I lost my black folding umbrella over the weekend. I think I left it in the soba restaurant at Echigo-Yuzawa. Mom gave it to me for Chrismukkah junior year, so I’ve had it for three and a half years, most of which time it spent in the front pocket of my purse.
It’s strange that it’s gone. I’d never held onto an umbrella that long without breaking or losing it. I’ve forgotten it in restaurants and gone back for it a couple of times. When I saw Obama speak last year, I had to leave it and my nalgene with security, in a cardboard box full of other umbrellas and nalgenes, but they were still there when I went back to pick them up after. This made me feel optimistic. The purse pocket stretched out to accommodate it, so it looks pregnant. I’m not in mourning for it, but it’s been within a few feet of me for half my waking hours the last few years. It feels a little like when I get my hair trimmed. The loss is not significant, but it is obtrusive.
When I realized it was gone Monday morning, I went out and bought a new one. The new one is beige and was 490 yen.
Some other objects that occasionally shock me by their absence recently:
Continue reading “The mortality of objects.”
Many years ago, the Good Queen was killed by a usurper Princess, and her only child lost. But the magicians say that the child, the true King or Queen, will come back someday, and make things right. So every ruler since then, no matter what they try to call themselves or what they do to the people, has been called only Prince or Princess.
In the mountains, there live fairies who know ways of taking a human outside of time. The child must be with them, given away by someone loyal to the Good Queen, to protect him or her from the usurper’s blade. But no one who went to look has ever gotten the child back.
The Prince now is very wicked. A young soldier in his army was too kind to an enemy, so he cursed him to become a tiger, to learn cruelty. The woman who loved the young soldier has a witch for a grandmother, though she has not seen her since she was a child. She puts the tiger on a leash and leads him snarling out of the Prince’s city, to the rocky hills where her grandmother once lived, not even sure whether the mad old woman is still alive. She hopes very much that the cure will be to kill the Prince.
Continue reading “Story from half-asleep on the shinkansen”