Some mornings are like Magnolia. The end of Magnolia, when all the frogs fall from the sky. Guts splattered on every surface, being pushed about by the windshield wipers who’ve no option but to keep driving.
I woke up this morning with one of those migraines that makes everything look like an electric buzz. Forgive me.
All I really mean to say is there are frogs everywhere. Tiny things, creep up on you like flies. They crowd convenience store windows and vending machines, suctioned to the neon glass, wondering how can I get my mouth on that silky black coffee, so thirsty. Painted on the ground, too, like one drop of acrylic yellow-green escaped the bucket of a carelessly passing child, limbs strike pavement and splash out, the imprint of a bicycle tire along their backs. Among them, earthworms, clearly dead.
It doesn’t help that it’s been raining, and with as little sense as frogs falling from the sky. There seems to be an entirely separate weather influence here that takes hold from inside; how I at once feel cold and wet and am still sweating profusely makes little sense otherwise. And often, an entire day spent sweating under late night diner bright sunlight ends with thunder that shakes the house, lightning that shorts my electricity, wind that sweeps the heavy rain through my window against gravity’s force and soaks soaks my bed sheets. Windows are closed, and I incubate in my four-room humidifier, the image of rapidly boiling eggs splitting and spurting out their whites.
Maybe I need to get out more. Maybe I need to clean. My world here feels very small and crowded. I’m going to Tokyo this weekend. Kyoto next weekend. Perhaps that will do me some good. Too much routine? A bad thing?
I’m pretty sure I am set on staying in Japan for two years. It seems a waste to have put all of this effort into coming to throw myself back out to sea after a year. What I’ll be doing my second year, though, I can’t say, as ideally, I see myself in a larger city doing something more socially engaging and ultimately more enjoyable; if I could be writing or doodling every day, I would be set. It’s what I want to do. There’s just something inexplicably satisfying about completing a project I had the gumption to labor through, even in its less enjoyable moments. When I get home from school everyday, feeling consumed, I wonder what I do it for; I consider those people fixed in spiritless positions and don’t know how they do it. How to go about seeking out other employment in this country, though, I am even more clueless. And where would I be useful, as the Japanese opinion goes?
Brainstorm: I could write television shows to air on Japanese television that would make learning English cool and interesting to Japanese kids. I could work in an international hotel or restaurant or other establishment in a large city. I could work for an English newspaper. I could brush up on my translating and/or Illustrator skills and make myself useful at a book publishing company. I could go on an interesting trip and write a best-selling book about it. I could design an elaborate and interesting story in my head and write a best-selling novel about it. I could draw a picture and sell it for lots of money, and then I could do it again. I could take up crocheting and sell my goods at temple bazaars. I could go door to door with some fictitious missionary ties and collect some daily bread money. I could wed a Japanese man. I could seriously take up a sport and live on the winnings I reap from always coming out on top. I could lose twenty pounds and become a model. I could invent a time machine, design my future, and propel myself to the day I am finally rich; or, I could just charge people a lot of money to use it, because it’s a time machine. I could take on an apprenticeship with a farmer and learn how to live off the land. I could buy a tent and live in the woods, creeping out only at night to feast on the fruits of Iiyama farmers.
There are so many options, clearly, I don’t know why I would ever limit myself.
Another morning in the office. I’m pretty sure my principal said ‘genitals’ in his announcement during the teacher’s meeting. I resolve to learn Japanese more solidly so I will understand the next time somesuch is uttered.
It is a wet day, pant fronts are already soaked, hair is full with dank humidity. Throat itches, and I wonder if I should break out the face mask today, though it seems more a show for pity than a real attempt at saving everyone else. Residual anxiety from a my future talk over the weekend has me feeling heavy, on top of the boggy mix of last night’s and this morning’s stratums of cereal sod lining the floor of my stomach.
Another morning in the office. No teacher’s meeting today, so nothing funny to report yet. Incurred yet another migraine yesterday, which makes every day since last Thursday. Awoke to a wide padded drumstick pumping my head into dough, eyes opened to a white wall with a texture like that of my wall at home enough to confuse me into thinking I was indeed at home. It took turning over to shake me out of that dream.
It’s not homesickness I feel, not exactly. I’m happy to be here, and I feel comfortable here. It’s just when I feel physically weak that I start to crave the repose of my bed at home, knowing Mama is but a muffled cry away.
No explosions, yet, though. The visual aura likely came while I was unconscious.
So I had intended to talk about Tokyo yesterday but was apparently distracted by something. Tokyo was a pretty good time. Exhausting, however. Really wearing. When you get down to it, it was mostly just incredibly taxing. I’ve always thought it was a fault of my own being uncomfortable jumping into poorly planned things, like I should be more adventuresome, so I leapt against my better judgment and found it was perhaps a mistake to go without securing some very basic things for myself – a place to stay, for example. I don’t like having to rely on others, and while my friend with the plan did eventually come through for me and did show me a good a time as he could, it was at the price of my feet which never got a break the entire weekend, and I was to put it simply quite miserable much of the time. I wouldn’t say the entire weekend was miserable, as there were enough high points to make up for much of my suffering, but I will trust my gut a bit more where it matters (in issues of comfort and security, namely, more so than the more directly related issue of appetite where my gut is rarely honest with me). As a good friend who hears all about my being put upon all the time would say, lay the hammer down. It’s true, I need to. On a more positive end, though, it was nice to hang out with friend Patrick, and to see some other old friends in Tokyo. I bought some nice things, too, but let’s not think too much about how much money I spent vacationing.
This approaching weekend, I am looking forward to with great pleasure and relief. I’m going to Kyoto to see some of what I would consider to be my good friends. This means I may be awarded more control when plotting out the day’s events, and mode of transport, and when I say I want Mexican food, I will get Mexican food, dammit. I have to say, my burrito hunger is developing into a serious condition; a mental cavity formed by the thought of the deprivation alone, it ails me. Perhaps a burrito is all the medicine I need for these headaches.
In other news, I am still without a car. I definitely need one. I now own a television, which is dandy, but I have yet to notify my cable provider that I have since signing a contract secured a television set, so it is yet to be set up. My bed is great, my refrigerator keeps my food cold, and my internet is everything I could have hoped for. One of these days my homecoming will not be so drenched in malaise that I allow my clothing and baggage to be dispersed all over the floors of every room; I will clean soon. Mother would be ashamed.
Things looking up. Weather cooling down. Vision two days clear. Some dizzying head sways like a baby being rocked to sleep.
Epiphany reached today - perhaps no larger than the size of a rain drop, but an epiphany, no less: