After nearly five years of living in Japan, I’ve moved back to the United States ahead of Taku in order to prepare for our new life together.
It’s jarring, to say the least, and I still haven’t shaken the feeling that I might wake up back in Japan and realize that this is all a dream.
Just days ago, I was joyriding along the coast of Okinawa with Taku. Now, I’m back in my childhood bedroom in a chilly New England suburb.
Returning to my hometown brought to mind the character of Aomame in Murakami Haruki’s 1Q84. Specifically, the scene after she notices the Esso billboard and begins to question the place she and Tengo have returned to.
“I still don’t know what sort of world this is…” “…But whatever world we’re in now, I’m sure this is where I will stay. Where we will stay.”
I’ve returned to a world that looks familiar at first glance, but so much has happened while I was gone. Friendships have changed. My family has become bigger. Walking around town, small, superficial changes remind me of the time that has passed.
Though there are many challenges that lie ahead, I welcome the fresh start and plan to use this period not only to work towards our future but as a chance to reset my mind and take better care of my body.
I should also mention that it’s also a little bit uncomfortable being home.
I came out to my parents several years ago, and despite several attempts to follow up with them, they’ve made it clear through inaction that they don’t want to deal with it.
My relationship with my parents feels unchanged, for better or worse. But it’s not an ideal situation. I don’t plan on pushing the subject anymore. It’s probably best to just do filial pious things while I am here and keep my distance once Taku comes.
In-between grinding sessions of job hunting, I’m keeping busy by working out, reading, studying; anything to prevent small town boredom.
I’m crossing my fingers that Taku and I will be together again before long.