The flight to Nagoya was smooth and uneventful. Weary travelers were invited in by the Cherry Blossom season in full bloom as they headed for Japan’s third largest city. It was early morning hours with Wendee eager to get out into the fresh air. Her full bottom was wedged into her seat as her torso fought to pull her out. Successfully she grabbed her carryon bag en route for the exit.
She wondered if Noriko would be there to pick her up. Last time it was her employer, Kenzo, from the English school she taught at. She was a part time Sensei with plenty of time for play and the money to do it with. Wendee filled up with joy as she thought about how much she enjoyed her job. Living in Japan definitely had its benefits.
“How was Calgary?” Noriko asked.
Wendee replied, “Awesome” as she gave her friend, a fellow Japanese teacher, a big hug. “It was the break I needed. Seeing my family again was the icing on the cake. How was my replacement Sensei?”
“He did very well. Paul is sorry to be leaving. Kenzo told him he may have an opening for him as there are a lot more students joining up,” She paused as she fiddled with the keys to the car. “The advertisement you did for the school seems to be working.”
“Cool. I liked doing it. Being filmed for a Sony commercial was a lot of fun for me.” Wendee placed her luggage into the trunk of Noriko’s Toyota Corolla. Everyone seemed to drive a Toyota or Honda here.
As they made their way to her apartment, Wendee marveled at how clean and organized the city streets were. Turning her head in Noriko’s direction, she asked, “What’s going on with you? You seem to be upset about something.”
It did not take Noriko long to fill Wendee in about her dilemma. Unbeknownst to Wendee, Noriko had a boyfriend in Canada. He was living in Winnipeg and attending University. She had met him there when she was on holidays the previous year. They had hit it off immediately. It helped that he spoke fluent Japanese as his father worked at the Korean Consulate in Japan for many years.
As they settled into Wendee’s apartment, Noriko picked up her tale of woe. “My parents are trying to arrange a marriage for me. I am 28 years old already. Men are coming to the door with their resume.” She adjusted the colorful pillow behind her before continuing. Wendee sat across from her on the living room futons that acted as couches. “My parents make me go out with them. I do not want to go. I love my boyfriend Kim.”
Wendee had never heard of such a situation before. She was grateful that her Japanese friend spoke fluent English though. This made it much easier to communicate. Wendee knew only a few words in Japanese. Noriko was in a state of flux and curled up with the pillows for comfort. She watched as her friends face streamed with tears. “Noriko, why can’t you just marry Kim? He wants to marry you right?”
“Yes he does but he is Korean and I am Japanese. I am supposed to marry a Japanese man.” Noriko shook her head in frustration. “I know my father would love Kim if only he would give him a chance.”
“Oh, this is a tough one. I’ve never heard of such a thing.” Wendee grabbed her own head with both hands and looked up to the ceiling. “I’ll have to think about this for a bit. I’m not sure what I would do if I were you. Do you want to phone Kim now?”
Noriko nodded her head as she reached for Wendee’s dark green archaic looking phone. Japan was a mix of the old and the new in the strangest of ways. Wendee slumped into the kitchen chair after pulling the sliding door closed. She loved that her living room and bedroom had two sliding doors that took the place of a wall. The tatami mats were a nice touch too.
Wendee’s future dream home would include the bath room. If she had lived in Japan as a teenager, it would have been a heavenly state of affairs. Her thirteen year old self had wanted to sit in a tub with conditioner in her hair. Now at the age of twenty-three, the solution was so obvious it made her wonder why Canadian builders didn’t do some research? The first area of the bath room was the sink with plenty of room for beauty supplies. Beside it was a door that opened up into a waterproof room. Stepping up into the room felt like paradise. The tradition was to fill the bath tub and then cover it until you were clean from your shower. The shower head was beside the tub and you could stand or sit on a stool to wash your hair and body.
The click of the phone roused Wendee from her fantasy bath ritual. As she stood to rejoin Noriko, the answer flashed into her mind. Explaining it would be a bit of a challenge though. As she pulled the sliding door open, she noticed that Noriko was worse off than before she made the phone call.
“Noriko, this idea of mine is very different. It is worth a try though. You won’t have anything to lose and it won’t hurt anybody,” Wendee explained.
“What is it?”
“It is called ‘subjective communication’. That means you are only talking to someone with your mind to their mind. It is mind to mind communication only.” Wendee took a big breath. “You cannot have any ‘objective communication’. That means no talking about what you want at all.”
Noriko looked down at her hands and then up at where Wendee stood. Wendee always stood up to talk when she was excited about something. She was like a little kid who could not stay still. “How do you do that? Do I just think about what I want to say and pray that it gets to them?”
“Good question. Actually it is easier than that. You send them one thought only as many times in a day as you want. It has to be a thought that does not harm anyone or control anyone.” Wendee takes a stronger stance as if she is bracing herself for something magnificent. “This is how it works. In your mind, pretend you are coming up behind your Dad on his left side. You want to whisper a thought into his left ear so that it reaches the right side of his brain. The right side is more creative and open.”
“What do I whisper to him?”
“I was thinking you should say something like, ‘I am open to meeting Kim’. It has to be timed with a habit though. Does your Dad smoke or drink coffee?”
“Lucky. He will get a double whammy. In your mind, pretend he is putting his cigarette to his mouth. When he inhales, then send him that thought. Send it lovingly. You cannot be angry or upset. The same goes for the coffee. When the liquid touches his tongue, he will get the thought of being open to meeting Kim.”
Noriko looked skeptical. “Does this really work?”
Wendee smiled big before answering. “I don’t know. I just heard about it from my parents this week. Some guy named Jose Silva invented it. It is worth a try.” She flipped her long blond hair off her shoulders and added, “Remember you cannot talk to him about it at all. Not one word. Not to your mother either.”
As Noriko was leaving she promised to do the subjective communication for the weekend. It was Friday and she planned to spend the next three days giving this idea her whole hearted effort. Begging her father to meet her boyfriend had not worked. Her mother had sided with her father to keep peace in the family.
The weekend zipped by. Wendee spent the time doing laundry and reading. As Wendee’s last morning class wrapped up, she sensed lightness in the air. Butterflies zoomed around her stomach and she wondered what was going to happen. This was how her body told her something was up. She did not have to wait long.
Mere seconds went by as Noriko flew into the classroom. Her eyes lit up and were as open as they could be. A smile stretched wide across her face. “It worked! It worked!” She took a big breath to continue as her flushed face matched her excitement. “As I was leaving for work today, my father called me into the living room and told me he wants me to invite Kim to the house immediately. I called Kim and he is coming this weekend.”
One month later, they were married and Wendee decided to try the subjective communication in her own life.