Saturday, 7 May 2011

Chapter 3 - The Start of Distress III

Changing Schools, Life in A Dormitory

I arrived at the dormitory with a car full of household goods. The other students were also returning ready for the new term. The school has big rooms laid out like classrooms. Inside each one, there's an aisle running down the middle. It divides the room into left and right parts, on which there are tatami mats. Each student is provided with a cupboard and a fixed desk with a lamp. My new castle is the place nearest to the closet. Mom sorted out the things we'd taken to make my place comfortable.
"You won't need this yet," she said, "so I'll put it in the upper cabinet. But I'll put this near you because you often use it . . ."
The mothers of other students were also busily sorting things out. Nobody seemed interested in me. Whether that's good or bad . . .

"You should try and forget Higashi High School as soon as possible," Suzuki-sensei told me, "and become a student of Okayo (Aichi Prefectural Okazaki High School for the Physically Challenged.)"
So in order to 'forget as soon as possible', I removed my Higashi school badge and class badge and put the at the back of the drawer,

It's becoming really difficult now to move my legs forward. Holding desperately on to the handrail along the side of the corridor, I told myself "Don't be afraid, don't be afraid!" Tears came to my eyes as I thought, sadly, "I may perhaps . . . "

B-sensei's words flew over to me: "People are designed to be able to walk!"
I agree!
I empathize!
It's an unparalleled declaration of war!
"Climb Mt. Niitaka!" (the signal to start the attack on Pearl Harbor)

I fell over on the way to the classroom and started crying. A-sensei was just passing and assked me, "Are you sad?"
"I'm not sad," I replied, "just disappointed."
Why do people stand and walk on two legs? This is usually taken as a matter of course. The question came to me as I watched my friends walking briskly into the distance. Walking is really something . . .

I'm glad that I came here.
-Watching students playing baseball under the window . . .
-Watching students practicing sumo wrestling with the teachers . . .
But, getting accustomed to it is something else. I sometimes feel I'm in limbo. I've beun to accept the fact that I'm no longer a student of Higashi High. But I don't really feel that I'm a student of Okayo yet. If some stranger asked me, "Which school do you go to?", I wonder what I'd answer?

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