My day was improved substantially by the Broodmaster’s failure to show up. The Broodmaster is so named because he sits silently and broods. He broods on the futility of life. I say, “The Broodmaster, please read this sentence aloud for me.” He broods on the transient nature of human relationships, on the uncertain definition of intimacy in a world in which most communication takes place via machines. I say, “The Broodmaster, the sentence that I am presently pointing to. With my finger.” He broods on the disdain felt by his father’s generation towards his own due to their profligate consumption habits, despite the ironic truth that it is this very profligacy that now upholds the Japanese economy. I wave the flashcards under his eyes. He says sulkily, “何?”
Anyway, he didn’t come in today. So that was nice.