June 17, 2004

Naked Confrontation

Back in 1992, I moved to Tokyo when my parents both got teaching jobs at an international school called St. Mary's.

St. Mary's is an all boys school which, for me--a straight horny youth in his late teens--may just as well have been a death sentence. When you start looking at the female faculty for your daily daydreaming sexual fantasies, you realize just how dire the situation was.

To sublimate my frustrated sexual desire, and to keep from hitting on Mrs. Kim and Ms. Hagenson, I took martial arts classes after school and took extremely long walks at night, and I masturbated like the existence of the world depended on it. Thankfully, there was a porno vending machine located about two blocks from my apartment, so I was set.

Anyway, when it came to actual school life, I was a pretty good student. I worked hard and I got good grades, and I was secure in the knowledge that most of my classmates, and the student body in general, basically liked me. At that point in my life, I genuinely believed that it was possible, if I put enough effort into it, to please all of the people all of the time. Since then, of course, I've discovered that it's far easier, and far more gratifying, to piss off most of the people most of the time.

Eventually, the school year progressed to the wrestling season. Now, back in the States, I had been a pretty good wrestler. Not great, mind you, but pretty good. I probably wouldn't have wrestled in the state tournament but, damn it, I like to think I would have been damned close. In other words, wrestling was a pretty important component of my life. And I'd be damned if I wasn't going to make the varsity team.

As it turned out, making the team wasn't all that difficult. I quickly discovered that being a "pretty good" wrestler in the States translated into being a fairly godlike wrestler in Japan. Plus, since my dad was the wrestling coach, I had the old psychological edge working for me as well.

During the first day of wrestling practice, I basically dominated everyone who was three weight classes above me and everyone below that. I felt like Robocop. It became plainly obvious to me that I could basically pick and choose which weight class I wanted to compete in, and nobody could even think of standing in my way.

That didn't stop people from thinking of standing in my way, of course. When I eventually decided that I wanted to compete in the 148 lb. weight class, I did have to face off against an individual who had his eye on that spot. So, a wrestle-off had to be held.

My opponent was a kid named Hikaru, a junior who I had no previous beef with. He was a mix of Japanese and American parentage, and he was a fairly muscular, if not somewhat uncoordinated, wrestler.

My wrestling experience, combined with my technique, easily outmatched Hikaru's superior strength, and I ended up pinning him within a couple of minutes, thus ensuring my varsity spot. Unbeknownst to me, however, was that, at the moment the mat was slapped indicating my victory, I had basically made an enemy for life.

Hikaru, I was to eventually learn, was one of those unstable youths, a young man who believed the world was laid out specifically to aid him, and any time things didn't go his way, he had no problem bending or breaking the rules to get what he wanted. In short, Hikaru was a prick.

Of course, I didn't know Hikaru was a prick, and I certainly didn't realize that, by beating him in the wrestle-off, I had upset his view that the world was laid out to aid him. As it was, Hikaru had decided to hate me, and he was forever looking for any excuse to confront me.

That excuse manifested itself after the very first wrestling meet. A couple of days earlier, Hikaru had hurt his shoulder during practice. He hurt it, in fact, while wrestling against. . . me. I had applied an arm bar, and he had screamed in painful protest, and I released him, not knowing, of course, that Hikaru was secretly blaming me for everything from his bruised ego, to his hurt shoulder, to global warming.

Well, anyway, after the wrestling meet, the St. Mary's wrestlers were cleaning up the gymnasium and rolling up the mats. Hikaru, with his hurt shoulder, couldn't do very much, understandably. I found myself at the end of a mat, helping to roll it up, with Hikaru working alongside me, doing basically very little beyond wincing in pain every time he made a movement.

"How's the shoulder," I asked him, even though I obviously knew the answer.

"Still hurts quite a bit," he said.

"Yeah," I acknowledged. "It looks like it."

You wouldn't think those to be fighten' words but, apparently, to Hikaru, those were fighten' words. He stood up and walked away from the mat, and I didn't think anything more of the exchange.

Later, in the locker room, I was busy being naked. I was taking a piss in the urinal prior to taking a shower, with a towel slung over my shoulder. Upon completing my piss, I turned around, only to be confronted by a fully-dressed Hikaru flanked by two of his pals.

Now, I'd dealt with bullies before back in my hometown high school, and I knew that they worked in groups of three or so, and I immediately came to the conclusion, standing there in front of Hikaru and company, that I was dealing suddenly with bullies. Which would have been fine. . . except I was naked.

