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.