I woke up after having another dream that involved a man I used to know. He was lovely. We met briefly in 2001 in Tokyo. He was from there but lived and worked in the US. I was from Europe but lived and worked there. I was convinced that I could not date a Japanese man. Ever. They were too strange, too intense, too different. They weren't my type. They were too short. Well, this one was tall. In my twenties, I was convinced that I had a type. I also wasn't ready to settle down, even theoretically, in my head. Most of all, I was way too involved with someone very bad and very wrong for me at that very time. I was convinced that he was the one and made any excuses for him, waited for us to be happily ever after. So some nice blokes weren't considered because I thought I have met the one. I forgot them and I forgot the bad boy. But somehow, I never forgot the Japanese one.
The truth is, he didn't stay in Tokyo for long. We kept in touch over mails and phone. He did go back to Tokyo but I wasn't there when he was. Then, few years later, he got sent back to Japan by his company. He was a little disappointed, he did hope to stay in the US for longer, but Japanese work ethic is very strong, so he went back and carried on working. And as he settled again in his home land my time in Tokyo was up and I moved back to Europe. He was optimistic. He hoped that I would use his bonus miles and fly to holiday with him. But I was working and travelling in Europe and our schedules never allowed it. He did have some business trips to Europe, but again, nothing close enough to me. Plus, with his strict work ethic, he just wouldn't prolong his trip and take few days off for himself. I assumed that he just lived in a dream, he had an idea of what he wanted from me and believed I was it, but never really learnt who I really was. For me, I liked to be liked, and I did enjoy talking to him, but I didn't believe we had any future.
Then I met my husband. I moved to the UK. He told me he does travel to the UK sometimes. But he also politely wished me happiness and good luck and stopped writing, because I told him I was engaged now. And as a true gentleman, he wouldn't flirt with a woman who was to marry someone else. It was a strange little story, only possible at the time and age of easy travel and internet.
The funny thing is, I struggle to remember much about men I was with, I don't care about most of them, but I have never forgotten him. I would love to know what had happened to him, how his life went, how he is now. Not for romantic reasons, I would love to have him as a friend. And now, when husband and I went through a rough time with some arguments and fights, I keep thinking if I have made a mistake. If I should have taken the big step, give him a chance, and see what would happen. Of course, if true attraction was there, I am sure I would have go for it back then. It would be so romantic. And if we did stay together, we would have our own rough patches and difficult time and fights and I would feel lonely and isolated in Japan, a country so different and so far from what feels familiar and comfortable... It is a mind game.
The thing is, when it comes to men and relationships, I am done. I sometimes say to dear husband that he cured me of men forever. I would rather become a crazy cat lady, if we were to part ways, than look for someone else. I don't believe that the grass is greener elsewhere, I don't believe that a perfect man exists. So, when the mood is nostalgic and I feel sad, I rather look at the past and live of my memories then to search for Mr right. And the only person that can provide any sense of illusion and wonder is surely the one that got away. I never saw his flaws, never knew his bad side, never argued with him. Who knows, he may be a truly horrible person. But when I am angry or frustrated, it is nice to mutter: oh, if only I did leave for Tokyo with a one way ticket, it would have show you! You would never have met me!!
But, interestingly, I do dream about this Japanese man every now and then. Sometimes he is older, sometimes he is the same he was all the time ago. Usually he is quite cross with me for leaving him for other. It is all as innocent as it was back then. I enjoy my dreams about us. I also enjoy being back in Tokyo in the dreams. Does it mean something more than what it really is - my mind tiding up, which is what happens when we sleep?? Who knows. I wouldn't mention it to husband, he doesn't know about him anyway, so it is my sweet little secret. When I wake up after my Japanese dreams, I am happy, as if I have met with a very good friend. It feels like I can pack my bag and travel across the world without any worry about childcare or who will pay for it. It puts smile on my face...