12.04.2001 (Tuesday), 12:23 AM

Homesick

I write in the dark because sometimes the light reveals too much...

I guess you could call me spoiled. I went to Japan nearly every two months back in 1998 and 1999. It was just business but it left a mark on me in every way.

I have never been to a place that I felt more in sync with in all my life. Even though my Japanese sucks, I can't read much of the writing and I'm a large guy in a small land, I still yearn and crave.

Earlier this afternoon, I was standing and staring out of my imaginary Japanese hotel window. It was about 8:30 pm in my dream and I was watching the mist roll in over a semi-cold Tokyo skyline. It's December in Japan--cold enough to start wearing heavy clothing but not so cold that you'd think twice about going out at night. Come back in February and I'll tell you that heaters are a gift from God.

Looking out over the skyline, I see the familiar glow of the west end of Shinjuku station. Off to the right is the double-phallic Tokyo Metropolitan Government building. The one where the designer was so into his craft that even the clocks became an afterthought to the marble grandeur.

Off in the distance is Tokyo Tower: an ugly aircraft navigation tower in the daytime, a needle in a haystack of winking lights and rising darkness.

As I survey my world, it become apparent that peace flows over me like the warming flow of an ofuro. I breathe slowly, smoothly and let myself become one with the shimmering, pulsing Tokyo night.

I'm snapped out of the dark by the phone; it's someone with yet another problem to solve. It's not like depression takes over but I realize all at once that life in these parts is an alien world even though it shouldn't be. I should be at that window more often or at least at ground level where I can be as relaxed as I can be secure in the knowledge that I'm home away from home at last.

Posted by wjc