A life of identifiable challenges with attainable rewards. To possess it all dependent on nothing and no one but herself.
But now, as a gaggle of Japanese men in tailored suits and polished shoes stride by (smelling expensive), Hanako feels like a fraud. She notices a few giving her the once-over as the doors slide closed. They were the type who could smell fear and polyester.
If you know me at all, you know how much I love movies and love squeezing every bit of meaning out of every, onscreen moment. One of my all-time favorite movies, is the perfect backdrop to talk to you about something personally life-changing.
I have the sense that anything could happen today. The stuff dreams are made of could materialize, at this moment.
Why was she getting so emotional over an S.O.S. about how to use one of her Japanese appliances?
Hanako despised the way their conversations entered a freefall of chaotic words and too tender feelings. The way they could pick apart each other’s sentences like birds pecking at nearly bare bones. At these moments, Hanako often felt as though she would rather die than admit she could have said or done things differently.
Why did it sometimes hurt so much to think that everything wasn't for her? That the story she stepped into wasn't always her own? Wasn't it possible that God loved her and her friend equally? She'd always had the sneaking suspicion He played favorites.
I don’t think every gripe, challenge, or victory as we journey here in Japan will be beneficial to share…for myself or for you. But I do think there’s a lot I haven’t said so far, for the wrong reasons and I want to change that. If any of what I say resonates with you, the sharing will be worth it.
When the older gentleman enters the room, everyone stands and bows deeply. Jiro follows suit, but Mr. Saito quickly reaches for his hand. “It is a pleasure to meet you, Jiro-san,” he says. And there is something at once elegant and sharp about the slender man’s eyes, a hint of humor, at the corners of his mouth that Jiro likes instantly.
It was for the music, that Jiro did it all.
“The demand for your genre is down right now,” her literary agent had said kindly before her move to Tokyo. In her bleaker moments, Hanako reinterpreted that to mean, “no one gives a shit about what you’ve written right now.”
She simply wanted everything to reach its potential. The desk had been covered in crayon marks and water stains, but beneath the neglect was pinewood yearning--no, somehow knowing--it could be more.
Hanako is typing away, wrapped in a beautiful concentration-cocoon of coffee shop conversations she cannot understand (works so much better than music), when--the words flowing effortlessly from her brain to her fingertips--trip.
When he was 12, Jiro’s mother took him to the Central Mall in Fort Smith, Arkansas for a “model scouting” event.
“He’s too short,” the scout said, giving him a cursory glance.
It's just that, she had naively thought that everything would simply fall into place as soon as they set foot on Japanese soil. Something deep in her, a familiar voice she had heard many times before had said, you take a step, I’ll be there to meet you.
Jiro’s eyes land on a five-foot-nothing Japanese girl across the line, who weighs maybe one-hundred pounds and this curbs his enthusiasm a little. Maybe he wouldn’t get to throw the ball as hard as he would like
Korean. I’m Korean. Did she speak Korean? Anyoung haseyo? A shake of the head. "I’m sorry. I don’t speak Korean, either." Sometimes, she couldn’t help but say, "sad, I know. Pathetic, really," depending on how insecure she felt about it at the moment.