Saturday, 7 May 2011

Chapter 6 : 19 Years Old [ "I May Not Last Much Longer . . ." V ]

Class Reunion

Five teachers from the boarding school, as well as 17 students and their parents, gathered at the restaurant called Inaka. I was happy to see everyone looking well. Before the dishes were served, everyone stood on the veranda chatting in the warm sunlight. I was the only one sitting.

Suzuki-sensei came over and sat down cross-legged beside me. Our eye level became the same. He gave me a handkerchief, saying it was a souvenir from Singapore. As usual his eyes were gentle like those of an elephant. Yo-chan gave me a book she'd bought using the wages from her job - Cherry-chan to Einstein boya (Cherry and the Young Einstein) by Teruko Ohashi. We ate to our hearts' content and laughed happily.
"It's been a while since we ate a full-course Japanese meal and saw everyone, isn't it?" Mom said later."We can enjoy a lot of good things if we're alive, can't we?"
"Yes, we can," I answered.

If someone only says one or two words a day, can you say that they are really leading a life as a member of society? . . . I'm becoming that kind of person.
If someone can't do anything by themselves, and has to have other people look after them inorder to live, can you say they are leading a social life? . . . I'm that person.

I want to be useful to other people. --> I will at least try to do my own things so that I won't disturb other people. --> I can't live unless I have someone to look after me. --> I'll become a greater burden on other people . . .

That's the story of my life!

It's snowing. Even with the electric heater on full (oil heaters irritate my throat, so only in my room there's an electric heater) and warming my self in the kotatsu, I feel chilled to the bone.

I started reading Hashi no nai kawa (The River with No Bridge) by Sue Sumii at the New Year. I finished five volumes at a stretch. I easily get totally absorbed. It's a bad habit. I even skipped training to read it. The air was cold when I went out into the corridor. I felt a chill. I put on a short padded jacket in an attempt to avoid getting a cold. But I sensed danger because my body's so stiff. I've decided to eat my meals in my room while it's cold. I feel lonely when someone brings me my food and I eat it all on my own, but sometimes my brothers and sisters come and eat with me.

To tell the truth, I don't like sleeping and eating in the same place.

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