I didn't know how to break it to you, but I did leave Japan.
Oh, man, it was hard. I can't tell you how hard it was. That's probably why I haven't been near this blog in so long. I mean that was an awful process, leaving Tokyo. I had so much to love there. I cried all the way to LAX. By the time I got to Portland, I felt fine. It wasn't the shock I expected. It was quieter and it took me awhile to realize, like I realize now, that my heart is still aching.
What is wrong with me? That's what I was thinking in those last few weeks. Why would I come to this place and work so hard to find these people I love so much and this life where I can do anything I want? Why would I do that and then force myself to leave it? Why am I hittin' myself? Why'm I hittin' myself?
I don't know why! I was so weary and grateful and devastated during those last days. On my date of departure, I drank coffee in Koenji with someone I cared about very much. When that person left the shop, my Tokyo life was over. There were no more friends to see and I was just waiting for my flight to leave. I couldn't stand that feeling, so I wiped my nose, cleared my table, picked up my bag, and walked across the street to get on the train.
And I'd go to Oregon and be with my family and my dog and my rivers and trees and bay, and I'd have a beautiful summer and I wouldn't cry for that other life much at all.
And a few months later it would be September and I'd be in New York and feeling lost. Here's now, and it's a strange moment to be in. I love being back in America. But nothing can take away this ache in my heart for the streets I walked, the trains I rode, the drinks I drank, the friends I loved, the city where I once said "I found myself in the white-hot nucleus of my youth!" Haha. Oh, Tokyo. You'll forget me and I can't help it, but I will remember our love forever.