Saturday, 7 May 2011

Chapter 4 : 17 Years Old [ "I can't even sing anymore . . ." II ]


I felt so happy thinking about going home for my first summer holiday from this school that I couldn't get to sleep. I'm sorry I can't enter the hospital again because they can't get any new medicine. But I think my new medicine in the future will be in tablet form rather than injections. I was told that they're making an effort to produce it, so all I can do is give up and wait.

Just before lunchtime, an old man came to the house.
"I'm from Heiankaku Wedding Hall," he said. "Can I talk to your mother?"
"My mother and father are both out," replied my brother.
Five minutes later, we had a second visitor, a small middle-aged woman.
"I'm from Heiankaku . . ."
"Oh, your colleague came a few times ago," I shouted from upstairs.
"Is that your grandmother?" asked the woman.
My brother, who was at the door, burst out laughing.
"She spoke very slowly," the woman said, "so I assumed she was . . ."
Give me a break! Am I a 17 year-old grandmother . . .?
At dinner, my sister told mom about this episode. I felt so miserable. It annoys me so much to be told I have a disability. It's clear I haven't really admitted yet that I'm disabled.

I helped Mom prepare dinner.
She said to me, "Could you mix the Chinese chives and meat to make some gyoza dumplings?"
Ugh! Making gyoza dumplings? Involuntarily, I made a face. (I hate gyoza.) Still, it was all right, because the main course was chirashi zushi (a kind of sushi with the ingredients chopped and scattered over a bed of vinegared rice) . . .

As I was breaking four eggs and putting them in the pan to make some scrambled eggs, I suddenly thought about I-sensei. When she wanted to cook some rice in the morning, she would wake up and switch on the rice cooker instead of using the timer. I admired her because she didn't rely on machines. When we were making breakfast at school camp, she noticed I was coughing (I'd choked on some tea). She came over and stroked my back. She was a very gentle teacher . . .

When I was cooling the rice for the sushi using an electric fan, I put the pot between my legs and got burn marks about two centimetres long inside both thighs. I thought they looked rather beautiful-a slightly reddish color.

The members of Tanpopo no Kai (the group of handicapped people) work during the day and then get together in the evening to produce a mimeographed copy of their magazine called Chikasui (Underground Water). When I rang the group and told them I was staying at home for summer holiday, they invited me to join them.
"Mom is it only bad girls who go out in the evening?"
"Well, I suppose it's all right as long as you're with good people," she replied. "But isn't it a bit dangerous to go out in the dark?"
At 8, Yamaguchi-san arrived in a car to pick me up.

Before I went out, I said to Dad "I'll be back soon."
He was lying on the sofa in the Japanese room watching television. He had had a drink with his dinner and his face was rather red. "Aya," he replied, "I'm rather worried about you going out in the evening. In the future I think you should only go out in the daytime."

I was so pleased to hear him say that. Actually it was a bit of surprise to hear advice from Dad. He doesn't usually interfere with his children. He puts on airs, but he's really a shy person. I prefer him when he's a bit drunk to he's sober.

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