Bathed in the orange glow of the electric heater, George and I look around the room. George’s gaze darts a little more frantically because George is Sarah’s fish. He’s fat and has bug eyes. He’s a black goldfish that can take more punishment than most aquatic house pets. I suspect, right now, he is having similar thoughts to me: ‘Someone turn up the heat.’
Though, George being the hardy fellow he is, he’s probably used to this temperature. Not me. I mean, only a couple days ago, I was sweating out 40 degree days. This 30 degree shift down has me recalling all too vividly my winter in Japan and cursing the architects who did not have the foresight to install insulation or central heating in these Japanese apartments.
I know this really isn’t cold, but you have to think relatively here. 40 degrees down to 10 is shrinks a lot of mercury (among other things). Give me a week and I’ll be back to asserting my Canadian mastery over all things cold. With ice cubes down my pants, I’ll be hunting for some frozen poles I can lick. But for now, I’m going to shiver under my blanket and recall to myself that other than this delay in the Japanese spring, everything is pretty much perfect.
I’ve only made a quick sojourn from the apartment today, but while walking those familiar streets, I couldn’t help giggling to myself, ‘I’m in Japan again!’ while a huge grin preceded each of my footsteps.
The weirdest country I’ve to which I’ve ever been, this place is re-revealing it’s odd contradictions and making me recall why leaving here those many months ago was a mistake. But I’m not attempting to live in the past here. I feel, instead like I’m caught somewhere between past, present and future. It’s both like I never left and my whole life is ahead of me.
But like many of Japan’s mysteries, I have decided not to delve too deeply. It’s not a land that reveals its secrets easily. Instead, I will just go with the flow and bypass these strange temporal eddies.
Soon, George and I will greet Sarah’s return from a day at work and succumb to her pressure to watch American Idol. I like to pretend watching that show causes me some mortal wound so that perhaps I can curry some favour. But, it’s really Sarah that should be thanked for allowing me the chance to come back here to Japan. Maybe tonight I won’t make any jesting complaints. I can’t speak for George though. I think he really hates that show.