Our ancestors may have lived perfectly well on what they could hunt and gather. They may have slept on the bare ground and worn mammoth skin to cover their tender bits. They may have gone to bed and risen with the sun and planned their life events around the movements of the celestial orbs. They may have believed in the spirits of rocks and rivers and trees and mountains and butterflies and unicorns. But when it’s over 34 degrees outside and the humidity has blown the mercury right out of the thermometer and turned my hair into a fuzzy blonde afro and my brain is starting to resemble last month’s applesauce, I believe in swimming pools and central air conditioning and ice cubes in my drinks. Although celestial orbs and unicorns are still pretty cool.
I mouse around the house in my solitude, grateful that I can stay home today, grateful for my long sleeved t-shirt, sweatshirt, fleece sweater, neck warmer, corduroy granny pants and fuzzy socks, grateful for the kerosene stove, hoping that the gas will last, dreading the thought of going outside to refill the tank.
Tokyo’s rare snowfalls are normally things of wonderland beauty—large, wet tufts of snowflakes falling gently and covering the world with cotton candy fluff.
Today’s snow is not one of those snows. Today’s snowflakes are small and independent, each going its own direction, driven by gusting winds, swirling and eddying off the neighbors’ rooftops. Haphazard flights, confused, chaotic, they make kamikaze dashes against my window. The dejected sky is grey and heavy. I open the window to take a picture and snowflakes attach themselves to my eyelashes and camera lens.
I heat a can of tomato soup and toast a stale English muffin, make a cup of coffee and eat the last chocolate truffle.
The narrow street is nearly impassable. A single soul stumbles through the ruts, trying to protect herself with a collapsing umbrella. The news reports that the trains are shutting down.
I shrug more deeply into my comforting layers of warmth and whisper thanks for silver linings.
A classic entry for the Annals of Idiotic Behavior, or What Can Happen When Tokyo Gets Really Hot and Eda Gets Fundamentally Stupid:
On Tuesday, I bought some chicken. On Thursday morning, I was rooting around in the fridge looking for it, but it was nowhere to be found. And then it dawned on me. Had I left it in my gym backpack? The one that sits in the sunny storage room that heats up to about 5000 degrees on summer days?
Alas. I had.
The chicken did not pass Go nor collect $200. Instead I tossed it directly into jail, and then retched for a few minutes. The backpack received great lashings of Febreeze and spent two days hanging in the sunshine.
I still can’t get the smell out of my nose.
As I hang my head in shame, I am seriously considering becoming a vegetarian. Anyone care to join me for some tofu and bean sprouts?
I had a very silly 10 minute job this morning, which took almost an hour, two trains and a lot of hoofing to get to. Then on the way home, the man sitting next to me kept leaning toward me and brushing my arm with his shoulder, and the woman standing in front of me kept banging my knee with her parasol. She didn’t realize she was doing it, but that didn’t make it any less annoying. I was very tempted to belt her. Sometimes it’s hard to maintain my charming and pleasant attitude.
I guess I wouldn’t mind any of this so much if it wasn’t so darn hot. I had myself convinced that 36 degrees isn’t all that hot until a friend pointed out that 36 degrees is normal body temperature, not normal breathing temperature.
Alas, this world was not designed for me.