Thursday, May 10, 2012

spirals of erratic energy

I'm reading an odd post-scifi book right now (How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu) and the main character is a time travel repairman. As he goes through time repairing broken time machines he ages at a normal temporal rate. At the same time, he sometimes takes a "vacation" from his job while his own machine is repaired. He always returns to the same place, slightly ahead in time to avoid paradoxes. He commented that his whole life from the front desk clerk's point of view would be over a few weeks at most. Between visits he ages 10 or 15 years but for the clerk it's just the next day. In a remote way, that's the way I feel when visiting family. For me life and time is flowing at a constant rate, but there are huge gaps between when I see them each time. It's as if in a day they have aged 5 years and I can feel the weight of time clearer than when lost in the maze of a day to day life of repetition.

As you can guess, my mother and sister came to visit me a month or so ago. There's no way I can currently find the time to sit down chronologically and write down every event, so I'll provide a few random event fragments here as a sort of mental bookmark.

Walking in a thin rain. Wooden arches in Meiji shrine, the crunch of the wide path. Quiet misty veil. Casually conversing with mother and sister, shrouded in bright yellow umbrellas.

Dinner in a dark restaurant. Kayo joins us. I'm wearing a vibrant tie-dyed shirt. Inner dialog is fascinated by her similarities to my mother. Sister wants to try some sake, I recommend one by its name alone: circle of the moon. Giblets soup, reminds me of my youth. My sister grew up differently, can't appreciate it. Warm food, still cold night.

Long train ride. Swaying in the sun. My landlord is with us. Rope way up a sharp cliff. Lunch boxes on the top, breath taking view. Millions of stairs to reach an ancient Buddha. Inner dialog is worried its too many stairs for mother, didn't remember that many stairs. Stairs. Stairs. Giant sitting stone Buddha. Peaceful and touristy. Landlord leaves. Stairs stairs stairs. Another giant Buddha, standing in silence.

Gathering with old students, and a few good friends. The awkward gaps in conversation between people that don't know each other. Eat chicken sticks. Mother crosses my personal boundaries and this leads to anger and discussion, late night angst and another day.

A parade of wonderful friends juxtaposed against the existence of my family members existing in Japan. Faces, places.

Hot springs with Taro. Kayo, mother, sister went their own way. Me and taro bathe, time seeps back, crawling out of his eyes and seeping out of his mouth in stories from before. Rain pours down. I lay down in the rain naked, body hot from the water pool. Cold rain bathes me for a moment, it acts as a shapeless embrace. The day ends with a somewhat failed attempt to see mount Fuji, surrounded by clouds, lost in a haze. 

Late at night conspiring with my sister to surprise my mother. Which leads to a moment of the three of us pressed in a crowd of people staring at a giant pink phallus object named Elisabeth. The Chinese ladies behind me hold on to my shoulders for support, I think about how Japanese people wouldn't do that. Phalluses everywhere. Foreigners too. Later a random wander leads us accidentally into the parade. We watch from the side, on someone's steps. After that we eat cheap yakitori chicken on sticks, as we stand in the eternal sunshine of happy memories.

All original content CC 2002-2012 BY NC SA - first design from dilarangmelarang altered by neonvirus and thunderbunny.