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    Stranger in a strange land

    I think this is the worst part: the time exactly between Atsushi’s last visit and his next. In the few days before we see each other, I do the giddy-with-preparation thing. Right after he leaves, my worries over whether he’s eating and sleeping right are animated by the fact that I’ve just been able to spend a few days taking care of him.

    It’s during the in-between time that I get–it isn’t depressed. We’re in a great situation compared to a lot of couples. It’s just that my senses are slightly deadened. I don’t do the slovenly-atavistic bachelor thing, of course. I just finished bustling around the kitchen to Mozart’s 40th, making myself tea and poached eggs on toast with my usual homemade gravy and heating up some frozen ratatouille to go with it. (It’s always funny how listening to music while cooking affects the result. One memorable weekend, Atsushi decided that he had to listen to, of all things, the death scene from Don Giovanni. Over and over and over. And this being a Japanese apartment, the living/dining/kitchen/non-bedroom space is all together, so I was auditing, as it were. I swear, my lasagne ended up viciously peaked and valleyed as if it were resisting being pulled into the pasta underworld. Since I poached today’s eggs during the second movement of Mozart’s 40th, they came out rather serene and perfect.) This afternoon will be sheet laundering. Atsushi’s side of the bed no longer smells like him–just like sheets that need to be changed. And it’s a very sunny fall day anyway. Good for airing things.

    Since it’s 1 October, I will also ritually listen to this album. It’s amazing how silly half-superstitious fanboy habits don’t desert you even when you’ve been a stodgy adult for a decade. It’s almost a shame about the weather. I mean, that it’s not a very good backdrop to the music. It’s certainly cooler than it was a few weeks ago, but there’s no real nip in the air during the day time. You don’t get a sense that nature is hunkering down for winter. Not yet. (Of course, given the candy-assed winter we get in Tokyo, it’s not really any wonder. As a transplanted Pennsylvanian, I miss snow, and the ubiquitous sleet and freezing rain hardly make up for it. I miss deer and maples with big leaves, too.)

    Even so, I’m trying to speed it along a bit. The sweaters are within easy reach. See, weather gods? Sweaters–like what you wear when it’s chilly. I realized, reaching for a short-sleeved job on one of the first cool days last week, that my favorite orange pullover, which it was stacked on top of, is almost exactly five years old. I bought it when Atsushi and I were I-think-we’re-kind-of-dating-but-I’m-not-sure-ing. I figured that for a drive in the countryside (one of our first outings), it was best to aim for a sort of all-American rugged-but-potentially-huggable thing. Not sure whether it worked, though the ultimate result was clearly in my favor. I wish Atsushi were closer, but you can’t have everything.

    2 Responses to “Stranger in a strange land”

    1. Maria says:

      Right, Sean, like you’ll ever be a “stodgy adult.” :)

      I enjoyed this post immensely. But, then again, being partial for Mozart and U2 probably does help a bit.

      I read it on the 1st while enduring a slow morning at work. (As I am doing right now). Listening to the October samples was a delightful reminder of the timelessness of U2. And, it also reminded me of why, how, and what made us friends in the first place…

      It was a bit of joyous ear candy and sunny comfort on a long slow lonely day at work. (We work 10 hour shifts on Saturdays). Thanks, Sean.

    2. Sean Kinsell says:

      Thanks, Maria. (I won’t ask just how not-stodgy you think I am.) Stay sane through the slow bits at work.

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