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Published: July 20th 2007
Change. And the sense of life, its routines, familiar faces and places, sounds that have become a part of me, as grains of sand slipping through an hourglass. Bare feet squeaking, clinging to the glass wall, brushing the last grains of sand from between my toes. Grains that once were frustrations, loud speaker mini vans running through town advertising noise pollution and rules whose senses evaded me, impossible sidewalks, I watch drop below me and I feel nostalgic. Good-bye tatami mats and green tea ice cream, the hypnotic buzz and whir of cicadas, the computer friendly voices that speak from parking boxes and hidden speakers, the happy jingles in the supermarket, the smell and taste of late night ramen or okonomiyaki after a round at the bars. Farewell tiled roofs, bamboo groves, hilltop temples, Shinto shrines, public baths and scenic hot springs. Good-bye toilet slippers, Obento lunch boxes, chopsticks for salads, corn on pizza, old women in Kimono, young school children in 1950s white and navy uniforms. Sayonara paper thin walls, karaoke boxes, punctual trains and punctual people, typhoons, thunder storms, bull frogs, carp splashing in the river.
My lessons, my students, my coworkers, my commute, my train ride, my
friends. Good-bye. My belongings shipped to Canada, a foreign sound conjuring crisp green forests, where three boxes cost a fortune to bypass some of the world's strictest postal regulations. Boxes filled with books and newspapers clipping journals, wool sweaters, Dutch paintings, CDs, bits of me I will lose for a while. A second heap remains behind in a closet in Hiroshima, dress shirts folded snug and protected from the heat with moth ball pucks that remind me of those giant urinal hail stones. My odds and ends await further notice. Mean while I am streamlining.
A last night out, a last look back with Carinna, a last bullshit with Maria, tears and hugs and full of love and happiness that two delicious bottles of wine have uncorked. I am loved. Its the end of an era. I did Japan. We did Japan. A bright blue balloon released to pursue its destiny. One last embrace before I am let go. Take Care. Keep in Touch. Ki oh tsuketteh, hontoni. I am rising into the air. Beautiful balloon.
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