ちょっと日記だけー

引越しのとき、面倒臭いよ。いろいろしないとー

田無市役所とか東池袋区役所とか郵便局へいかなければならない。保健所はまだかいたないえで、郵便で送る。でも、書くとき、もっと面倒臭いと思う。

もう一つ、自転車の番号をかわれば、どうすればいい?先生は「警察へ行かないと」と言った。

それで、私と友達は警察へ自転車を持って行っても、警察ができなかった。実はみなで日本人が全然分からない。だから、たくさん悪い説明をむらった。それで、警察へ行かなくてもいい。でも、もう二回行った。自転車屋も行かなくてもいいけど、もう行った。DonQuijoteも行かなくてもいいけど、行った。

全然できない。だから、今自転車を持ってない。使わない。友達がもらえない。

あー面倒臭い。

。。。まあー疲れても、今は学校の休みでしょう。残念ぞ。

ーーーじゃ、英語に訳す。

Just a little journal–

Moving is a hassle. I had to go to the post office, old city ward office, and the new city ward office. But, my health insurance isn’t done yet. It’ll be done by mail, and I think it’ll be a hassle, too.

Next, the bicycle. My friend wanted to give me a bicycle so we asked how to register it under my name and address. Sensei said the police office. So, we went with the bike to the police station. Turns out they couldn’t do it. And turns out nobody knows how. So we got a bunch of bad instructions. Went to two police stations before learning this. And then went to the bike shop (but didn’t have to). Went to Don Quijote (but didn’t have to).

And still, the bike is not registered. So I don’t have a bike. I can’t use a bike. My friend can’t give me the bike.

What a hassle.

I’m already exhausted, and this is my school break? That’s really too bad…

Great.

これ、夢しか。。。 [Only a dream.]

I woke up to the sound of wind.

The trees knocked subtly together, drumming out an uneven rhythm, slightly unnerving. Sprawled flat on my back, I stared up at a grey-blue indeterminable sky. Not a cloud I could make out, but wisps of flimsy white stretching a film across the sky. The stars were mostly missing. One, obvious. The morning star or the evening one? Venus — a planet not a star at all — all the same. In one end of the sky, there were pink and fire orange bars of light clinging low to the horizon. East or West?

I would have to know where I was to parse that information.

What I did know — there was tent, no shelter blocking out my view. And no other body wrapped warm and close around me. No sleeping bag. No pad. The air brushed freely across my cheek, which might have been beautiful but my back ached. My head, too. A swarm of questions hovered like hungry wasps, stinging my mind and heart.

When and where was I? Was the sky late day or early night?  Was this wind a storm coming, an ending one, none at all? And had I not, only moments ago, been in a covered place with a friend safe beside me? Had we not been telling stories? Had there not been a fire, doused? Should there not be a pit of charcoal and wood stored under a rainfly? Did I not have a box of carefully picked tinder stored safe under my arm? Was I not prepared for it all?

No. None of these things. Only me in not so much a clearing as in the middle of the path. As if I just stopped, fell, gave up.

How had I gotten from there to here? And where did that sweet, gentle, perfect companion go?

The wind slapped a cold hand across my face, wiping the tendril of sleep away. I blinked myself back into reality, post-sleep daze clearing like a morning mist.

A dream. But how? Had I not been walking, only moments ago, with such purpose?

The sound of the ocean in the distance, much smaller than I remembered. Much farther than it should have been. The trees above my head, I noticed now, were pines. Not palms or banana trees. This wasn’t the island on which I’d thought to spend a few weeks. But this wasn’t home either. It was…

The whistle of a sparrow made me look up. It perched on a finger-thin branch above my head, twisting its gaze to peer at me. Judging? Wondering what I was doing here? Thinking nothing but of the next seed, the next branch, the next breeze.

I breathed out slow and felt the tightness of my chest. Everything hurt. The bodily pain brought me back down. To the ground. To reality. A floodgate gave and in a flashflood, I remembered everything.

