Monday, July 18, 2005

Love and care...

I may have mentioned it a time or two, but though I spend a large part of my life in Tokyo, I don't live there (the use of there meant to suggest, rightfully, that I am not in Tokyo at the moment). I live in a little hamlet of around 350,000 souls called Utsunomiya.
I had a house built here for I and my family last year. One of the things that happened was that we ran out of money, or rather decided to spend less on the landscaping and more on the furniture. I have spent lots of time since on the landscaping. I built a deck, a marble(ish) patio, and a further patio out of paving stones, as well as a long flower bed. In the process, I have gained valuable cement-mixing skills as well as less-welcome back pains.
Yesterday, my wife and I, with our son and nephew in tow, went to the house of one of her friends. This friend and her husband are splitting, divorcing, and will move out of their house fairly soon, it being too big for their new single lives. He says he wants to move into a 'mansion', which means a condo in Japan, and she will move in to her parents house. He also plans to give up his Mitsubishi Delica van in favor of a Nissan Fairlady Z sports car. Single indeed.
I have known my wife's friend since the day I met my wife, and known of her unhappiness with her marriage for nearly as long. It took them 12 years from when I met her on August 13, 1993, until now, to throw in the towel.
They had spent a fair amount of time on their yard, and it was really nice. Lots of plants, trees, and shrubs that I don't know the names of. And, to make a long story short, many are now translplanted to my own back yard.
They join some other shrubs that came from a female friend of mine who lived near where we used to live before moving to Utsunomiya, a much smaller village of around 30,000 people just north of Utsunomiya. Actually, to say that she or I lived there is somewhat inaccurate: Both of us had family there (her husband, and my wife and son), but lived in Tokyo during the week. We had, in fact, been room-mates for about a year. I moved back here last year, since from Utsunomiya it is now possible to commute, whereas before the lack of local trains made it difficult.
My friend and her husband were at a crossroads: She had enough independence and money, as well as enough dissatisfaction with certain parts of their married life, to be seriously considering the pros and cons of being together. He is basically inscrutable, but whatever: She is my friend, so I am going to take her side in any case. But it looks as though they may have patched it up: He got a transfer to Tokyo, and they are once again living together, and I hope that they are happy.
So, I now have a yard filled with plants that came to me as the result of friends' marital difficulties. The irony is that, in both cases, the plants were given more care than the marriages, so they are in good shape, while the lives of those who raised them are less fulfilled...

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