I know you’re watching me…

May 8 2009

Bad news. I fear I am being stalked by a man in a bandana for the purposes of amusing TV. It’s quite scary. The evidence isn’t all there yet, but it keeps adding up…

After my post about finding the meaning of life in Morioka my Dad rang me up to ask if I was on mind-altering drugs and my friend who I send videos to because I’m tired of talking to myself told me that he finds reading and watching my decent into madness absolutely hilarious. Later, as I told said friend that I am starting to fear for my sanity as the isolation is really kicking in now, he put the thought into my head that perhaps this is all just a set up….

Perhaps, I have been put in the middle of nowhere as some sort of funny social experiment- like the Truman show but without the adverts- and people all over the globe are viewing my growing madness and laughing at me alone in the car muttering away to my invisible friends or dancing around my living room with a broom.

Obviously I dismissed his ramblings and got on with life. Then mid golden week I decided to join the local gym (local being 1 hour away!) and so off I trot full of energy and happy to be getting into the community. I had an interesting induction that involved a lot of acting and face pulling and finally got to my work out. So I did my thing you know and I’m just about finished when this hippie old man in a bandana and wife beater comes up to me and in English says, ‘you. Join. Me. Ok.’ So I follow him to a room where an aerobics class is been set up and it’s full of oldies and one high school kid, so I figure how bad can it be?

Well! I have never worked so hard in all my life!

It was some boxersize, pilates, yoga aerobics in which one was required to mould ones body into the shape of a pretzel then jump up and kick the whatsdoodlits of an invisible badass whilst standing on one leg. All the time the bandana man stand behind me moulding with ease, a knowing smile on his face. I told my wise friend, he said, ‘Jess! Do you live in a cultural black hole? You never trust the old Japanese dude! Especially if he’s wearing a bandana! …Ah I bet the producers are laughing at how easy you are!’ So now I have this in my head…

it only gets worse…

Picture this scene: I am driving back home up the mountains after my road trip to kakunodate and it’s about 10 at night, very dark, and I am the only car for miles. Trees flank the road, the moon is full and the shadows are long and I have no phone reception and only half a tank of petrol… see where this is going?

I’m trying to keep awake so I’m full of coffee and chocolate, singing along to some horrific 80’s music and as I turn my ninetieth hair-pin bend out of the darkness emerges an old man, with a bandana on, holding a stick. He’s just stood in the middle of the road. By this time seconds have lengthened to minutes and I have looked him in the eye, screamed a thousand curses, slammed my breaks on and swerved dramatically nearly head-butting the cliff in the process…and he just stays put watching me as I drive by in slow motion. I see him sink back into the darkness as my lights leave him, still staring at my car, still not having moved an inch. Now my heart is going crazy and I’m convinced I’m in a horror movie. I turn the next corner just as a rabbit runs from the side across the road and I slam on again, but the road is too narrow to turn and I hit it. I was devastated. I have never done that before and the sound is terrible. I came to a stop and was thinking about maybe getting out to see if I could salvage the poor animal, so I glanced into my mirror to see if there was anything coming and…you guessed it… emerging into my lights was the bandana man.

Well, I haven’t been back to check but I can bet you there are tyre burn marks on that little bit of road. Now, this might not be compelling evidence, but it’s all adding up…

I am in a TV show in which an old man in a bandana will appear at various times and challenge me with tasks that test my mind, body and soul whilst the world watches from their chintz sofas laughing at my foibles and nibbling on cheese sticks.

Well, that or I really have gone insane.

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