Saturday, June 14, 2008


COHERENCE REDUX


Well here I am in Santa Barbara, slowly awakening at different times of day, regaining appetites at three in the morning corporeal time, relearning life's coherence through the kindly aid of unthinkably diverse varieties of beer and conversation - backed up by a vast array of pretzels - slowly emerging beyond the time frame I carried from the other side of the world to here, where folks on all sides are complaining about the low price of gas (Only 4$ a gallon! 33% cheaper than in Japan! ) and in other places being awed speechless at the size of the food warehouse superhangars with parking lots to the horizon that resemble the scales on a valley-sized diamondback skin laid out along the contours of the land. Then the trip inside, where aisles and rows of stacks of pallets and columns of boxes valley out into the fading distance like the edges of the grand canyon, or perhaps the way the earth curves out of sight between here and Japan...

As well, having come fresh and wide-eyed with memorial yearnings from the land of vanilla ice cream - possibly strawberry if fortune is kind - the pieless land, the nation without genuine cookies, the country of no true root beer, like any stranger in a strange land one could babble on at way greater length than this humble scribble upon beholding the megamarket ice cream and candy, soda and beer sections, or upon reading the standalone dessert menus in the many restaurants of shocking cuisinal variation-- Mexican, Italian, Cajun, Greek, Argentinian, Peruvian, NY deli etc., the many different kinds of actual sandwiches with varieties of true bread, diverse contents, dressings, pickles and of course you can get all the Japanese varieties of food too, from sushi to sashimi, soba to ramen, you name it, in the truly international nation...

Then there's the always unexpected surprise of strangers talking to each other, of suddenly getting into deep conversations with store clerks, of hearing and sharing life stories with waitresses, pedestrians, other people walking their dogs, the list goes on... the edgy discomfort of wearing shoes in the house, pedestrians talking passionately into their tiny phones, how buying a bag or two of groceries can cost well over a hundred dollars, the surprise of having dollars come out of the ATM, how much more like real money it still seems to me, despite its steady devaluation, than the yen that come out back in Japan...

More to follow as emerging coherence allows...

6 comments:

Gina said...

... so the greenback still has some importance to the god of benevolence of earthworms?...

Pam said...

Just had a chat in the checkout line today with the lady bagging my groceries. She told me about waking up with headaches and finding out it's due to arthritis in her upper back. Such a difference from the coldly polite "irasshaimase" I used to get from the supermarket cashier girl who lived in the same apartment building as me for 3 years.
Enjoy it all while you're here!

Winston said...

Welcome home... or at least welcome back, since home is across the big water. Enjoy your stay and be careful of drinking the water and eating the tomatoes. And, enjoy reunion with Bro. Mick...

cat said...

I have to say $4 a gallon sounds cheap to me. Here in Australia - it's over $1.60 a litre. I found your blog by accident and have been enjoying dipping in and out.

As far as shoes in the house - something interesting is happening on the East Coast of Australia. I've noticed that it is becoming more and more common for people to leave their shoes on the verandah or in the hallway and pad about the house in bare feet or socks. Having slippers for guests hasn't made it's way through though. It's become pretty standard with most of the branches of my family. It could be because there's such a large asian population here - and sensible ideas slowly work their way through. This is not consistent so there are some funny moments with people trying to figure out whether shoes stay on or off.

Maggie said...

Welcome back. Enjoy the excess......for I guess you have been to Costco. Yes, 4 something a gallon down the coast, but not the 13 a gallon in Britain. Can you get your brother to send regular shipments of the necessary goodies to you?

We are glad to see you surface.

Mary Lou said...

Hoping you have been having some good times!! THe earthquake was not near the Grands was it?