I feel a little pathetic, but I want to go home. I don’t even know where that is now. Less than a year ago I would’ve said there’s nowhere outside of Marseille I belong. I loved it, my town was part of me and there was nowhere better. Not too long ago I went back to France to visit my sister, she was taking her daughter to the Musée du Louvre. I felt terrible from the moment I stepped off the plane. I love my sister and my niece, hell, I put my entire inheritance in my niece’s name the moment I found out the only thing my sister received was the house she was already living in with her husband and daughter. Of course, that was back when I wasn’t burning through all my savings on travel costs, home medical and fitness equipment, and replacing the majority of my wardrobe… but honestly, I’d have done it anyway. I just don’t love it here anymore. Even in Waldenbuch, I feel like I need to get away.
My proper address is in Japan now. Iji insists his house is our house and his bed is our bed. I love him, I love being with him, I’ve enjoyed his city… but I don’t fit with the culture. There’s a lot of nuance I’m still learning. Sometimes it makes me feel all the more isolated. I get teased for my accent all the time. It takes a long time for me to read basically anything, and I read things incorrectly on a regular basis. I feel great in the house, even at the office, but when I’m out in town it sometimes feels a little like I’m drowning.
It should feel like home right? I live there, my husband is there… and I do love him. I wasn’t supposed to, I tried not to, but I do. It makes me afraid. What if I’m misreading my own feelings. Maybe I just love the chance to be far away. Maybe I love that he loves me. I knew he did right from the start. He has for a long time. It started as a crush when he was a teenager. He was the only person I stayed in contact with for a very long time after Eli died. He was being raised to take over the sake shop. He came to visit me during one of my stays at home in France when he was 15, just nearly 16, I was living back at my dad’s place at the time. I say he came to visit me, but he was the adventurous one between him in his uncle (the guy that adopted him, don’t question it, it made sense to them) he wanted to experience the kinds of flavors other cultures like in their drinks. So he was going to stay at my dad’s place for a week with me to tour him around as his translator. Remember he’s 11 years younger than me, when he was 15 I was 26.
I was a bit dense, there were a few things I had never even considered. He had told his sister already, but I had no idea he’d had a crush on me. So 4th day he was in town I was up late with a movie and a few glasses of wine. He came out, said he couldn’t sleep and sat down to watch with me. I let him have maybe 60 ml of my wine, the legal age was still 16 at the time and his uncle had said it was fine. He had a bit once in a while at home. I should have paid more attention, I should have noticed my bottle emptied faster than it should have. I should have noticed all of it long before he worked up the nerve to try and kiss me. But I didn’t. I did shut him down immediately though. Of course my older brother had to be down when it happened, Theo had a good time with that for months. I didn’t even look at Iji again for a few years, barely spoke to him. I wasn’t mad at him, he was a kid and kid’s do dumb things. I just wondered what the hell I did that made it seem like a good idea, I felt awkward and irresponsible and didn’t want to cause any more bad decisions on his part… here I am married to him 7 years later. Sometimes I’m afraid he was the easy option, he wanted me and I didn’t need to do anything to make it happen.
I know it sounds stupid. There’s just so much I feel like I don’t know about myself now. My own hands are strangers to me, that isn’t me being dramatic. I’ve been baking for a long time, most of my life. So much that even with the disposable income I used to have there was near nothing I’d buy at the baker unless I was short on time. I stopped measuring years ago, you just start to know the feel. A few weeks ago I was making some bread for lunch sandwiches I didn’t have a clue how much flour I’d put in. Couldn’t even estimate, even when I lifted the bowl to feel it, I had no clue. It was like I’d just forgotten all that experience. If I can forget something I’ve done more thousands of times than I can count, isn’t it is possible I could also be entirely wrong about what I feel?
So here I am, feeling more isolated than I’ve ever felt before, and I may actually be afraid of the moment the doctors tell me I can go back.