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Mar 07

A Month Of… Immediately Understood

Immediately Understood
Create a five minute documentary about a stranger or acquaintance.

There are times in our life where we just know what’s going on. There are times when after years of study, we still don’t get it. At A Month Of… we will be delving into things immediately understood. This month’s task is to create a 5 minute documentary about a stranger or acquaintance.

My submission is in the comments below. As always, if you do the task, you get into the show for free. Post proof in the comments below.

(My foray’s into learning how to code felt like this. Why won’t this compile, what’s an exception error? How did I pass three classes in this and I still don’t know how to call a class? Do you call classes? Is that a thing? Oh God, the nightmares are coming back. *cough cough*)

A Month Of… Immediately Understood
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
7:30pm Potluck
8:00pm Stories
Facebook Invite

$10 or…
Free with a shared dish or if you complete the task and post it in the comments below!

About the author

Dan

Dan Boyd's stories have been featured all over Chicago. He is currently Story Luck's President. You can read more about him at his blog, starveanartist.com.

1 comment

  1. Dan

    I feel like I could write a novel, but the directions are for a five minute documentary so I’ll attack this with as much brevity as I can manage.

    I’m writing this post from Japan. There are strangers, to me, everywhere. Seas of people.

    It is oppressive, or exhilarating, or maybe both. Do you know these feelings?

    Sometimes it’s hard to go into the city because I want to stop and say hey I love you to everybody.

    The other day I sort of felt like I got to do that. Jesus, I wish I had more time on this Earth. That’s how I feel when I see this many people. Like I have faces to kiss and hands to shake till the end of time plus a thousand years. Perhaps when I die, I’ll get to step outside of time, and really get the chance to do it.

    I was staring into a little side temple where a fire was burning, when another American said, “I don’t suppose they’d let us sneak in and watch, do you?”.

    His name was Ace, and he was with a good friend of his, Bret.

    Ace, Bret, Adam Baker, (a board member of ours) and I started talking about theme parks. And this isn’t something I would have reflected on had I not run into them but, Disney had an effect on me, as a child, and residually growing up.

    I wouldn’t have thought about it otherwise, but going to a place where magic and wonder and the fantastic made real, had an impact on my work with Robot Apocalypse: Journey to the End of the Night, and of course, A Month Of.

    The four of us traveled together to a little restaurant run by local heartthrob named Satoko Sasaki. As soon as I walked in, I knew Doudou was my Japanese Cheers. A place where, despite being a tourist, everyone knew my name.

    We joked, they let me do card tricks, we ate delicious food: six or ten small dishes swapped between the four of us. “Do you want to try some more Kumquat?”

    Don’t mind if I do!

    Bret reminded me that Ace had a food story to tell me.

    And so it was that I heard this story which, to the best of my recollection, I document for you now:

    Ace, a tall redheaded boy with long hair and a traveler’s version of five O’clock shadow tells me, “I am not an unadventurous guy. And these men I knew graciously offered to take me out, so I said yes.

    “Later after I’d accepted they asked me if I had any dietary restrictions. I don’t, and so they asked me if I’d be up for getting turtle with them.

    Sure!

    Now the day comes where we were going to go out and they say, “Please come join us for the ceremony.”

    And I look over to my interpreter and I know it’ll be uncool to back out so I ask, “Do you want to do the ceremony?”

    He shakes his head, negative.

    This is a big deal, it’s expensive, they are offering me this special honor, but I risk the offense and say, “You know we don’t need to do the ceremony part. But thank you very much for the offer.” We respectfully try to bow out.

    They look distressed, I can see the furrow in their brows, the uncomfortable hemming and hawing. I’ve offended them..

    Well, I dig deep, I check my gut, and I prepare myself and I say, this is a moment, and whatever comes I am going to muscle through and be in the moment, and I say, “On further consideration. We are going to do it.”

    They are pleased with this. And we shuffle off to the place and into a little room. The cook comes out and brings in the turtle. A very alive turtle.

    I’m there, this is a different culture, I’m prepared to take this all the way. It’s a moment, I’m prepared. If it’s gruesome–this too shall pass. It’s not like I haven’t eaten meat before.

    The chef yanks hard on its head to expose the neck. Chop! The head scatters down the table top, he lifts the rest of the tortoise into the sky while the head quivers and shakes. He then takes out Sake and just drowns its open neck in Sake. All the while the heads little beak snaps away. Then he pours the content of the gaping wound out into a bowl.

    He does this again.

    And a third time.

    Mind you, Sake is going in, but what’s coming out is blood, just gushing blood into this bowl.

    Then he points the gaping hole in the neck at my face and says, “DOZO!” Drink. Take. Please.

    Now I’ve psyched myself up, and I’m prepped and I told myself this whole time, just a moment, no flinching. But I can’t help myself, it’s just reflexive, I put up my hands and I say Nooooo. Just one of those, You’ve got to be kidding me, there is only one thing I can say to this, wait what, who when, No!

    One of those sort of Nooos.

    They all burst out laughing. Ahhh did they get the Gaijin.

    He finishes preparing the turtle and he puts out shot glasses of its Sake blood. And we all drink up. It’s apparently very healthy for you.”

    (Satoko later explains, “Yes, it’s true, it’s very good for male virility.”)

    But Ace goes on to finish, “I was prepared for the moment, as much as I could be… to get through it. And I drank up when my time came. But what I wasn’t prepared for was the memory. I got through the night. We had a really good time and bonded and it was very pleasant but the whole experience was more than a passing moment. It stuck with me.”

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