It’s no big secret that my last four girlfriends have been women with suicidal tendencies (such as, the tendency to attempt suicide). I complain about this frequently: “Why I always be meeting closet goths, yo?!”

It’s never fully apparent to me when I meet these women. But I think there’s a Sad Sack Detector built into my DNA, stimulating my brain with shiny, happy feelings every time I meet a girl with a bruised face or untied shoelaces or drug-hardened veins. In college, I once fell for a girl who walked with a crutch. I thought it became her, and was secretly a little sad to see it go when her knee got better.

Today, too, waiting at the platform for the local train to Toki, a woman beside me stood with an enormous patch of gauze taped to her face. At first I wondered what it was there for. Had she been in an accident, or perhaps just had an enormous, square mole removed? I’ve often marveled at the great number of of people in Japan with enormous moles who don’t think to get them removed. And before you go and deem me superficial, remember that this is a country where pre-teen males pluck their eyebrows. At any rate, if it was a mole on this girl’s face, I commended her for taking action.

It wasn’t long before I found myself strangely magnetized towards this girl, with her maimed face. Our physical distance had decreased. “Nobody will look at you with your gauze-face, you say? Well by all means, allow me, my sweet.” Not that it felt like a romantic attraction. It was like a literal magnet. Some people are magnetized towards nice cars, some towards delicious sponge cake. Others, small dogs. For me, it’s people with serious emotional and/or physical damage. But even I had to admit this was ridiculous. Gravitating towards a girl like I’m being tractor-beamed in, just because she’s got some gauze taped to her face?! It was like the defining moment for an alcoholic, who, gazing over the bloodied carcass of his landlord, realizes he has a serious problem. Next thing I know I’ll be chasing girls up and down Suicide Bridge and through the Betty Ford Clinic. Next thing I know I’ll be chasing Betty Ford herself. Talk about a wounded bird. She a widow!