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    Beethoven (I love to listen to)

    I’m in one of my obsessive-workaholic phases: I bang away at the keyboard and Google and print and redline and swear under my breath and pace for hours and hours, and then I have to stop before my quality control starts to slip.

    But by that point, I’m always so keyed up that I have to keep going. I do housework like a madman. I inhale my food. I gulp drinks (the other day I swilled a fresh cup of tea so quickly I thought I was going to asphyxiate from blisters in my throat). I walk like a locomotive up Meiji Avenue between Shibuya and Shinjuku. The other night, I arrived at one of my favorite bars after chugging for 50 minutes and was still so jazzed I ended up yammering about the election to some guy I hardly know. (At least it helped counteract my apparent general reputation for aloofness, but that’s a topic for another day.)

    What’s really bizarre is that I don’t need more sleep than usual. In fact, I was awakened by indigestion before dawn on Sunday and wound up pounding out a long, verbose post, then going back to bed and getting up at my normal time. The rest of the time Atsushi was home, he kept me relaxed and grounded as always. Only once while we were watching CNN did I make an ungallant comment at one of the reporters and stalk to the kitchen to put the kettle on.

    But then he went back to Kyushu, taking his Force Field of Calm with him. Three hours later, when he e-mailed to say he’d landed, I was 1.5 liters of Coke to the worse and was flitting among a half-dozen books open on the coffee table. After I’d rehydrated, I had a workout and pounded the hell out of myself (in the challenging way, not the self-destructive way).

    These stretches are always weird for me. I’m not nervous or worried or unhappy; there’s nothing bad about the way I feel. I’m just so charged. I wonder whether following election day will help or hurt. I do know that if I have to keep listening to the inane patter on CNN, I will be pounding the hell out of something that is not my muscles. (“The candidates have been really working the swing states hard, but there are questions about whether they’ve been successful at convincing voters.” Well, unless they persuaded people to stay home or go Nader, one of them must’ve been successful, you stu…uh…ma’am. See, Atsushi can keep me sort-of-calm, even from afar.)

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