Friday, April 28, 2006


Things are weird. My emails are piling up and I'm sorry for not responding quickly to them, but my days feel strange right now. I'm up and down emotionally and physically too. In my good moments I notice the white butterflies flitting over the green fields with sprays of tiny yellow flowers, the name of which I've forgotten, and feel at home. In my bad moments I can't recall what's appropriate to say to the man who wants to know how much gas I want in my tank or the store clerk who tells me to "Have a good one," as I walk out. In my worst moments I have this little voice in my head with a running commentary, criticizing people like Tina, the woman who showed me around the gym I just joined, because she was too assuming and trying to assume a friendship between us for some reason while it was obvious to me we had only met ten minutes earlier when I walked in for a tour of the facilities and I held no illusions that what I was doing there was nothing more than finding a gym and purchasing a package for the next few months. Poor Tina. Well it's not as if I said any of the critical things I thought of to her. But still, it's in this sort of situation that I feel worst. Feeling bad about someone or something and having a negative reaction to it and then feeling guilty that I'm not one hundred percent happy to be home again. It's not as if I'm not trying to settle in. I'm doing really well at that, but maybe I'm pushing myself too hard to do that too. I've nearly got my room how I like it and my laptop is being fixed and I joined the gym mentioned above where poor Tina got a mindful without knowing it, and I should have a cell phone tonight or tomorrow. Only a few boxes left to unpack and sort through, but otherwise I'm almost all physically settled again. I've begun driving and have only had about three near heart attacks. Not too bad. I've seen an old friend and had lunch. Signed my contracts for One For Sorrow with Bantam today. Tomorrow I'll be seeing a couple of old friends from my grad school days and catching up. So yeah, maybe I'm pushing myself too hard, but there's that guilt when I find myself staring at my shelves with all of my mementos of Japan on it and realize I've been daydreaming about the memories they hold for me, trying to remember the colors and smells and sounds of Japan instead of living in the world around me. I suppose it's a transitional thing, but it's still bothersome. I'm impatient with myself too, and don't know how to give myself time and wondering what is too much time, etc. In any case, if you don't hear from me via email and you've sent me something, please be patient with me. I'm trying to get back into my stride. Hopefully by mid next week, things will feel a bit more natural again.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everyone goes through this coming back from Japan, my friend. You've been back what? A couple days? Don't push yourself too hard. :)

11:54 PM  
Blogger Maureen McHugh said...

Coming back is the hardest part.

Are you available for lunch May 9 or 10?

8:59 AM  
Blogger Christopher Barzak said...

Thanks, Kevin, and Maureen, everyone said returning is the hardest part, so I was trying to prepare myself for it, but I guess you really can't, you just go through it. And both the 9th and 10th would be good for lunch! Let me know which would be best for you. The only things I have to do is work out at the gym and work on some novel stuff, so my days are pretty free right now.

7:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It will all settle down. Just take it easy. And make sure to tell everyone from the old days HI from me. It should be fun to see everyone.

8:35 PM  
Blogger Jody (White) and Juan Leon said...

One day at a time darlin'.

One day at a time.

Love ya... miss you too.

9:43 PM  
Blogger David Moles said...

You're not expected to be 100% happy to be home. Just speak Japanese when you can't remember the English for something, and enjoy the bookstores.

4:25 AM  

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