NO “TELEPHONES”. TALK TO EACH OTHER. FACE TO FACE ONLY. WRITE A LETTER. SEND A TELEGRAM TO YOUR MOM. PRETEND IT’S 1860. LIVE.
NO ‘WRITING’… TALK TO EACH OTHER. THROW A ROCK AT YOUR MOM. PRETEND IT’S 10,000 BCE. LIVE.
URGGA. ROU GRAAURH. RUH.
<SMACKS HANDS ON WALL WITH PAINT.>
NO ‘HIGHER BRAIN FUNCTIONS’ …USE YOUR REPTILIAN BRAIN
EAT YOUR MOM’S CORPSE SHE DIED TO PROVIDE YOU WITH SUSTENANCE
PRETEND YOU HAVE JUST AROSE FROM THE SEA
NO “MULTICELLULAR TRAITS”….. USE YOUR SYMBIOTIC MITOCHONDRIA
REPRODUCE ASEXUALLY, YOU’RE YOUR OWN PARENT
PRETEND IT’S 2BYA
NO “LIFE.” USE FUNDAMENTAL PHYSICAL FORCES TO FORM SPHERICAL OBJECTS REVOLVING AROUND ONE ANOTHER IN SPACE.
FUSE HYDROGEN INTO HELIUM USING GRAVITATIONAL PRESSURE TO PRODUCE HEAT AND LIGHT.
PRETEND IT’S 4.5BYA.
STABILIZE INTO EQUILIBRIA
NO “MATTER”. EXIST IN THE VOID WITHOUT PURPOSE OR MEANING.
THERE IS NO “YOU”, ONLY THE VAST CONCEPT OF NOTHING.
TIME DOES NOT EXIST.
and now the weather.
On the last leg of my trip to Japan, I was as usual abandoned by my travel companion and had blindly decided to go to Kobe and ride the ropeway all by myself. It took a better part of my day traveling there and I missed about a million wonderful things to see both in Kobe and up Rokko mountain in Arima Onsen town and I wish I had worn better shoes and was braver about speaking Japanese and didn’t get lost quite so much and had more time but I could not regret the few hours I spent getting lost and helped by kind towns people who marveled at this awkward white girl who came all this way out to hike a mountain in a mini dress, a tiny purse, and a pair of Tom’s flats. I wish I’d taken more pictures of the town, of the train ride there, of the kind station attendant who persisted in trying to communicate to me that it was better to go to the other side of the train while I blinked at him too nervous to comprehend what he was saying, but smiling none the less back at his kindness. I was nervous and scared. I’d never done anything like this on my own, and walked by the automaton museum aching for it but knowing I had no time if I planned to get back to Tokyo before the subways shut down. I needed to get on that rope way. I needed to go up that mount. It was as if every disappointment over the past three weeks would be washed away if I could just get on that mountain.
I wish I had the foresight to take a photo of the old man in Arima who watched me dash around like a crazy person as I got increasingly lost and then kindly guided me. I wish I wasn’t so sky and had asked to take a picture of the disheveled looking glass artist whose shop I stumbled into in desperation to get directions and who spoke enough English to help me, then asked if he could take a picture of me in front of the store, even after all I said when I got in there was “I’m lost” in English. I wish I’d said more thank thank you, did more than smile and bow, and had extended a handshake and shared contact information.
I wish I had more than half an hour to run around just one of the peeks, frantically taking pictures, and I wish I took better pictures while we drifted over the cedars. It was by far the most beautiful thing I had ever seen and though I was alone and bitterly sad and lonely my hear twas also filled with excitement and beauty. I wanted to run up to the old couple riding the rope way with me and tell them how marvelous it all was, but they looked peaceful and I was, again, too shy for my own good so I just took pictures and videos and wondered how to make this memory last forever and wishing so badly I had someone to share it with.
At the peak I took pictures frantically, like I needed them to breathe but nothing seemed to capture it quite right. I ran around the observatory trying not to let anyone else see the giddiness that I felt, until I stumbled on a young couple in the depth of the observatory chamber. They smiled at me, I smiled at them. They reminded me of what I missed, of who I missed and how much of the trip was tinged with that ache and that missing. I had iceream and bought trinkets and sadly tracked back.
I had a brief urge to stay on the mountain, or to get a room in Arima in one of the multitude of onsens and I will forever regret not being impulsive and instead rushing back to take the shinkansen to Tokyo.
So there was this time once, where living out a silly girlhood dream of going to Japan I went to Japan. It was a bit of a heart break, but Japan was not to blame. I have every intention of going back and doing it better. After all, 17 years of build up are hard to live up to. But there was this one day, one among a handful of wonderful days, where I was in Nara and I met some deer and it was one of the happiest days of my life, even if I was a cliched gaijin tourist. See me feeding the dear?! One bit my bum at least twice but I don’t care.