Learn from my mistakes
It’d been over a month in Japan and I hadn’t gotten out of Tokyo for more than a couple half-day shoots. All the guys were constantly talking about going on weekend trips... but then Friday would come and kick our asses. Jumanji would keep us out well into Saturday morning, we would wake up just before sunset with practically no money and have zero chance of going anywhere new. I vowed this weekend would be different. THIS weekend I would make new friends, see a new place and maybe even learn a valuable life lesson!
A photographer named 福島晴之 from a client called S.O.S Sportswear (we were shooting an ad for a new jacket zipper) invited me surfing with him and some friends in Kashima beach, two hours outside of Tokyo. They were leaving Saturday morning at 6:30AM from the shoot location. Normally I’m suspect of clients inviting me on vacation (especially photographers, as those of you who read this blog would know), but the Japanese people are all so nice that for once getting molested wasn’t even a question.
The agency was not thrilled with my request to take off surfing for the Oban holiday weekend. “I do not recommend models to go surfing” the email reply said, “there is a chance you might get hurt, or worse, getting sun tan. You are responsible for damages if it happens.” In their eyes, staying in town to drink lethal amounts of alcohol and smoke potpourri was a smarter choice than getting fresh air and exercise, since the clients want their models porcelin-white. If the job requires a tan, they can do it with a spray-gun!
On Friday night the agency had a little party on the roof to watch the festival fireworks in our next-door neighborhood, Harijuku. Afterword we had post-party/Jumanji-pregame drinks at Eric and Aussie’s place in the apartment below mine. The Aussy was already drunk because he’d changed into his Batman towel/shirt to go out in. When the time came to hit the clubs, Harden called me a ‘Little Beetch’ repeatedly for not coming to entertaining the half-dozen girls that now follow him around.
I don’t remember getting up at 5:30AM to meet 福島晴之 and his friend... but I woke up in the front seat of a Nisan parked on a beautiful black sand beach at about 10AM (totally un-molested, mind you!) The waves were head-high, glassy and steep. We met up with three more car-fulls of their friends and by 10:30 had a pretty legitimate crew.
福島晴之 had an Al Merrick surfboard for me and his friend Endo gave me a choice of either a short-sleeve style wetsuit or a dry suit. It was hot out so I opted for the wetsuit, even though it was small. The choice turned tragic when the suit got shrinkage in the water and attempted to neuter me every time I stood up.
During the second session I tried to surf in just a pair of board-shorts and a long-sleeve rash guard. The air was warm but the water was freezing, due to some bazaar mini-current that brought arctic water down through the nearby town of Fukushima (yep, THAT Fukushima... I never did find a three-eyed shark, though.) Only ten minutes after the paddle-out I was shaking so hard that the nearby surfers broke their usual Japanese composure to laugh at me until I went back to the car and put on the dry suit.
It had been almost a year since I’ve gone surfing (and it’s one of the very few things I’m not ridiculously good it). By the third paddle-out, the four hours of trying to surf had turned my arms to jello. But I refused to be The Beetch among such an androgynous looking group of men who I later found out were middle-aged! The other guys were tired too, but I’m pretty sure they were all hanging in there because they wanted to look cool in front of me.
We all stayed at a Ryokan (traditional Japanese inn) where they served a 6-course meal that included sashimi, some sort of super-bitter pickle-thing, fish balls and an entire boiled squid. The evening was spent drinking beer, smoking cigarettes like Europeans, showing Endo’s 8-year-old son inappropriate American cartoons and, of course, learning each others language... although they still claim that ‘Love’ and ‘Rub’ sound exactly the same. The highlight of the night was explaining what the word ‘Chink-eyes’ meant, because ‘Chinko’ is a popular Japanese slang word for ‘Schlong’
Japanese style is all about order and following rules. I went out to the car for my backpack and came back to find all of the sandals in the doorway had been perfectly lined up next to each other. It’s these little things that made this place so special, and almost make up for the fact that everything is 10 times more expensive than in Thailand.
Everyone was hanging out in my room when my roommate 福島晴之 came in from his shower and suggested I check out the spa downstairs because it had a hot tub. I knew the traditional Japanese places were naked-mandatory and anti-tattoo, but 福島晴之 said it was so late that nobody would be there to care.
It was really dark down there and probably closed. The entry to the men’s and women’s bathing areas were only marked with Kanji characters; one doorway had a a red fabric and the other blue. My gut reaction was blue but there were girl-voices coming from inside. I decided on red, but left the lights off. It was ten minutes into my soak when the light in the changing room came on. The timing couldn’t have been worse; I bolted to get my towel and slammed into a 3-foot-tall Japanese cleaning lady. I tried to apologize in Japanese but she was screaming so loud that all I could do was grab my things and sprint upstairs. There were about twelve people in my bedroom drinking beers when I scrambled in, covering myself with a towel in front and my clothes in the back. They smiled and told me I probably shouldn’t come back to this Ryokan again.
Breakfast the next day was served at 7am and included white rice, miso soup, a small fried fish, bitter/salty seaweed salad and beans that were held together by some snot-like substance. The lady from the bathroom was serving the food. She wouldn’t look me in the eye.
