And as I was cleaning out two years’ of accumulation from apartment and vehicle, I stumbled upon an old parking ticket that had somehow managed to wedge itself into the car’s plastic interior.
It topped everything because I spent two hours locked in a parking lot with the lovely young lady who would be one of my two best friends in Aomori. I’d never met her before that night and I had invited anyone and everyone I could find in the prefecture who had been described as a writer to me.
She needed a drive from the station. I had a car. My navigation refused to take me to the side ofHachinohe Eki with that allowed private car pick ups, so I parked and thought that I had stashed the ticket in my coat pocket or something.
Ten minutes later I have E’s bags in the boot, my engine is revving, and…
The ticket isn’t in my coat pocket. Fine, it’s probably in my wallet. Okay, then, maybe not the wallet?
Thus sparked an intense search for the parking ticket that would magically let us out of the lot so that we could go back to the writing party at my place.
I think we talked about a little bit of everything that night. New York Jews, bagels, curse of the meiwaku, what it’s like to live with multiple characters in your head, Oakland, California beaches, infernal Japanese kanji…
She is one of the brightest, shiniest people to come into my life, vibrant and adventurous, with a force of will that can only be surpassed by her dearest Rem. Maybe. It’s a really close call there.
Two hours later, the security guard we had called for was finally here. We paid our share and GTFO’d faster than you could say “word count”.
And that’s where the mystery of the missing ticket would’ve ended if not for moving out and things.
That ticket is going straight into my scrapbook, all proper like with its own frills and stickers, because it’s a physical manifestation of fine of my favoritest memories of my time in Aomori.
Which would include onigokko matches with my kids everyday after lunch and the road trip of doom around Japan.
I’m not sure what the future holds for us, but it’s safe to assume that it’s going to include many more international adventures and road trips to come.