As some CDH members know, I perform onstage with Tokyo Closet Ball. Several of our members are also film makers. We are starting work on our third independent film. Recently, we had a screening of our second film to raise funds for the new project. The idea was to show the film, and then have some cast members, including myself, give live performances. We also had a flea market.
In the film, I ran a clandestine dojo for women. In the dojo, all students must wear high heels. I paired a set of heels with a glittery skirt and a Kung Fu top and belt.
The film finished and the first live performer sang a Japanese song. Next, it was my turn. I did a mini martial arts workshop with the help of some audience members. It was fun. I knew the event was running somewhat behind schedule; I had allowed what I thought was enough extra time. I was enjoying a music performance by another cast member, and I asked someone the time. “Oh, it`s almost midnight.”
“Oh, well…..what? what?” I was supposed to be on the train at midnight. I left in the middle of the song and ran downstairs to the dressing room. I started gathering my things. I thought I would do a quick clothing change and get to the station in time for a late train.
That`s when it happened. Where are my shoes? In fact, WHERE ARE MY PANTS?
I did a quick search of the dressing room; no sign of them anywhere. I found someone near the ticket area and told them about the situation. There was no way that I was going to get stuck overnight in a totally unfamiliar area, in a skirt and heels.
I had a sweater with me. I threw it on over the top, said a quick goodbye, and headed for the station. I only hoped the rest of what I was wearing wasn`t going to stand out. The less attention I attracted, the better.
Japan has been my country of residence for the last 20 years. Many people have heard about the public transportation system, how it`s clean and efficient. What many people aren’t aware is that it`s not a 24-hour service. Depending on where you are at the time, if you`re not on a train between 11:30 p.m. and 12:30 a.m. you`re out of luck until the following morning.
I got to the station, purchased a ticket, and there was still a train! I boarded and sat down. Immediately, I became aware of the people sitting across from me. I decided, the only way I was going to survive this was to focus on something else. I got out my Smartphone, and then I picked a spot on the floor. If I wasn`t focusing on one, I focused on the other. Several times, I glanced up and saw Salarymen looking at me. I did my best to ignore them.
I was just able to catch last trains all the way back to my residence; it wasn`t too bad until I got to my station. The walk to my building is ten minutes in sneakers. In heels, it was more like twenty-five minutes. About halfway, my feet already had enough. It was late-every step sounded like gunfire, alerting the whole neighborhood that I was there.
Eventually the venue found my clothing. I still have no idea if I overlooked it in a panic or if someone had moved it. In fact, this isn’t the first time for this experience, it`s the second. The first time was two years ago, after one of our shows. I was chatting with audience members and got into the same situation. That time, I got back to my station and was spotted by some of the local pachinko parlor guys. I try to avoid them, even today.
If there’s one item at the top of my want list, it`s a ladies` watch. Somehow, I doubt it will prevent me from another ride on the crazy train, but a girl has to start somewhere!