I’m proud to say that I want to be like my mother when I grow up. Ha; when I grow up. My mother has always been the youngest person I know: so full of life and ready for the next adventure. She taught me that life is truly what you make it. It can be about the picket fences and the nine to five or it can be about doing what you really want to. Don’t get me wrong, I think picket fences are cute and I’ve done my time but I wanted and still want more.
My friend Anna had moved to Japan, after living in England and Lithuania for some time. Working in youth hostels and mission fields she’s a gypsy I admire. I traveled during my time off, while she lived the travel and has the mud stains to prove it.
She was teaching English to a small school in Osaka and invited me to visit for the nth time. “I don’t know. It’s so far, costs a fortune, and honestly Japan has never been on my list.”
Never been on my list? What was wrong with me? I decided I needed to go, to be reckless, to do something frivolous because quitting my job to go on a six week trip to the Philippines wasn’t reckless enough. I needed to get out of my not-so-comfortable cubical and mundane every day.
So, I bought a ticket and found myself on a 13 hour flight to Japan. Hour six is the hardest. It’s when you realize that you no longer want to be in that can and know there is nowhere to go. Burdened with many forms of entertainment, forced sleep is what got me through it.
Anna met me at the airport, chauffeured by Maki, a now dear to me friend and Geisha. Excited to see someone from home, Anna was anxious to show me her Osaka, which of course meant playing Russian roulette with Octopus.
We hopped on her wicker basket adorned bicycle and started to pedal up the street. Wind in my hair, ass falling asleep from the metal bag holder over the rear wheel. I was on top of the world and thought I was Rose in that iconic scene from Titanic. Swerving here and there, off balance, the air tasted like frivolity, recklessness, and pollution.
I was grinning from ear to ear in my bliss.
Anna turned to me after we veered into traffic a second time and said, “Um, can you put your feet in? I’m trying to pedal here.”
An excerpt from my novel in progress, in response to this week's Theme Thursday's prompt.