Sunday, April 10, 2005


I left New York yesterday shivering out the last gasps of winter and came to a Japan thoroughly soaked in spring. I had a long, sleepless flight, spent restlessly switching among the half dozen bits of Hollywood tripe played on repeat, a two hour coach bus ride from the airport, a few stops on the train, and a few minutes lugging my bags through the city and up several flights of stairs before I finally had the key in the lock, my luggage on the floor and was in the shower. It was a breezy spring evening, the sun had just set and sky was the color of a blue M&M. I went for a walk in fresh jeans, a long sleeve t-shirt and a pair of dollar sandals, bought a beer at the corner store and grabbed in a bench in a neighborhood park to watch the cherry trees heavy with thick pink blossoms.

I deliberately sat with my back to the high school couple on another bench, talking and necking in equal measure, only to see another couple across the way who had had the same idea. I made a great show of keeping my eyes on the cherry blossoms, feeling the beer steep into this confused and jet lagged body. Tried to orient myself, find the part of me that speaks Japanese, the part of me tucked away before I boarded the plane for the states. My insides were groping blindly, grasping for night and day, for up and down. I suppose my mind was doing that too, trying to piece together those ten American days with these Japanese years, and just how they all puzzle together.

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