I didn’t want to start this letter with the, “Oh I just don’t know where to start...” cliché but sometimes its less of a cliché to embrace the cliché if you know what I mean.
My name is Nat. I am writing this letter to you because I think we could have a real genuine connection in life, if only we just gave it a chance. I feel like I know so much about you, yet there is still so much more I want to know. That’s more than an infatuation I think. It is perhaps not quite love (yet) but it is SOMETHING.
Like you, I was a child/teenage sporting prodigy. My sport was tennis. Although not a contact sport like Karate, the nature of the one-on-one dual in tennis, to me, always seemed to lend itself to the classic feeling of a gladiatorial battle between two opponents – each player attacking with an arsenal of well-rehearsed potential ‘winners’ and at the same time countering with strategic defence and mind games. I always thought it had strong similarities with boxing.
Off-the-bat, I guess, I should confess I am not gay. I know it’s a label, and these days its always about fluid sexuality, and I am not saying I haven’t dabbled, but when I picture myself growing old, drinking milky tea with my partner in the late afternoon watching the sunset develop, its with a woman. So I am not Gay. And I don’t think you are either. But I don’t think that’s totally insurmountable. Like love, I think you can learn to become attracted to someone. The touch of your lean body, your hair, your smell, you glistening thighs mid-crane kick. These can’t be too dissimilar to a woman’s. Being looked at with animal desire surely is as thrilling coming from a man as it is from a woman. So I don’t see this as such a problem.
The problem I do see for us is Mr. Miyagi. Let me just state, I like him a lot. And I am not one of those guys that needs to be the only important person in one’s life. But I need to be the MOST important. Is Mr. Miyagi still in your life? Does he still teach you life lessons through household chores? Would you need to ask his permission to date me? I don’t want to have to be constantly competing for your affections.
Or has your relationship with your mentor soured? I could see how this could happen. I agreed with Mr. Miyagi’s view of karate for “self-defence only” but Mr Miyagi was never a two-time All Valley champion. Do you feel like he held you back a little? Do you resent him preventing you from cashing in on your tournament fame? As they say, “you could have been a contender”. I too know what its like to have that Mentor-Protégé relation turn sour.
Like you I also started out my development by learning my sport from a book. I remember quite distinctly how Mr. Miyagi was very disparaging and amused that a book could teach such things as karate. My book was called Hitting Hot – by Ivan Lendl. I loved that book. Now I don’t normally believe our senses have memories separate from the mind but I can still feel the texture of that books bubbly rough hard cover, its dimensions, its worn edges and its eventual smell after too much handling by young, dirty, sweaty hands. I remember reading that book at nights in bed, studying the time series photographs of a Lendl open-stance forehand or a overhead smash with a young boys dreamy intensity, as if looking hard enough I could unlock the secrets of power and grace through some form of page-to-muscle osmosis.
It was not until I got a Professional Tennis coach that my raw ability was able to be converted into refined capability. My coach’s’ name was Brian Carr. I called him Brian. Some of his students called him coach. But never Mr. Carr. Why did you never call Mr. Miyagi Sensei? I can’t picture Mr. Miyagi being into the Organised Karate bullshit, with its rules and regulations. I remember him stealing a black belt for you at your first All Valley Karate Tournament. Did they ever strip your of you title for that?
Anyway, back to my soured mentor relationship. My coach, Brian, he let me down in a big way. I won’t go into the details but he wasn’t there for me when I needed him, and for a teenage boy to loose faith in one of the few things he believes, as you can imagine, it can be quite devastating. Perhaps this is the case with all Mentor type relationships. Can the respect and deference ever survive the growth and eventual maturity that must come with the progression of the protégé? I guess its like when you get to that age where you realise there is very little that your parents can teach you anymore. It’s quite a lonely feeling I think – to feel from hear on out you must fend for yourself.