Everybody was so sore that the day’s surf session only lasted 2-3 hours. The Oban holiday was in full swing and there were thousands of little surfers out in the water. Luckily they are the nicest I’d ever met. Despite cutting off several people and almost knocking out a few more, all I got was smiles. I wore the dry suit again and -like in all these Asian adventures- I ended up with a pretty sunburned neck by the end of the day.
We went to lunch after and made it back to Tokyo by about 4:30. Leif-the-roommate and his new girlfriend had just woken up and were watching Youtube videos in bed. He told me that the Aussy had bought a new costume piece...
...and Harden got banned from Jumanji on Friday night. On Saturday night he was arrested for fighting with some police officers.
I was bummed to miss out on those kind of events here in town, but it was definitely more rewarding to make such great local friends and see such a beautiful new place.
Even a valuable life lesson was learned: don’t pee in a dry suit.
It’s finally time to come out with the big secret: my name is not Max Vicious. I am not a 23-year-old model/actor/flamer, I don’t fly once a week traveling the world in search of adventure and I don’t model for disposable fashion. For the last few years I’ve been ghost-writing for a boy named Max Emerson (with his permission) using the thinly-veiled persona Max Vicious.
As of today this blog has reached 65,000 hits (50,000 if you don’t count the roughly 5,000 from me doing updates and the 10,000 from Max staring at himself, hitting the refresh button repeatedly.) Last week, Max contacted me, complaining that the latest stories haven’t focused enough on him. It’s surprising that he even noticed this, given the fact that he’s literally only semi-literate. It’s always something with him, though. Every day he’s like, “I look puffy in this picture”, “White people aren’t allowed to say that” or “You make me sound like a whore” ...and I’ve done had enough.
My name is Lawanda Jackson and I’m a 47-year-old executive assistant at a paralegal firm located in the outskirts of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I’ve been ghost-writing as Max Vicious since 2009.
I’ve never been to Europe, Australia or Asia. I’ve never even been outside of the midwest... although I have tried sushi once. Facebook friends excluded, I’ve never met a homosexual person. I’ve never done anything that would warrant the attention this blog has received... although I have done some modeling in my younger years.
Now, don’t go judging me because I find it fun to misrepresent myself online. Facebook is an encyclopedia of defense mechanisms where every single person exaggerates, lies and photoshops their lives to utter perfection. For example, how many do-overs did it take you to get that self portrait you uploaded this month? I think if anything my style is LESS wrong because I don’t delude myself into thinking that the avatar I’m playing as is actually me. Okay? Okay!
I learned of Max years ago while chatting on Facebook as one of my shirtless male personas. After a month of friendship with who I thought was him, the profile was deleted because the real Max reported the fake profile. It took a week of research (he uses a different first name online due to impersonators), but eventually I found and friended the elusive twink.
Starting two years ago, I used pictures from his profile to create this blog. It was months before he caught wind of it. Instead of being upset and reporting me, he thanked me for getting him so much attention and encouraged me to keep writing. Even I was a little weirded out by his response. His ever-growing need for attention has gotten on my nerves more and more through the years and last week was the final straw.
Apparently he’s got too much free time in Tokyo and has been obsessing over the online persona I’ve created for him. He’s been on my ass for the last two months because the stories have been more about the friends he’s met than him. Can I help it if they’re more interesting?! It was in a Skype conversation last week where he truly crossed the line. He called me horrible names and said things that can never be taken back. We were both sobbing hysterically by the end of the video call.
It’s in light of this that I’ve decided to write this farewell entry and then turn the blog over to him. The intent is to confirm and dispel a few of the myths surrounding the unappreciative object of my affections:
Aliases: ‘Kick’ (family), ‘Max le douche’ (people who know him well), ‘Boy’ (Asians)
Age: 23 (though looks older, acts younger)
Parents: Darlene Emerson (a waitress in an Orlando Hooters) and Andy Dick (estranged)
Hobbies: travel, catering, talking to his reflection, messing with foreigners, teaching/debating subjects he has no actual knowledge of, transvestitism, magic, ambidextrous masturbation, pretending to be an actor/director and harassing/stalking somebody he calls “The Beej”
Rumored celebrity affairs: Joseph Gordon Levitt, Neil Patrick Harris (and that beautiful man he’s married to), an anchorman on Channel 7 in Miami, Lance Bass and numerous Saudi princes
Confirmed celebrity affairs: Tom Cruise, Jason Kennedy, Chaz Bono, Anderson Cooper, Denzel Washington, Slash, Chase Crawford and the entire 2009 Hollister campaign cast.
Little known fact: used to wet the bed regularly until middle school. Sometimes wet the bed in college... from across the room.
Criminal record: is technically a registered sex offender for indecent exposure charge last May (was arrested for peeing on a New York City street). Also, he’s suspected in the plot to bomb a Chic-Fil-A while Sarah Palin was inside.
So this is it; a final farewell to my loyal readers. I’m officially turning this site over to the man-child it’s based on. Hopefully he knows how to use spell-check.You'll certainly enjoy the site’s rightful author telling you about how wonderful he is...
Thank you for humoring me while I lived vicariously through such a semi-interesting person.
And to Max: I wish you the best, you fruity little nut-cake. I hope your life becomes as not-pathetic as I made it seem in this blog.