20 February 2016


January did catch up with me in the end. There was the false spring that comes for a few days in England, when you think the winter might be over, but then it snowed again. Of course there is more winter to come, of course it wasn't the end, despite those one or two brilliant afternoons where the sky was perfectly blue and the sun brighter than it has ever been.

The weather doesn't matter though, does it. Naomi is swimming, and the other girls have their activities, their own friends. Last week, we took the kids to gymnastics on Saturday morning and I went to the library at the University. We came home, had some rice balls, and then I drove across town to drop Yoko and Naomi off at a pool. It was raining, and there was no parking. I drove back to the house and then at 3, Mei and Mia to a party at their Romanian friend's house over near Woodgate and then back again, across town to the swim meet. I found Yoko in the stands: she was shouting out the names of the other swimmers on Naomi's club, and paying attention to times. Naomi swam well, but not better than the best swimmers. I hugged her small wet body when she came up into the stands, said she did well and I was proud of her, and we got back in the car, back to the Romanian friend's birthday party and the cake and then to KFC and then home to have a Skype conversation with my parents who are both 60 now.

You have to force yourself sometimes, don't you. Yoko and I laid in bed yesterday and she told me about some problems we had with her Japanese bank account and the stock we had bought after Naomi was born in 2007 before the crash. It was all the money I had saved teaching English and those fuckers, those bankers and their speculation took half of it from me. 

The Japanese banking system has been changed and we can't get what's left of the money out, at least not in an easy way. We have to jump through some hoops. Yoko might have to go back to Japan for a few weeks to sort it. I said that sounded like fun: I rolled over as she was telling me this. What does it matter anyway: I have five pounds in my wallet. We always could use more money, but we aren't moving back to Japan, are we. We are tied into this cold British life. Just let the yen go at this point. I don't care.

I said this in Japanese, 'Our cold British life,' but it was a British thing to say, like Yoko telling me this week that the kids are having friends over for tea. This assimilation, this way of speaking is kind of resignation to success. Those things, those mundane things, are all markers of success. The insecurity about money after ten years of marriage, the swim meets, the unfinished books you are writing. The job, the friends over for tea. The knee that heals after you hobble it. Yoko shuts off the light sometime in the night, after she resolves the banking problem. Of course, it is all resolved in the end.