I’d come up this way alone. Had, years ago, set out with someone else. And recently? We’d parted way. In the heat of a determined moment, I’d climbed non-stop up this mountainside. Made it, what, half way? Until?

I had not met some dreamy stranger in the forest thick. I had not glimpsed some companion off in a different clearing. Oh no, no, no. I had strictly kept to the path. Not eating or drinking, pushing way too hard in what had become a summer heat. And alongside exhaustion was a sinking in my heart. A longing uncontrollable and mitigated only by the ability to truncate thought with physical fatigue. So, I’d pushed. Harder. Harder. Until sweat and tears mixed, salty saline running in jagged streams down both my cheeks. Eventually, I came to a rough patch. And my foot tripped up on a slip of rocks. I’d tried to catch myself. Failed. Hit my knees hard on the sharp ground. And then, must have passed out.

Which would mean…

I sat up and looked down. Sure enough, both knees were bright red and swollen. As if just seeing them reminded my body of the damange done, they throbbed hotly. I touched the left one tinderly. Pain shot straight to the bone. I flinched and tried not to move. Feeling left out, my palms began to burn too. I stared at the tiny scrapes, some big enough that dirt had gotten in under the layers of skin. I looked for water to wash them clean. No, of course. I had not planned that far ahead. My gear had been left…where?

Never gathered. Tools essential left behind in places where I was certain I’d return.
How far out was I now? Would I even make it back? Had I even considered that? Did I have enough know-how to survive without?

The sky overhead seemed both to darken and lighten at the same time. So it was still impossible to know anything.

I laid back down, closing my eyes. Waiting for what?

Maybe not waiting at all. But simply because I can’t think of anything else to do now.

Split / 分ける

A line like a wall is being built inside of me. Carefully, I’m placing clever bricks — pretending they’ve been fired already, knowing in my heart they are sand yet. Knowing the slightest wind could break my structures apart. And I’d be right back at the start.

With everything and everyone, I start again. Every word, ever slip of tongue. Every hand or arm or leg I touch. Sand, unlike bricks, doesn’t stack and I can only travel sideways in parallel lines.

I wake up in the morning and can’t recall what language my dreams are in. I half wonder if it’s not anything. Just babble my brain is telling me makes sense. That would explain some things.

But, progress. Slow, steady, careful, trepidatious. I tread carefully on slippery stones in a river I don’t know. But the crossing has been done before and so, in this way, I continue on.

And then, this.

There are moments I break through the fog. I see a kanji and know exactly what it means. I don’t need my 辞書(dictionary) to look up the texts you send. I can carry on in conversation like I have some scrap of intelligence. I hear other people’s conversations or an announcement, and I get 95% percent of it. In revolt, my brain tells me I’m cheating. Like, that’s too easy. I have to be doing it wrong…

Brain, you make no sense. Calm down.

It’s the same in frienship.

Something I learned last night was this: take 縁 (en). Connection, destiny, fate. Then, add 自由 (jiyuu) — the concept of personal freedom, an “as it pleases you” sensibility. And what you get is the concept of the connection of the self to fate. The thread, as it were, from a single chest to the whole.

This is why 日本人(Japanese) always leave 10 en (pronounced juu en) at the 神社(shrine).

These are the kinds of sandcastle bricks I am being laid up with. Things learned in strange places peopled by new faces, along side quick and ready friends in a new, steady warmth. Temporary moments but strong and sweet. Like 梅酒 (plum wine) or 赤ワイン (red wine)。We finish a bottle and I can suddenly speak 日本語。And my body just kind of bends against your’s. We are playful and lighthearted and I wonder where that road will go.

You have sensibilities I don’t often find openly expressed. I appreciate this. Let’s keep talking, ney? 私とたくさん話してね。でも、すみません。このままはジーシの仕事か?本当にごめんね。

(Babble, not worth translating.)

But then. I wake up in the morning and freak out about everything. Like I did it wrong. Like, that wasn’t hard enough. Like, what is wrong with me? No, things must be crumbling…

Heart, you make no sense. Calm down.