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The Calm that Comes Before the Storm

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The next day:

Its the day before Joe's birthday, and we were traveling to Hiroshima. The island Miyajima was just off of Hiroshima, so we decided to spend the night at the Hiroshima hostel and travel to Miyajima tomorrow morning since the accommodations on the small island were quite expensive. This morning I woke up and spent a lot of time trying to make sure that we had everything in order before we hit Hiroshima. Where was the hostel, how do we get there from the Shinkonsen, what time does the ferry leave for Miyajima, do we have to take a bus to get to the ferry, or can we walk, what are the walking directions, etc. However, some assholes were watching really loud reality tv in the lounge I was sitting in and I couldn't get anything done. I had a huge headache and was having trouble reading with all the noise. I gave up after wasting shit tones of time and sanity. Joe came into the lounge to get some breakfast and found me as I was leaving. "Hey, we should..." yeah, I cut him off and told him to screw it, we'd just have to play it by ear b/c it was almost checkout time and I didn't figure out anything. He let it go at that. Smart.

We hit Hiroshima fairly quickly after boarding the "bullet train" from Tokyo, and after arriving there we waited about an hour at the information desk for these two girls from Australia to have the guy book them a hostel, give them travel directions, and explain what there is to see in hiroshima. Fuck! All we wanted was to make sure we could reserve a hostel too, and here these girls were taking up all the info desk time during a huge baseball game and a kimono festival! Problem- tuns of Japanese people were booking up all the rooms in Hiroshima for the festival and for the game, and these girls knew we wanted help reserving a room, and all they could do was turn to us and apologize for taking so much time "hihihihi" (that was a giggle from the Australians). Needless to say, I wasn't laughing.

When they finally left we actually ended up getting 2 beds at the Hiroshima hostel that these girls refused b/c they wanted a hotel (yes!). Joe and I would be sleeping in separate wings b/c of the gender issue, so that put a little kink in my plans to have makeup... stuff, but then I thought that maybe it was for the best. Who says that you have to force feed us playing nice on someone's birthday. If we couldn't resolve things out of the bedroom, than we shouldn't be resolving them in it either... right? Right!


We decided to ditch our things at the train station lockers and hop on a bus to the street where they were having the kimono festival and check that out for a few hours. All in all, this was a fairly good idea. There were some awkward moments where we still weren't quite sure how to act around each other, but we had fun I think. Getting to the festival we agreed that we would just follow the girls in the kimonos off the bus, and that seemed to work just fine. Then from there, we walked about a block, and then bam! Both sides of this side street were filled with venders selling all sorts of Japanese carnival sweets and deep fried foods. As we walked we passed about 80% of the people on the street who were in kimonos.



After walking around, ducking into smaller side streets we found a central square that seemed to be set up for some sort of show, so we sat down there and waited for a bit to see if we could accidentally catch something. Joe ended up talking with a little old man about simple things, "How are you?" "Do you like Japan?" "Where are you from?" "Do you like dogs?" And then his little old wife rolled over in her wheel chair and let us pet her puppy that sat in her lap. This was when we noticed that she had no legs. It was really sad, but the two of them seemed so happy. They were happy to meet us, happy to speak english with us, happy to hear me tell them in Japanese that I thought their dog was cute, and happy to be at the kimono festival on this beautiful summer day.


We hung around for a bit longer, watched a bunch of really cute kids play run around the square and scream, and then decided that it was getting late and we better grab some dinner and head out for the hostel before dark.


Those girls were adorable. Their dad caught me trying to get a pic of them, so he stopped them, explained to them that I wanted their photo, and then tried to get them all to look at me for the picture, but they were so nervous and giggly that the above pic was the best one I got. - Adorable.

But, after we got back to the train station, and Joe found a restaurant he wanted to eat at, and I found a place I wanted to eat at, and we both got our food, and then we both found a place where we could both sit down and eat it, and then we finished and went to get our stuff out of the lockers... it was dark.

I screwed up big time and even though the guy at the info desk gave me times for the bus departure to the hostile, I didn't rush our meal to catch the bus that left about 15 minutes ago. Now we had about 40 minutes to wait until another bus left for that part of town.

Joe wondered off to do some kung fu not in the bus station while I diligently sat in the exhaust.

Decked out motorcycle:

Fountain outside the train station:

I was so freaked out to follow Joe to this fountain b/c the bus should be coming any minute, that I kept looking back at the bus stop while Joe explained what he liked about this fountain, and then the bus pulled in and I forced him to run we me the 50 feet to the bus and we got onto the second last bus leaving for that part of town.

When we got off the bus I was completely lost. We walked back and forth for a bit, squinting at my directions, and then looking at the half assed version of a map we had. We were way out of down town, so there was hardly any light or places to ask for directions. There was one convenient store in sight, so i went to it and asked the clerk in Japanese if he could tell me how to get to the hostel. Thank god, he spoke some English. His directions were about right, and it turned out that whether we followed the part of the directions that said how many streets to cross, or the part that said turn down the street with the parking garage sign, we would find small posters pointing out how to find the hostel.

We had a pretty long walk up a steep hill to what appeared to be a mental institution on the top of the hill, but it was the hostel, and we made it in just 5 minutes until 10 pm when the doors are locked and the front desk is closed for the evening.

Joe and I sat in the cafeteria for a minute and we logged onto the internet, and then we split up our things. "Okay, well, you can take the phone and charge that in your room, and I'll charge the video camera in mine." I said. "Yeah, I can do that." He said. "Okay then..." I continued. "Yeeaah." He sighed. Joe dug through the backpack for the phone charger while I went to the bathroom to brush my teeth. When I got back I said "You can have the toiletries tonight now, I'm done with them." "Okay, thanks." "..." "..." What to say... what to say. "Well, good night." "Yeah, night." We turned our backs to one another and started walking. I cradled the laptop against my chest as if I was hugging it, or someone. When I got to the end of the hall I turned around and looked at him. He was still walking, his hall was longer than mine before he had to turn to go to the men's wing. I wasn't going to have one of those moments, where I turn, and he isn't looking, and then I turn back, only to have him look to me moments later. I waited. I wasn't going to call to him, but if he turned around, then that would be that. It was up to him. Would we make eye contact, would we say something else, would we fight again, it was up to him. He wasn't turning. My heard was beating so fast I wanted to squeeze my laptop so hard it would smother its movements. "Hey" I called. Yeah, real willpower there. We met back up. "I miss you.” No explanation needed. He understood what I meant. We talked for a minute. He agreed, and we hugged, but it was only a friendly hug. We were not making up. We were just acknowledging that neither one of use were fooled by our general cordiality. I wanted to kiss him, but not then. I just wanted the idea of it. I wanted the memory of it. I wanted this moment to be like a moment out of our past when we kissed, and both of us were there, both wanting to kiss one another, not because of who or what we were, but because in that moment, kissing what what those two momentary people desired to do with one another. In this moment, we did not want to kiss each other goodnight. We both seemed to want to want it, but knew that in this moment, these two snap shot people, would not be kissing.

Live in the moment.

Forget your past.

Forget what tomorrow is.

Who are you right now?

How do you feel about the person in front of you?

Do you want to kiss them? Do they want to kiss you?

If the answer is no, shed a tear, give a shy grin, and say goodnight.

The tear didn't even make it down my cheek before I was already walking to my wing of this crazy place we were in. Stillness crept over me as I passed the dark and empty front desk area. I was numb by the time I reached my room. I was alone when I curled into bed.

Posted by - Rain 23:34

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