This has been an inordinately stressful week for...

Good timing, bad food

This has been an inordinately stressful week for me. Though I only worked Thursday and Friday, I spent Tuesday and Wednesday loathing myself for squandering my rare time off playing Final Fantasy V and sleeping. I just can’t relax without feeling guilty. This was a wonderful overture to the pressure of having to squeeze as much progress into Friday’s build so our publisher could let us go to Seijin no Ni (Coming of Age Day) in peace. Of course even as I write now, I’m feeling guilty for my lack of progress and making notes to myself in the margins about vertex colors and lighting.

But that’s that. The real boulder to crawl over this weekend is a weird stomach virus that’s hit and set me back about three hours on the day’s plans. I didn’t eat lunch (or anything) until 5:00 Friday, having some heavy soy-based food with zoni, udon noodles, tofu, and tofu byproducts. I don’t think that could have been bad because I had it Thursday night as well. The only other things I had all day Friday was some bad edamame at an izakaya when I met V after work. That’s what I thought. , that maybe I brought this on myself. The end result being intense pain in my stomach, moving to my intestines. This prompted X number of trips to the bathroom to purge and little sleep. Being an engineer, I am wont to compare all things to machines and systems, so all I could think was how much I wanted some gas cleaner to flush out my system. I meant to get up and leave the house around seven or eight, but it took a hell of an effort to get up at all and through a series of well-timed transfers got the last non-smoking sea of the 12:58 Nozomi for Hakata. I even have an electrical outlet behind me to charge my dying PowerShot battery while I ride.

There has been a ridiculous amount of snow this year in Japan. Stronger than usual winds are blowing from mainland Asia and record amounts of precipitation have been causing trouble all through the mountains.

Maybe it’s a strong will, or maybe just stubbornness, but I have it fixed in my mind that more than sixty percent of most illnesses are mental/emotional in nature, and that through controlled thought, I can regular the flow of positive haling in my body. When I was sixteen I had surgery on my chest, where my sternum was broken and my rib bones repositioned to prevent the corkscrewing action against my internal organs. I had to have massive amounts of anesthesia to put me out, and morphine to numb the pain afterwards. I am particularly fond of the apothecary’s music in Quest for Glory 3, as well as the “Time Circuits” from Chrono Trigger. When I am in pain or trying to sever the superficial conscious bond with my body, I play the music in my head, and focus on the image of ions breathily assuaging my pain and washing away foreign contaminants from my blood stream.

There is snow now outside my window. Snow is general all over Japan, especially in the mountains on the western side of the island. Snow in rice fields, snow on buildings, white majesty rich in a silent world. How I long to wander out there, wading crunches through quiet tableaus of rural humility; to walk in snow in sleep and forget of time, of how I make it a noose around my chapped neck. Where are houses? When are friends? Can I wrap myself in enough wisdom to soothe the reddened cracks in my weary face? Let me stop to stop and release, closing doors and letting go. No longer a frenzied dash but a long, slow, exhale into contented anonymity.

* * *

For whatever reason, yesterday’s upset stomach generated into something far worse, and I ended up losing a wonderful lunch at Katsukura before bed later that evening at Rodney’s house. In the process I lost the medicine I’d taken and any fluids that I’d collected earlier, and for the net results I spent hours shivering, tossing and unable to sleep. Fortunately it seems a night (and day) of sleep did me a world of good as I’m much better now and only tired. I’d like to think that’s a good show of my strong immune system, but the truth is it’s probably mostly a good number of hours under the kotatsu and in the care of the Berry family. Eventually my idle conscience outweighed my fatigue and we went to the new U-Town shopping plaza at Hikaridai by bus. The peach for me though, was walking back the way I used to ride from work at ATR. Rodney and I got to watch the sunset over the Yamadagawa and I found a bamboo practice sword. After a light dinner of okaiyuu and chicken soup, I somehow managed to watch four episodes of Farscape without dozing off. That’s a testament to how interesting the show is.

Now I’m in bed and comfortable again, listening to Star Ocean symphonics and doing what I do best: thinking about life and not really coming to any sort of actionable conclusion. Though I’m sure nothing will come of it, sitting by the extreme empty quiet of idle rivers and rice fields makes me wonder when will I really start the life I’ve been dreaming of? Or am I living it now? Is this really it?

Towards That Gate

people happy
satisfaction of work from my own hands
a night of rest without guilt or regret
work without time squandered or waster.
motivation and confidence to complete any stage of any task I’m given.
freedom not to feel burdened by the limits of my lifestyle
to travel
to do things varied with my mind and my body
to live healthily both physically and mentally
to treat my friends with care and respect
to feel loved and valued

* * *

I want a cat, but I am allergic to cats.
What a shame…

* * *

Land song, town song

Open before me, panoramic 360 degrees
fields to house to fields to mountains
mie and osaka, place far away and near,
the kizugawa and a nation of slowly developing surburbia
cars and doors and concrete steps past turnstyles
a cuddle and some TV, catch ball and character goods
but the boys’ll chase each other down the streets all the same,
be they made of asphalt or dirt.
but dirt is what we long for, those of us with over-oxidized lives.
too many monitors, too many beepings. maybe it’s silly escapist nonsense or maybe watered down industrial parklife, but too many somethings make the mind heavy and the limbs weak.
extreme sports low carb diets and everyone tuned into whatever must-see TV has the nation captivated.
so far we’ve not really stayed in touch.

lap, lap, leave me alone?
musicals acting crayons clean paste construction paper clean carpets blankets cheerios sunlight grass on bare feet dad spackling painting room s wallpaper lawn mowers gasoline combustion engines simple and tidy.

but the things that were important to me.
raves. camping. football on the couch. playing football outside. books and learning. classes and problem sets. the satisfaction of completing something cleanly and properly and turning it in.
road trips the open highway, own time 70 and left lane.

I don’t think my writing can get much more Spartan. After this I’ll just stop thinking?