One day,
on my way home from doing some shopping I came across a little boy who must have been in the second or third grade. He was playing by himself at the side of the road near the entrance to an apartment block. He wasn't a toddler, but was lost in play just like one, and I found myself calling out to him, "What game are you playing?" He stood up straight and replied "May I ask who you are?"

One day,
me and my older sister were gingerly pushing the tips of colored pencils into the electric fan, towards the center where the blades started from. The fan itself was a faded greenish-yellow color, but if you touched it with a purple or orange colored pencil while it was spinning - just touched it really lightly - a colored circle would suddenly appear. And if you used different colors in different places, you could make your own rainbow-colored fan. Our parents both worked, so the evening was our time.

One day,
someone asked me "Which road is the Nakasendo?"
"It's over there.", I replied, lifting my arm and pointing far into the distance.
"Oh, right. What about Yamatedori?"
"For Yamatedori, you just go straight on and you'll run right into it."
"Actually, I'm looking for a kind of sports center where you can go bowling ... "
"Oh, that! Well, go straight until you hit the main road, then turn left, and there should be a supermarket on your right. The sports center is right next to it."
On my way home, I couldn't help wondering why he had asked about the Nakasendo.

One day,
I was walking around New York. Planning a long-term stay, I had found a place to live and was facing my first winter there. I had wrapped a big scarf around my neck, and put on the heavy gloves and the thick coat I had bought locally – all the clothes I had brought from Japan were too light. Just as I had heard, New York winters were freezing. When there's a strong wind, your ears go completely numb.
"It was so cold yesterday my ears fell off!"
"Mine fell off too!"
I guess sometimes I relished the extreme cold. In any case, it was warm in my apartment, since the radiator in my building kept the rooms at a constant temperature; it was just rather dry. That day, I'd finished class at the language school and was off to buy a humidifier, when a classmate of mine, a Korean guy called Park, said to me,
"Where are you going?"
"To get a humidifier."
When I said "humidifier" in English, he seemed confused. To tell the truth, I was one of the "confused" as well until yesterday. I had looked up the word in the dictionary and had even stashed away a note in my pocket just in case.
"I want to go to the electronics store too." he said, so we headed off together.
When we reached the store the sky was starting to look ominous, even though the weather report had said the bad weather was supposed to come later. By the time we left the shop it was pouring with rain and on top of that there was a strong wind. We had no choice but to head to the subway and get soaked in the process. We headed out into the rainstorm, the wind against us, when suddenly Park moved in front of me and told me to walk close behind him. I'd never had a guy do something like that for me. My memories of rain in New York always end here. Six months later, in the early summer, I left New York. Shortly after I got back to Japan I got a card from Park, and I sent one back. However, it was returned many weeks later with the stamp "Address Unknown".
That was over twenty years ago. But some clocks run slowly, like those of kindness.

One day,
I went for a meal with my American husband. He has the habit of taking charge of the ordering whenever we eat out, which suits me just fine. Sometimes, however, no matter how clear his Japanese is, when it comes to confirm the order the staff always turn to me. They watch my face, waiting for me to give them the nod of confirmation. It seems that Japanese-speaking foreigners are still outnumbered by Japanese not used to meeting them.

One day,
the fax machine on the shelf started receiving a fax. The stray cat I'd recently taken in from the street in front of my apartment snapped open his eyes and stared up at the fax machine the whole time. He held his gaze even after the paper had stopped moving. I made a little note: "no fax machine at previous house".

One day,
I went to the supermarket behind my apartment and saw they'd put up a sign: "We would like to thank all our customers for their support over the years." The shutters at the entrance, exit and windows had all been pulled down. I checked the sign for the date they had closed - it was only a few days ago. I only did my shopping here occasionally; I remember coming to buy some vinegar I'd spotted on a leaflet in the paper, one of those 'only one purchase per customer' deals, and sometimes I'd buy some fried fish from the deli section when I couldn't be bothered to cook. I'd also once or twice popped out, wallet in hand, to get some sashimi for dinner, when I'd felt the craving for it. But you couldn't call me a good customer - I couldn't see myself saying "Yeah, I was a regular here." Still, standing before the sign, I found myself thinking, not without some chagrin, "You even missed the last rites. Why didn't you realize and come more often?"

木坂涼の詩 | Ryo Kisaka Poetry

Web Press 葉っぱの坑夫 | Web Press Happa-no-Kofu