So, it's rainy season in Japan. Which means that it doesn't actually rain, in the sense of drops of water coming out of the sky. No no... water simply hangs in the air. In the grey, grey air. You hang your laundry out to dry, but it never gets past the stage of damp. You lie down on your futon at night, and it is damp. You shower in the morning, and your towel is still damp from the day before.
Are you catching the drift? Yes, it's damp.
Now, some of you may be tempted at this point to employ the use of the word "moist". I want you to understand that this word simply does not apply in this case. Chocolate brownies are moist, clothing is not. Icing can be moist, futons cannot. Perhaps after a long day at school, my armpits are moist, but I'm sure you do not appreciate the mental picture.
However, there are other words that apply. For instance, glisten. See, Jeff and I are lucky enough to work in the public schools of Japan. The same fine institutions that do not believe in the use of heat until December, and the use of air conditioning until July. You see, in Japan, TEMPERATURE is not significant. No, no... it's all about the SEASON, my friends (oh dear, Jo, it's catching.) It's not short-sleeve season until June, and it is certainly not air conditioning season until July. Now, admittedly, the actual temperature is not that high. Day to day, it floats around 28 degrees. However, the humidity is another story. I often tell teachers that my biggest fear in Japan has become my certain demise into the state of puddle. That's right, PUDDLE. Very soon, I fear that I will no longer be a solid mass of Kathy anymore. The humidity will actually penetrate my (oh yes, very solid) mass and turn it into liquid form. In short, I will melt.
But alas, I have digressed....
Back to the word glisten. So I sit in the teacher's room, amidst other teachers listlessly fanning themselves, amongst too many students, computers... too much dead dead air, and I glisten. I don't actually sweat. That's what you do when it's hot. But it's not hot. No, it's humid. So I glisten. And every time I look in the mirror, I see that glistening face staring back at me, and I am reminded that I have begun my descent into the state of puddle.
Other than the humidity, life is fine. Well, ignoring the fact that the air is so thick that we never really see true evidence of the sun rising or setting anymore... and the fact that the mountains have all but disappeared from view. People laugh when they hear that we didn't know we were surrounded by mountains until October. But it's true!!! And it's frightening to think that it will take that long for us to see them again... for this dead air to break.
Japan has not been displaying her finest colours lately. At this point, August 5th is just too far away.
Love you all, and miss you much.