There are certain things that are understood in this life, and they are things that you are probably born with. You magically understand, for example, that fire will probably burn you. You understand, for example, that a knife will probably cut you. And, damn it, you understand, for example, that you can not, under any circumstances, get beat up while you're naked. Humiliation, thy name is a naked butt-kicking.

"You've got a problem," said Hikaru.

"And that would be. . . ?" I asked, totally confused as to what I had a problem with.

"You don't believe my shoulder hurts, you fucker."


"I said my shoulder hurts, and you said 'yeah, it looks like it.'"

Now, I couldn't argue with Hikaru's accurate recitation, but I did take issue with his inflection on the word "looks." Quite frankly, that inflection simply wasn't there when I said it. Hikaru was exaggerating.

I honestly initially thought it looked like his shoulder hurt. However, as I stood there, naked in the bathroom, I came to the conclusion that Hikaru's shoulder, at that time, didn't look like it hurt nearly as much as he let on. Hikaru let me know just how little his shoulder hurt by giving me a forceful shove.

It's curious what you remember of a fight. You might remember a certain sound, or you might briefly be extremely cognizant of your heart beating. For me, what I remember after that first shove, was my penis and scrotum bouncing freely back and forth, slapping softly on my thighs.

The shove skittered me backward between two urinals, and I braced myself with my arms outstretched, accidently flushing one of them. One of Hikaru's buddies started laughing, but Hikaru didn't see the humor in anything. Instead, he threw a punch at me.

It was an easy punch to dodge. It was one of those telegraphed haymakers where he cocked his hand way back in a motion that seemed to take an eternity. By the time his forward motion had begun, I was already pretty much out of the way.

Which meant Hikaru ended up punching the wall. And he was none too pleased with the ensuing pain it apparently caused him. Hikaru crumpled down to his knees, and I used the distraction to run between his cronies, and get free from the bathroom, back into an environment where there were plenty of witnesses. They were naked witnesses, but at least I wasn't trapped in the bathroom by myself.

The fight basically ended there. Hikaru had pretty much bruised his fist, and there was no way his buddies were going to try to beat me up in a room full of my naked teammates. I took a leisurely shower, and I simply waited for my dad to shut things down at the school so I could walk home with him--just in case Hikaru and company were waiting outside the school, which they weren't.

Hikaru never tried to beat me up after that evening, and I suspect it had something to do with my wrestling teammates telling him that there would be a price to pay if he did. But, I still remember that confrontation vividly, because being caught naked in a fight is not something one forgets easily.

Posted by Ryan at June 17, 2004 10:51 AM

Nothing pisses of a bully more than missing his target AND hurting his punching hand.

Good thing he wasn't Yakuza or we'd never have seen what a smoking hot hunka hunka man you grew up to be.

By the way, my wrestling coach in school was none other than John Irving, writer of The World According to Garp and Oscar winner for The Ciderhouse Rules. But I still sucked at wrestling and joined the ski team after a month or two of hyper extended knees and elbows.

Posted by: Johnny Huh? at June 17, 2004 01:40 PM

So it looks like he hurt his hand too.

Posted by: Simon at June 18, 2004 03:44 AM

Nope, you can't fight when you are naked.
I found this out when I was married to my ex, and he was mad at me, told me to get the fuck out of the house, I got in the shower instead, ignoring him, and he grabbed me out of the shower and threw me out on the front porch and locked the door behind me. This was early evening, the neighbors were all outdoors, it was about 6, they got an eyeful, and in front of my kids who were 3 and 5 at the time. He wouldn't unlock the door and let me in, and finally one of my kids did.
That was the first and last time he ever put his hands on me.
But I learned a valuable lesson. You can't fight when you are naked. And you'd better not sleep when you've thrown your soon to be ex wife out on the porch in front of God and everybody.

Posted by: Donna at June 18, 2004 08:33 AM

So teenage boys have no issue being naked around each other? There are no comparisons going on? In the girls locker room most of us dressed quickly, faced our locker while doing so and didn't look around. If all of our clothes were off we certainly had a towel wrapped around us.

Posted by: amelia at June 18, 2004 08:34 AM

I loved my locker room...loved it!

Ryan - Have you ever considered that what stopped the fight was their...ummm...inadequacies?

Posted by: Lily at June 18, 2004 09:36 AM

Hmmmm....so the story starts with you talking about your sexual frustration and masturbating. Then it goes to wrestling, naked confrontation with 3 dudes in a toilet, then a vivid description of dick-n-nuts slapping your thigh, followed by you running for cover in a locker room full of naked wrestlers.....


Posted by: Tony Padera at January 19, 2005 08:21 PM
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