For some reason, while very nervous, I also have an odd sense of calm. Unfortunately this is because I have a secret conviction that I won’t be coming back. I have spent so long imagining what it would be like to take this trip, weighed up a few weeks back if I should cancel, decided to go ahead, and I have no idea what lies BEYOND. I have no idea really about what lies in Japan but maybe it is easier to think about what might be there than about coming back to another year and more of unrelenting tests.
Of course, Linda’s parents calling tonight because they feel the same way does not help this stubborn conviction that I won’t make it back. They worry because they might come and rescue us from BC, but Japan, not possible! Actually calling to say you anticipate my speedy hospitalization on the eve of departure is well, hmmmm……ONE way of showing you care (perhaps not the most ENCOURAGING!).
In the same way people follow my rants, antics and meandering, I have been following a lesbian couple for a year through YouTube. Natalie and Naiyeli are youngish: 19 and 24 (if ages posted on YouTube can be believed!) and part of their relationship is doing music videos of lesbian/yuri themed anime as well as making little lesbian themed anime videos for each other at Xmas or Valentines Day. Just over seven months ago they celebrated their first year together by making Dedication videos. Naiyeli’s is here and pretty much captures all that you could want for a couple in love. It also captures the thoughts I have been having about every little thing that Linda has been doing for me. That I go to Japan, whatever happens, is because of Linda, and that makes me a very fortunate individual. That over 14 years later, she made my dream into “our” dream. The song is You Raise Me Up by Secret Garden and for the animed music video, Naiyeli’s sings it HERSELF for Natalie (and a fine singer too). It is the kind of tear-jerking video that makes me think “What’s up with this new generation of lesbians! Why can’t they be all twisted and closeted like we were!” – oops, knee jerk response, I meant, "it makes you realize how precious love declared and reciprocated is." Just watch it (hanky warning!)
After tonight, I may not be able to consistently reply to every comment but I will be reading and appreciating them (or having them read to me). I realize that in disability world, a trip to Japan is pretty privileged and I am fortunate. My hope is that you can feel you are going WITH me, instead of being left behind. It certainly hasn’t been all smooth and I apologize if you received a snappish email or comment or blog post over the past month.
Linda started the day today in a bit of a panic as her booked appointment to do BLONDE highlights (yup blonde girl and pink/red head, we are SO going to fit in), was “double booked” and thus cancelled. She found another spot but then I wasted an hour because she was away and I couldn’t sleep with visions of her hair falling out or her so freaked out with stuff to do she was in an auto accident (Me? Worry much? Why do you ask?). So when she came home and I finally slept (say hello to my friend VALIUM).
We have done the final checklist. I tried out the new wheelchair today and it sucks but will work. It is like riding a bike that is really small so you can’t get any strength in the pedals. Or specifically, the wheels are small and the axle is set FAR back, so I actually have to reach BEHIND me to start the wheeling. Not exactly a power position. Also, I haven’t found a pair of gloves to stop the slick metal on a down slope, but I have some goat skin ones I am going to scratch up and see if that works. Also, since it is a swing away post-polio chair, it has angled foot plates which look like a cowcatcher from a train, except my toes (the ones I can’t feel) overhang the front part. But like I said, it is 26 inches wide for Japanese doors and it will DO! But, I wonder what I will be happier to return to, my home, my hospital bed, or my wheelchair?
I have two more hours to get some things done, including a final edit of the BBC piece; will try to put a short update post from Seattle if they have a connection and then it is off to the body cavity search…..I mean airport security. We have enough pills to be dealers if we weren’t such nice people. I mean, 6-8 synthetic opium a day times 20 days looks pretty damn suspicious (plus the other 8 different pills). Cheryl has our oxygen concentrator (meeting her tomorrw), which is a mini-steam punk machine that hisses and huffs and will go on board the airplane with me. I bet after seeing all my crap and noise, people will WISH they had a baby next to them.
We hope to upload pictures as we go...if we go: as so far, after a promise last Saturday from JR that they would reserve our train spaces for the entire trip, we have gotten: two requests for additional info, request for scans of our airplane tickets but not a single reservation. Anyway: on to Tokyo!
3 hours ago