July 15, 2005

夏ばて Summer Exhaustion

Hello, friends. Recently I haven't been blogging, which most likely means more things are happening in the world, both locally and globally--whether it is the ceaseless killing in Iraq, suicide bombings in London, the Bush administration's willingness to destroy, damage, deplete, or just deviate from any thing or action that could bring peace to this world and the human beings in it (ok, maybe a few people at the top rung have their slice of Elysian repose, for now), or just the troubles between my mom and my older brothers, the dawn of Japan's hottest two months, and now being caught between sentiment and reason in my beautifully simple (yet ever so unavoidably and heart/mind-rendingly complex) feelings for Yuka. In the process of feeling, seeing, hearing, reading about, taking part in all of this--i.e. the present moment--I have forgotten my habit of putting a little of it down for someone (often myself) to (proof)read.

Last night, after hitting the gym and running a bit along the train tracks between Wakayama Station and Miyamae Station, I got home, took a cold shower, and went for some grilled chicken at the local yaki tori spot. But really what I felt was needed was an ice cold 生ビール.
Lots of 生ビール. By the end of my meal, I was quite tipsy and stuffed with all that chicken and beer. I decided to walk around the neighborhood, as sweltering as the air was. I made it to Family Mart, where Tsuji-san, the coolest and friendliest of the Family Mart staff (also hands-down the most 英語ぺらぺら), greeted me as cordially as ever. However, I just wasn't feeling the same after so many long and emotionally up and down talks with Yuka, that I could barely speak to him. I mumbled an ”暑いですね” and an ”ありがとう” and parted with a few cans of plum and orange flavored Chu-hi. It is probably a bad thing when, on a Thursday night alone, one spends five minutes at the beverage cooler scanning the labels of each Chu-hi for the best mixture of highest alcohol content and good flavor. I just can't stomach so much lemon Chu-hi. Does this make me picky? Well, now in 南太田公園, the park just behind my apartment, drinking Chu-hi, talking to Yuka on the phone, getting bit by mosquitoes left and right, top to bottom, overhearing the fascinating but incomprehensible conversation between the two fellows who sleep in the park every night (I had a slight flashback of Berkeley's People's Park), I felt a strange mixture (not just the spirits imbibed) of being blessed and being cursed. That is, though I always make my problems to be worse than they are, I have been lucky to make it this far, to sit in a park on a hot summer night getting drunk, bit by mosquitoes, and even seeing a few stars from the depths of Wakayama's neon glow. Today I have had stomach problems, yes. I drank some strange stomach medicine given to me by the school nurse, manufactured locally and resembling rabbit feces. Yes, it's not what you would want or expect stomach medicine to look like, but it did seem to help just a little bit. Much cold barely tea later, a few wonderful junior high classes later, a bunch of cold buckwheat noodles later, I am able to be here now, still writing and saying goodbye to my bloghood temporarily. The next two weeks I will be in 勉強-land, participating in Kansai International Center's Intensive Japanese Workshop. It might feel good to become a real student again as opposed to grumbling in all my half-assed attempts to really study Japanese. After that, I will go on a camping trip in Misato, a small mountain village southeast of Wakayama City. There I will make handmade udon, then curry udon, swim in Kishigawa, hang out with the 中学校 kids. They are an absolutely wonderful group of kids. I need to figure out how to put pictures up on this blog. I managed it once, but it was not really me who figured out how to do it. My technologically defunct ways need some instruction, but I just haven't put much effort into this whole "using the computer" thing lately. After camp, I am off to Berkeley for a short 12 days, then back to Wakayama and the start of the Fall semester. For now, take care friends of Wakayama, of the world. Have a nice おぼん, Japanese festival of the dead, 花火 season, and summer holiday.

Signing off for some time...

Though it is a sad one, I really liked this poem, written by Louise Bogan:

At midnight tears
roll into your ears.


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