CH 7 UNDER PRESSURE (Hanako)
Her feet hurt. The pads of them feel like someone has pounded on them overnight with a meat cleaver. And her legs. They seem packed-down with sand; but Hanako is determined to get through her list of things to do and to conquer the city with her Nikon and her list of “adventures.”
“We just got here,” Jiro says with a twitch of the lips. “We will have plenty of time to see it all.”
“Not if our work visas don’t come through,” she says. “All we know for sure is that we have ninety days on our tourist visa! Less than that, now.”
Jiro nods, frowns a little.
Hanako knows what that expression means. He thinks she might not trust that they are here long-term. “I know we will be here for a while but…think of all the places we never saw during our time in LA,” she finishes lamely.
It bugged her that Jiro could read her so well.
She trusted, didn’t she? She had walked herself onto the airplane, had stepped gracefully off. It wouldn’t make sense for her to leave their best friends, give away everything they owned, leave the cheeriest house with its delicious grapefruit tree and most neighborly of neighbors (Juan, Juan, and Sergio) if she didn’t really, deep in her heart, know this was where they were supposed to be.
Something deep in her, a familiar voice she had trusted many times before had said, you take a step, I’ll be there to meet you. It felt as though by putting herself physically in motion, she was saying “yes,” to that voice, thereby mobilizing her destiny in the process.
But this morning, Hanako can’t hear anything above the panic whooshing between her ears. “I took a freaking big step!” She wants to yell into the universe. “I’m ready now! Big things should be happening!”
“This is our fourth day in Tokyo, Hanako,” Jiro says. “Nothing is going to happen overnight. It’s okay to get some sleep, stay in the apartment, put our feet up.”
She sighs. It would be easier for her to rest if work visas were materializing, if jobs were presenting themselves.
Jiro is right, of course, but if she stops moving, she might know their future, wasn’t.
Wasn’t moving toward the bright future she had naively thought would simply fall into place as soon as they set foot on Japanese soil. If they stopped moving, she would have to acknowledge how she really felt, which was that they were floundering around, waiting for divine intervention.