Parallel Universes and What-Could-Have-Beens August 18, 2020

At exactly this time, this day in 2020, I should be in Tokyo, exhausted to the bone, lost in my thoughts inside a Family Mart, getting dinner for myself and my family. But, mostly, for myself. Perhaps, beating myself up for not taking a break from walking from the Harajuku Station nonstop to Omotesando because I’d just have to be in MoMA to tick off my shopping list which would have included a very tiny Yayoi Kusama ceramic sculpture.

I would have been in a huge quarrel with my husband simply because I wouldn’t have had a proper dinner.

Life would have been so simpler. Angry because I would have been so very hungry. Guilty for packing us in a tiny, tiny hotel just because it’s right beside a train station. Counting yen to last for a whole week. Debating whether to go with the husband to the 24-hour Don Quixote which he loves so much or taking that much-needed sleep for another day of marathon sightseeing. Or shopping.

Instead, I’m sitting at home desperately waiting for the groceries to be delivered. Yes, at twelve midnight. It used to be inexcusable. And I’m wondering if I’d get to sleep tonight so I could be sane for a noon meeting tomorrow. This used to be unthinkable.

We used to wake up at a certain hour each day, sure of how our day would go. But, now, we don’t even know what little thing could throw us spinning into the madness that is inside our own heads.

It’s a terrible time to be alive.

But my older son taught me about grounding.

In case of a panic attack, name 5 things around you.

And I’m doing this with you while writing this.

Let’s count.

My son is happily gaming online with his friends. My husband is getting the treatment he needs in a perfectly virus-free environment. It was a long Monday but I think I did Monday brilliantly. I have a job. I can write. All five are a gift.

And I have other gifts to be delivered. Pajamas from Uniqlo. Yayoi Kusama Pumpkin from Tokyo. Cheese from Landers. A bottle of Zinc from a friend. Taho to be ordered. A semblance of normalcy in an otherwise crazy world.

But the best gift of all is the fact that I can still write down my thoughts in a coherent manner after two glasses of Cabernet Sauvignon.

Small wins.

As they say, count your blessings.

It’s not Tokyo. But it’s still a good life.

Sleep tight.



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