City Surprises

Making my way through the nonsense that is the Shibuya Crossing on a holiday afternoon, I am feeling almost desperate to be on a train home.  There are just so many people in my way, with no respect for my desire to be not here. Not that I actually expect them to know I want not to be here – I am merely noting their ignorance to the matter.  I am almost to the station, when a small but clear opening appears right ahead of me in the shuffling crowd.

I hardly have to think – in fact, I think I know what it is without thinking – to recognize the colorful lettering on the page of that folded-open notebook being held just above people’s heads.

FREE HUGS

I hesitate a moment, verifying that the holder of the sign is respectable/huggable.  Despite my being in Japan, I accept that this young Japanese guy is holding the sign, and trust that he knows what it means.  Perhaps especially because I am in Japan, actually.  

He’s young and Japanese, and he looks trustworthy.  I throw open my arms, and instantly see his face light up, as he says an adorable “Sahn kyuu!” (How the average Japanese pronunciation goes for ‘Thank you.’)  We embrace, and it is solid and long and wonderfully perfect.  I return the verbal thanks, with emphasis on thanking him for the hug (as opposed to his thanking my willingness or whatever on my end), give a gloriously contended smile, and go on my merry way the last few yards to the station.

I savor the experience, and especially the loving hug, as I wander goofily through the crowds up to the tracks.  Thank you, God.  You gave me just what I needed in order to feel I was heading the right way just now.  I am in the right place right now, and it is perfect.  Thank you.

Post-a-day 2017

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While everything is perfect

In this book I’m currently reading – okay, it’s an audiobook, and I’m listening to it, but you get the point – was a comment by the narrating character that rather struck me the other day.  She was talking about some date she’d had (or something like a date, anyway), and, though it seemed there was potential for another activity of some sort next, she had decided to leave.  She said, “I wanted to leave while everything was perfect.”

At first, I felt as though she was simply setting herself up for missing out by not going and for delusion by thinking that dates (or more of whatever it was) needed to be always perfect.  And then I considered my immediate responses, and discovered that I disagreed with both of them.

When I really began to consider her comment, it gave way to what felt like brilliance.  Yesterday, I was at a goodbye beach party.  There had been an option to rsvp for an overnight stay after the official party, and I had initially declined this option.  I wanted to sleep in my own bed, and several other factors helped me pick that easily.  However, once at the party, I found that I didn’t want to leave so soon.  I began exploring the logistics of staying the night, and found that there was possibility of enough space for my joining the party.

As I recalled my book’s character’s words, however, I began to think in a different manner.  Yes, I am loving spending time with everyone right now.  If I left now, I would be leaving while everything is perfect.  If I stay the night, what will happen?  And I instantly saw the probable, almost certain future of the situation.  I would stay, thinking I’d have enough energy to manage the night, and then eventually would hit a wall, want to sleep, not be able to get to sleep because of the partying people, get annoyed at the overly drunk partiers, and have a miserable end to the party.  Whom was I kidding here?  I would rather leave while everything is perfect, than stay until I’m furiously agitated and starting to hate the people I was currently loving.

And so I left a short while later, had a wonderful time riding home-ish (same train, different stops) with the group of girls who were leaving at that time, chatting and joking and having an overall wonderful time together (as I already mentioned).

And the party as a whole ended perfectly for me.  It was just plain cool to have had the party go so well.
Tonight, after another beach day with a different friend, we had planned to go to this awesome salsa party, with this Grammy-winning DJ and various salsa performances and live music for social dancing – it’s a big deal party celebrating the anniversary of some club, essentially.  And it was only like 20 bucks to attend, which is way cheap for such a thing here in Tokyo.

When we arrived back to my friend’s place, and I had showered from the beach, I began to consider that line again.  Could I “leave” while everything is perfect?  Could I just go to bed now and not go, and be happy with that?  The answer was a resounding “Yes.”  I had been exhausted all day already, and am far behind on sleep for this past week – I want sleep.  I love dancing, and I love cool opportunities like this, especially to attend with friends.  And the risk was incredibly high that I would grow to exhausted, smoking would be too intense for me in the club, music would be too loud for my already existent headache, and I would be crying (possibly literally) to go home and drink a bunch of cool water and just go to sleep.

So, I stayed home, and it was perfect.  Now, I am off to some much-needed and much-wanted sleep.  Goodnight, World.  I’ll see you when my head feels great again in the late AM.

Long story-ish short: I think it is a very valuable phrase, “I wanted to leave while everything was perfect.”

Post-a-day 2017