What is your girl situation at the moment anyway? Last I remember you where with that clay sculpture girl. Is she still in the picture? (I totally bet you guys tried to re-enact the Ghost love-making scene!). It seems to me, though, you have a little bit of difficulty in making, or at least keeping, a commitment. Elizabeth Shue anybody? She dumped you, right? But why? And the Okinawan girl, who I thought was such a kind-hearted person. She went away to Dance school, yeah? You couldn’t have followed her? Sometimes love is worth changing for Daniel. I suppose that is what would concern me about us. When the chips are down, would you be prepared to put it all on the line? For me?
What else is in your life? I like to think you are running your own Karate Dojo. Teaching misguided youth discipline and life direction with lesson in karate and household chores.
Oh, a funny thing happened about 2 years ago, I slept with a girl who said her last ex-boyfriend, although Thai in heritage, looked a lot like you. She also said she thought you were totally sexy. She kept an autograph book of people that she had slept with – but instead of signing your name she would take your thumb print. She coloured my thumb with red ink and pushed flat on the page and made me print my name and the date underneath (I do remember looking at the other thumbs and thinking that mine was bigger than most).
I remember thinking at the time whether this was one of those feigned idiosyncrasies or neuroses to appear interesting, unique and, dare I say, quirky. But I guess that doesn’t matter now. I wonder what she thinks about when she looks back over her thumb print line up of sexual conquests. Perhaps she was trying to give meaning to events, that, in more macabre moments, might appear to have little – that by taking our prints she took something more from us than just an anecdote that experiences like this inevitably become. Frankly, I have no idea. Your guess would be as good as mine. The only other thing I do remember about her is she didn’t shave under her arms – which I think is so cute!
Do you still see the guys from Cobra Kai? Does Johnny still live in the area? I imagine that you guys have teamed up and are working together – reforming the chain of Cobra Kai Dojo’s (now called Cobra Miyagi) into a profitable karate franchise. On weeknights you and Johnny go out on the town to blow you “Dojo money”. Tight jeans, denim jackets with the Cobra Kai/Miyagi symbol on the back. On the prowl for hot single mothers that perhaps might remember the “LaRusso and Danny 1985 All Valley Karate Championship showdown.” You and Danny both pull. You take the ladies home to your pad. You and Danny have matching “dojo themed” bedrooms – floor mats, futon, mirrored walls, mounted Japanese scriptures and samurai swords with Japanese style sliding doors. In the morning, on your way to the bathroom, you pass Johnny in the hallway, both wearing your Cobra Kai karategi. A Hi-Fives ensues, as does a quite whispered chant, “Cobra Kai! Cobra Kai! Cobra Kai! I could definitely be part of this life!
Perhaps I haven’t sold myself to you enough. I don’t feel I really need to. I think someone as spiritual as you Danny would be able to recognise a corresponding vibration of the heart, even from the lifelessness of a letter. True love doesn’t need to explain itself or impress. But for the record I guess I should let you know a couple of things.
Firstly, I love violence but hate blood. So if after a sparring session with Johnny you are bloody and bruised, you had better clean yourself up before sliding into my bed.
I could also help you out with your business. I do that stuff for a living. You could focus on the teaching side and perhaps I could expand the franchise in Australia. I don’t normally like working for other people so perhaps we could create an equity share arrangement. What’s mine is yours, Daniel. I hope you feel the same. What are your feelings on pre-nups by the way?
Eating out at restaurants is one of my favourite things to do also. I don’t really ever remember seeing you eat before, so I hope that you are not one of those “eat to live” people. You probably have a strict training and dietary regime you need to stick to. Not sure I can handle that.
Other than that I am relatively easy going. I would never pressure you too change and would never impose my will on you. I like sleeping in on Sunday mornings and playful wrestling, which, perhaps, is something we could do together.
I hope to hear back from you Daniel. I think we could have a wonderful life together.
With love and affection,
Nat (your little karate man)P.S. I have included a CD with this letter. It’s of the song “You’re the best around” – but it’s a karaoke version, with me signing lead vocals. I hope you like it.