Somewhere in Japan

Dispatch № 4: Garbage Day

There was a sad-looking plastic bag on the landing in front of my apartment door. The contents were mixed: the tray from a convenience store boxed lunch, an empty cigarette pack, two PET bottles, and several beer cans.

Dispatch № 3: Cozy, Not Cramped

It’s not as if I didn’t know the apartment was small. I had seen the pictures and floor plan. But when I opened the door for the first time, a wave of near-panic washed over me.

Dispatch № 2: Meanderlust

Sneakers are a more powerful antidepressant than any drug. When loneliness intensifies or panic attacks cause the walls to close in, I strike out. All I need are my shoes and the knowledge that, as long as I keep moving, the shadows can’t catch up.

Dispatch № 1: Trusting the Gut

For thirteen years before I boarded Delta flight DL296 from Shanghai to Narita, the journey lived at the back of my mind. It was always there, calling out to me, thrusting itself into my conscious awareness through any gap it could to color my thoughts with longing.