. Whatever she does gets on my nerves, such as her way of walking, washing, and talking. She practices beauty exercises in the Jacuzzi, and does the facial treatment in the hot tub. Those routines of hers irritate me immensely when they happen to come into my sight. Since I don’t figure out why I dislike her so much, I asked my partner one day. According to his analysis, it’s because she is the one I want to become but I know I can’t become. It sums up all envy. That explains it indeed.
   It’s common that people don’t wear a swimsuit at a spa in Japan. This communal spa also adopts the Japanese practice, and the hot tubs, the Jacuzzi and the sauna must be taken all naked. I’m not thin nor beautiful, and I know it’s no competition between that woman and me. Nevertheless, I hold my breath and squeeze in my chubby belly as much as possible spontaneously whenever I pass her by. It’s so silly of me to try to look better, even in vain, but I can’t help it.
   And the thing happened. I was taking the Jacuzzi when she stepped in and joined me. I stepped out right away because avoiding her was my usual habit not to let her see my unshapely body. I was squeezing my belly and walking beside her on the stone floor toward my shower booth hurriedly because I was inside her sight. Then, right in front of her eyes, my foot slipped and I saw in slow motion my body flying in the air like in ‘Home Alone’. I landed on the stone surface with my buttocks and my left hand.
   Before a scare or pain, it was embarrassment that came first. I stood up immediately as if the fall had been part of some sequence of motion. Although other users were all washing their body in the shower booth, the only one that was in the tub and witnessed what I did was, of all people, the woman whom I didn’t want to let see most. She jumped out of the tub worrying, and kindly asked me, “Are you all right?”. Oddly enough, my instant reply was, “I’m OK. I do this all the time!” although I had never fallen there before. Even in the case like this, I still tried to make face by fabricating an accident into my custom. I laughed and shrugged off, and walked back to my shower booth.
   I noticed pain. But it was nothing compared to the massive amount of embarrassment that overwhelmed me. I couldn’t believe it really happened, nor could I imagine myself being any clumsier. I Home-Aloned naked before the cool woman whom I had regarded as a rival by flattering myself but in reality who had been way out of my league. I was literally stunned with an extremity of embarrassment. I sincerely wished to make time rewind. I sat in a hot tub dazed in shock and the woman joined in again. My mouth uttered weird words one more time, “I’m sorry my fall disturbed you. It’s a usual thing to me, but surprises others.” I was persistent to keep up appearances. She replied, “Oh, it’s all right, only if you didn’t get hurt.”
   Back in my apartment, pain assaulted earnestly in my hand and buttocks. The palm of my left hand already turned purple and swelled. I dreaded to think about broken bones. But the embarrassment appalled me even more. I felt sick to my stomach with my outrageous self-consciousness. I wondered why I couldn’t admit I did the folly.
   I’ve been clumsy all my life. I’ve been a comic who makes a blunder all the time. No matter how hard I pretend to be cool, it has never worked. I should have stopped denying that long before. The fall ordered me to accept it already. I felt as if I had looked at myself in the mirror for the first time in my life. The reflection of myself disappointed me but somehow relieved my burden. I came out of the illusion that pretending can change who I am. I’ve felt easy on my shoulders since the fall, walking around as my true self...

 

Go Back



Comment

Blog Search

Instagram

A view from the platform of the train station near my home. #mountains #sky #Japan A view from the platform of the train station near my home. #mountains #sky #Japan
A #chicken cutlet bowl from 7-Eleven, $4. #bento #Japan A #chicken cutlet bowl from 7-Eleven, $4. #bento #Japan
Went to see #TerminatorDarkFate. A good story. Jokes are hilarious. #Japan #terminator Went to see #TerminatorDarkFate. A good story. Jokes are hilarious. #Japan #terminator
Posted my new #blog that's about spooky happenings on the day of the full moon on Friday the 13th. https://hidemiwoods.com #Friday #13th #fullmoon #Japan Posted my new #blog that's about spooky happenings on the day of the full moon on Friday the 13th. https://hidemiwoods.com #Friday #13th #fullmoon #Japan
#Curry over rice with a hamburger steak from the lunch #buffet. #Japan #Curry over rice with a hamburger steak from the lunch #buffet. #Japan
My new #book is published on #Kindle. #Kyoto #Japan #memoir #ebook https://hidemiwoods.com/books-by-hidemi-woods/ My new #book is published on #Kindle. #Kyoto #Japan #memoir #ebook https://hidemiwoods.com/books-by-hidemi-woods/
Some #desserts from the lunch #buffet. #sweets #cake #Japan Some #desserts from the lunch #buffet. #sweets #cake #Japan
Walking towards a grocery store in my neighborhood. #trees #autumnleaves #autumn #Japan Walking towards a grocery store in my neighborhood. #trees #autumnleaves #autumn #Japan

Comments