The comforter is half-folded over with the upsweep of a snow bank against a house, if you’ll picture my wife’s edge of the bed as the house. Certainly, I am comparing a floor-plan perspective with an elevation, as it were, but you may ignore the rest of this paragraph: it may be worth your time instead to see the comforter just so. She made the bed before she left, and I have not disturbed her side of it except to take her pillow. She comes back Monday. The sheets are pink, and the top one entwines with a thin, cotton blanket, the sheet’s yin swirling with the blanket’s yang. Miles above them, the comforter’s displeasure is a perfect crescent.
The older I’ve gotten (and I do attribute it to age), the more I’m prone to seeing people as they might look years from now. It’s like I create those time-altering “Have you seen me?” photos in my head — the photos on the back of junk mail postcards sent to help rescue missing children. [...]
Bethany’s fall semester ended in late January, and her spring semester begins in early April. She’s been traveling around Japan in the two-month interim, staying in hostels and meeting up with friends.
Now she’s working on an organic farm in Nagano, which a lot of us older Westerners may remember as the home of the 1998 winter Olympics. She’s neither farming nor skiing, though. She’s earning her room and board by doing odd chores and helping her host with her seamstress business. Bethany loves crafts, so it’s a good match that way.
I grew up where pines grew sure and tall. We lived under the pines. We didn’t live in the trees like the squirrels or the elves, and we didn’t live in the canopy like the birds, or like that tribe I recall from National Geographic. We lived under the pines, and they outnumbered us. The trees [...]