Once on 宮島

It was a Sunday afternoon in early October. The mist hovered over the inland sea like a secretive blanket of ash as I tried to ponder everything in my life in but a moment’s time.

I stared out as far as my eyes would allow, sensing the moisture off the sea, imagining what the mountains would look like had there not been this beautiful covering. Jellyfish poked in and out of the wake. Ferries circled in unison, carrying the excited tourists to promises of new adventures and breathtaking views – memories sure to be brought back home in the form of photographs and stories of “curious, pettable deer” and a tide-worn tori.

You sat next to me softly, our legs hanging over the stone wall, perhaps three meters separating us from the splashes. You patiently listened to my ramblings, hanging on my words, offering advice in a gentleness I have never come across – not foreign, welcoming. My mind began to relax. I apologized.

On the ferry ride back to a Sunday afternoon filled with that incommunicable awareness of lingering goodbyes, I thought of the night before and how our shoes had shared a tiny locker while we sipped on a couple of passively-ordered beverages and talked of how sensational the ballgame had been.

I thought of how this moment is exactly that, nothing more, nothing less, but nevertheless, a moment in a series of moments that I want my memory to swallow whole and never completely digest. And may there be many, many more.

If there was a train that ignored all stops (including 大畠), or a ferry that refused to port, I would want to be sitting next to you.

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