Then it was like swimming through each day the air was so full of water. Even your skin is too much coverage, and it's littered with mosquito bites in varying sizes and healing states. Hair inflates. Heat becomes worse than hunger. And the sky matches the cement, building to a burst that washes away the sins of humidity. If you live here, you know.
The cicada sound is likable at first; then it's as if you have dog ears. Their electronic chirping escalates for mating, or when you accidentally step on them and react maniacally (both you and them). In September, they seem to be replaced by crickets.
|Paul England / Metropolis|
Yet dipping down into Japan's marine layer on our flight back from China felt like coming home. The PC term is haze, but it was smog at its worst in the capital. I went to the hotel room window when I first woke up in Beijing, and the view only lasted a few city blocks. It was like nothing I've ever seen.
I tell an English student about all this over some kind of Tang and amid the clutter of an old woman who swears Amway breath freshener is the final answer to mosquito bite itch. As we sip our Tang served in ice cream parfait glasses and with straws - inside a house that looks as if it was plopped in the middle of the secret garden based on the window panes - I tell her this, too...
Cary, lil' bro-in-law and I all went to Kyoto after China. And after China, we were used to seeing ancient, really ancient, things. But we kept finding that the structures had been rebuilt due to something like fire. We scoffed. At the Toji Temple, the boys had spotted a plaque that said it was rebuilt in 2008; it was younger than my and Cary's marriage. After ranting about this for 15 minutes, they finally had to tell me they lied.
"Did you know this when you married her?" he asked Cary. The student loved that.
And the next day, the whole kingdom was rinsed clean again like a new season and the alternate life of a pilot's wife was begging to say hello.