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Wednesday
Mar132013

What Took You So Long?

   “Why do you think you ended up staying so long in Japan?” Azami asks.

   I have my pet theories; the top contender being this: to discover, à la Breakfast of Champions, how much a man can take before he ends up hanging himself.

   “Hmm.”

   “I think the reason you came to Japan,” she says, “was to meet me. Don’t you think so, too?”

   Who knows? Maybe she is right. Then again, maybe she is wrong. Even if she were right, what would my coming to Japan have meant to all the other women I met along the way? Did I come to Japan to meet them, as well?

   I give Azami a noncommittal shrug.

   “You came here to meet me,” she continues with such confidence it’s hard to disagree. “Waited ten years, teaching all that time, so that you could learn what you really wanted and find the person you really needed.”

   Well, at least she is convinced and that has to count for something, I suppose.

   I’ve long had the gut feeling that existence is basically meaningless. No rhyme or reason to it all. But, humans being human can’t help trying to assign meaning and order to their otherwise chaotic, random lives and interpret life’s happenings with some kind of bias, be it religious, mythical, or philosophical. There is nothing wrong with that if it brings you closer to your “bliss”. A decade, though, is an awfully long time to look for someone, even someone like Azami.

   “Ten years,” I say with an exaggerated grimace. “Why’d you make me wait so goddamn long?”

   “Me?”

   “Yeah, you. If we were meant to be together, why then didn’t you come around sooner, say, when you were still a freshman in high school? I wasn’t getting any younger, you know.”

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Reader Comments (2)

This post reminded me the last bit of the Tanaka poem.

I know that my true friend will appear after my death,
And my sweetheart died before I was born.
March 21, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJeffrey
I'm not familiar with the poem. Could you tell me the title?
March 26, 2015 | Registered CommenterAonghas Crowe

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