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    Calming influence

    Atsushi is coming tomorrow–first time in a month, and not a moment too soon. I spent the night of 9/11 quivering with anger and staring at the television while he came in from time to time to make me more tea and sit with me for a bit; he had to get up at 6:30, but I don’t think I was alone for longer than 45 minutes the whole night.

    The hurricane coverage isn’t the same, because it didn’t involve an initial jolt followed by days of looking for answers. If there’s one thing you get used to from living in Japan, it’s seeing the initial reports of minimal damage after an earthquake or typhoon give way to far grimmer discoveries in succeeding days–but of course Japan hasn’t had anything near the broad and deep destruction that was just worked on the Gulf Coast. Poor Atsushi has spent the last few weeks working overtime every business day and going into the office on Saturday and Sunday. I’m going to do my best to provide the two-day respite he deserves, but I’m afraid he’s going to come home tomorrow to a boyfriend who can’t stop bellowing at CNN but can’t stop watching it either.

    I’m also scruffier than usual: my dermatologist told me to grow a beard. Well, she didn’t put it that way, but she told me that some of the treatments I’ve gotten lately would heal better without having a razor dragged over the affected area. I grew out the whole thing for a week. Last night, I was told approvingly by friends that I looked “very hard-gay.” There was unseemly speculation over what color leather goods would best complete the look. But by today I was ready to claw all the skin off my jawline. I’m not fond of goatees, but I have one now as a compromise; it’s my chin I’m not supposed to be abrading, so at least I was able to clean up my itching cheeks. My poor Atsushi may look kind of scuffed up by the time he goes back to Kyushu, though.

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