My HHE finally came today, and I spent most of the morning listening to music and dancing wildly around my apartment, rearranging what few things I already had in preparation for its arrival. I often wonder when I will become too old to go into full-on gyrations whenever a favorite song comes up on shuffle in my playlist; I suspect soon. There’s nothing sadder than being the old person in the club, even if that club happens to be one’s living room. All the more reason to indulge now, I suppose!
As I was doing the dishes, “Papa Was a Rolling Stone’ by the Temptations came on. This is a song my father used to sing to me when I was little, and apparently I got into some trouble for singing it at my (Baptist) kindergarten in Guam. Luckily they didn’t overhear me singing the other song Dad had taught me: ‘Black Dog’ by Led Zepplin. I vaguely recall being 4 years old and solemnly chanting Say hey mama that the way you move… Ah, the innocence of youth. If I ever have children, I hope to teach them some similarly socially deviant music. I don’t know, but I’ve been told, a big-legged woman ain’t got no soul.
When the movers came, they seemed tense. [In Japanese] “We have brought your things.” My reply [also in Japanese] “Great, I think there’s enough space for the boxes over here.” Immediately the tension broke. “Oh good, you speak Japanese.” And for some reason, today I did. I marked off the numbers on the boxes as they carried them in, deftly slipping their shoes on and off without pause as they exited and entered. They teased me about my hand weights (the most thoughtful thing a boyfriend’s ever given me, actually) and expressed their approval of my two giant framed train station posters (acquired during my first time in Japan, and framed myself the following year back in Florida). “Sakura,” said the head mover, pointing to the scene of cherry blossoms. “Jahponees furahwa. Berry berry good-oh.” I liked him immensely.
After insisting over their protests that I could unpack my things myself, I politely pushed them out the door and turned to. The cardboard boxes made the whole place smell like a freshly opened jigsaw puzzle; pulling out one Japanese knick-knack after another, I began to wonder why I had even bothered to come back to Japan – I could have just walked into my closet in Hawaii and effectively been there already. Unpacking took an inordinately long time, mostly because I kept stopping every half hour or so to wallow about on my mattress, letting it know in a walrus-like fashion just how much I’d missed it. The old bed that post provided is slouching rather ungracefully against the wall of my living room, and probably will be for the better part of a month, if not the remainder of my time here. I told them I was bringing my own bed, they said I could bring my own bed, and now, of course, they declare the storage unit to be much too full, and wouldn’t I rather just throw a sheet over it and turn it into some sort of feature..? (And you know, I might, except that it’s right where I want to hang the ‘Jahponees furahwa’ pictures.)
Struggling with proper arrangement also led me to make a hard decision: I need to divest myself of some of my books. Probably some of the more dated reference books at least I could live without. Struggling with hanging pictures led me to a second decision: I need to get married. There are just some things in life you can’t do by yourself. For instance, a spouse could have also helped on the 4th, when it took me 20 minutes to zip up my dress. So if anyone would like some used ethnographies of Southeast Native American tribes and / or a FS bride who prefers dumbbells to cocktail dresses, please get in touch. You’d just have to put up with my dancing.