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New Year - The Conductor's Cabin

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New Year

It is not my New Year. But it is my New Year. Everything Western is Eastern.

I did not drive today. I stayed in my hotel room. I looked out the windows, through the plastic-lined curtains. The Datsun left for lunch, but came right back.

I watched the ball drop on television. It was boring.

One New Year I spent with Chieko in Kyoto. Not my advisor. My sister. She left her children with her husband and came with me to the Golden Pavilion, which looks black at night and yellow during the day. We snuck in. It was dark. We sat on the grass and fed the koi. There were stars. I held her hand. Already marked, that hand. The things I wanted to tell her…

But she said: “I hate my world. My husband is fat and my children are also fat. I eat cake every day and I cannot get fat. I cannot be like them. There is no room for me in the bath tub when they bathe at night. I listen to them splashing and I read my books. Your books. I want to be a carp instead. They are fat, and placid, and they don’t think many thoughts.”

I kissed her, just like we kissed as children. It didn’t mean anything. We didn’t open our mouths. It is a line, despite everything, I cannot cross. There are cultures where a brother and a sister may mate, but this is not one of them. Yet I hoped I could take from her some measure of pain with that kiss, pass into her some of my capacity to become fat.

I regret now that I did not tell her what I knew, of the mark on my hand and the city, how to get there, how to stay there–ah! An engine fires in the parking lot. How canĀ  you know what I am writing, blue Datsun? Can you not leave me alone with the ghost of my sister?How long before this site is gone one morning and ceases to sell any books at all and all my passwords have been changed? It has happened before. I am a blabbermouth.

Fuck you, blue Datsun.

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