We just said goodbye to Japan. He’s been this face we’ve seen nearly every morning, and there’s an appropriate finality to the moment. When we say goodbye to him, we say goodbye to the fascinating tension that is house workers. Don’t get me wrong, Japan is a great worker, but every expat is going to have opinions and stories regarding the people who work in their houses, and rarely are they 100% glistening endorsements. People struggle with everything from how much to pay to whether to give loans to whether to fire them for stealing or not. We had our frustrations with our staff, but still, when it comes time to give a hug and say goodbye, I can see in him a gratitude and friendship, and I hope he sees the same in me.
It’s been a slow, lazy afternoon, and we’re only two hours away from departing for the airport. It’s difficult to describe the physical sensations I’m feeling. The closest thing I can associate is the feeling of nervousness before a performance. I guess nostalgia feels like butterflies. Or maybe I just know this is the long stretch of anticipation before having to say goodbye to the friends we’ve been closest to here. They’re all coming to the airport with us, and there’s going to be a moment in front of the terminal. There’s going to be a moment when we have to look one another in the eyes. It’s that moment that is causing my stomach to flutter, I think.
I’ve been pacing a lot this afternoon. Mainly because the power has been off all day, and once my computer battery died, I couldn’t write my thoughts. I pace when I’m bored, and it drives Karri crazy sometimes. I think I just like feeling like I’m going somewhere. I’m not very good at sitting still, or focusing wholly on one thing, and pacing gives me the sensation of motion without the nasty auxiliary of purpose. But today, I’ve got plenty to think about: what we’ve been through, where we’re going, how we’re going to get there. Where is Japan going to go now? How will the new tenant treat Selius? Will we really keep in touch with our friends, or will they become the people who you run into by chance years later and have to decide if you’re going to ignore or not because you used to be extremely close and aren’t anymore, which makes it more awkward than normal. And where do those little ants end up after they’re done scavenging the bit of pizza crust and traversing the impromptu highway their relatives have created?
So I pace.