Travels in Japan

November 24, 2012



Maybe some friends

December 26, 2011

I spent Christmas with myself and my family. By way of explanation, my family has never been one for emotional bonding, or even closeness. On Christmas Eve we had a dinner, which I suppose was the closest thing we have to a proper Family Event. My dad even said grace, and declared it a future tradition. But he’s like that – announcing grand ideas and desperately trying to fly the image of a wholesome complete family. It isn’t that we’re dysfunctional – it’s just that the way we are, we all seem to enjoy spending time alone. 

Take J, my sister. I think we are pretty close, but even then we are hesitant to burden each other with our problems. It probably comes from a vague notion that we should tend to our own problems, and not expect help unless shit has really hit the fan. Anyway, that’s just us, my family. All hopelessly lonely in our own ways. 

How Good Things End

December 23, 2011

It appears to be a regular theme of life that good things generally end in incredibly stupid ways. The Roman Empire? Well, nothing quite like a string of mad and crazy emperors to bring down an awesome civilization (that isn’t to say the barbarians didn’t play a part). The NASA space program? Budget pulled the minute the economy goes belly up, largely due to poor management and greed. I could go on about the space program, about it’s long term importance, and more significantly the role it plays in uplifting the human spirit, to let us look up at the stars. But that’s for another time.

My story this Christmas is the story about how something really good ended for me. It wasn’t quite The End, but looking back, this was probably the start of the long and terrible train wreck which seems to still be plaguing me today. It happens in Treviso, Italy, sometime near Christmas too. I was still with E, and we had just gotten off a long Ryanair flight from Brussels. It was a small town and very pretty with old buildings and cobblestone paths. Unfortunately that was somewhat lost on us because we were having a bit of a row. I vaguely remember that I was getting slightly annoyed at E constantly worrying about our luggage being stolen. She’s normally a careful person, and after I was pick pocketed in Brussels her cautious nature was on high alert. This meant constantly reminding me to attend to the luggage, and scolding me when I did not.

On my part, I just wanted to relax after the nightmare that was Brussels (getting robbed etc.) and so the constant reminder that we just were robbed was just something I did not want to deal with. As expected, as we navigated our way to the hostel, minor irritation blew up into a full fledged sulking row. We both were already crummy after the long flight, and it seemed that this was just something that brought out the worst in us. Or at least in me. I cannot really remember what she was saying or doing, but I do recall me sulking like a complete idiot in the bus refusing to talk to her.

We checked in, and took our baths (separately). The events of the evening ended in both of us sleeping on opposite sides of the bed, a huge empty expanse of bed sheet between us. I remember it being pitch black. And I remember wanting nothing more than to roll across the bed and end the silly charade. But pride made that little piece of bed larger than oceans and mountains. Neither of us moved, and I recall myself rattling off some nonsense about how I had arranged to whole trip and so had hoped that she would appreciate my efforts a little more. The most difficult thing to recall, the most painful memory is her voice  coming across that chasm that was the bed. Tentative and pleading, she had asked “could you just come over and hug me.”

Truth be told I cannot remember anything else she said that night. I can remember all my pride infused verbiage, but of her, only that one pleading request, which I in a fit of what I thought to be righteous fury, rejected. The tiny olive branch that could have been grasp faded, swallowed in the darkness of that Italian winter. We slept miserably. The next day we pretended nothing happened, and for the rest of the holiday went on to be relatively fine. But I think on that night, something died in that dark room, and we were never the same. Two weeks after that holiday, our relationship of three years was at an end. I often think back about that night, of what I should have done, and how I let the only person whom I have every contemplated spending the rest of my life with, slip away.

Whoever is reading this, my message to you is simple. Pride has its uses. In a terrible and complicated world, a certain amount of pride is needed to even get out of the bed in the morning. But as the saying goes – the more you use a hammer, the more all your problems look like nails. Don’t use a hammer on what you value most.

Hello world!

December 23, 2011

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