It was nighttime, two nights ago, the evening of the day Typhoon Wipha struck Tokyo. I was walking home from a (subway) station I never use but had had to because the JR (i.e., overland) lines couldn’t run. It was no longer blowing a gale, but wind buffeted at every few paces in small powerful eddies that lay in wait wherever willed by the city’s stony cast.
It was quite a bright night with just enough room between the half-scattered surging clouds to let the gibbous moon shine through. Head down, just starting to get rained on, I reached Kuramaebashi Bridge.
A still distant
outline of home
October is the driest month since May. And it is starting to get what in Japanese is called skin-cold (hadazamui, as opposed to bone-marrow-chillingly cold, or honemi ni shimiru hodo samui). The enveloping heat of summer that some think of as enervating actually works, I read recently, to increase physical activity. Conversely, lower temperatures make us less likely to jump out of bed. Besides all that is the face of a typical October: that huge languid airiness, that even if clouded is still higher than a paper kite on a lightly tugging string. No more cicadas, no more fireworks letting off, and even the noises that are – of trains, sirens, and schoolyards – seem reduced to the smallness of the details you can now make out in the clearer air.
I yawn with October