31 May 2013

Walking away

The Skype jail meetings continue: today my brother-in-law and his family phoned from behind the glass and everyone talked happily about how life goes on in Japan, in my wife's idyllic hometown village that time forgot. Tonight, my family will cookout under the stars, everyone there but me. Naomi showed me the fireworks they will shoot off. The list of things I am giving up to be here — here, a metonymy for the whole goddamned misadventure — grows longer and longer. The Skype camera displays my image back at me and I look as miserable, bloated, and angry as I feel.

In this hotel, the glass elevator faces Singapore. Descending, I look out across the water and think that I have my passport, I should just leave. Take my bag and disappear. My great-great-grandfather did this later in life: in his fifties. He just walked away, leaving no trace: I wrote a novella about this in college. I could do the same thing, I suddenly think, my own reflection in the glass laid on top of the image of the bay. Just go.

Imagined futures, present in spirit only: what a gluttony for punishment. The rain feels like it is coming in: I don't have an umbrella with me. One can't run away without an umbrella.