Stephen Starts a Diary: May 17th

5/17  Thursday

When I first decided to become a comedian and went to my first owarai class, there were over 400 or so people there with me, all taking their first steps down the path of Japanese comedy at the same time as I was.  Time passed, people quit, and that number soon dwindled down: 300, 200, down to the one-hundred-something people that it is now.

Even among those hundred-something people, you have dozens of people who haven’t been active for months and are really just comedians in name only.  Since I’m, as the Japanese people like to say, tongatteru, most of my “friends” among my douki are in this category.

Rewind to after that boring compliance thing I told you about before.  One of my long lost douki spots me on the way to the train station and says we should drink soon.  I, being naive and forgetting that I now have a full schedule nearly everyday, foolishly agree.

Fastforward to today when I’m rushing from Shibuya to Shinkuku and back again for a variety of work things and a reminder comes up on my phone telling that I have to be somewhere at 7 PM to drink with my inactive pal.  It’s not that I don’t like being social and hanging out with people, it’s that I can’t really relax and recharge unless I’m alone.  It’s something that I struggle with in the most populated city in the world and a society that pretty much abhors aloneness.

Nevertheless, I go to the designated place and time.  The dude has invited several other inactives, including a dude who I didn’t even know was a douki at all.  The izakaya is hot as balls and the old dude managing (?) the front of the house randomly decides it’s concert corner and stages an impromptu solo show smack dab in the middle of the dining room for fourty minutes (mandatory tips are also caled for).  

By the time I get home, it finally hits me.  I’d rather my friend have just quit.

Some days I’m a worse human being than others.

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