9.30 a.m. – My sister and her girlfriend leave for the airport after two weeks of eating their way through Tokyo. [Pictured: my sister. She eats dessert multiple times a day. I cannot believe the bitch is like 95lbs soaking wet.]
11.00 a.m. – My Mom is holed up in her room with the door closed. Email my sister: “Thanks for visiting. Mom is now in some depressed stupor.”
2.00 p.m. – Map out how to get to a new [to me] bike shop to pick up some gloves. Realize that it’s right in the middle of Ameyoko [short for America yokocho, which literally translates into “America alley.” Post WWII, the area beneath the Okachimachi train tracks served as a black market for American products. By the time my mother was in elementary school, the area was no longer limited to illegal products and she has fond memories of getting chocolate and exotic, Western candy there. The area has expanded since then, turning into an open air market encompassing three streets, all selling cheap clothes, dried fruit, herbs, canned goods, fresh fish, and candy. ]. Wander around in denial that I’m kind of lost.
2.15 p.m. – Corner a middle-aged man locking up a pretty Look and ask for directions. He gives me what sound like decent directions.
2.20 p.m. – That guy was totally wrong because I find the store – Art Sports Annex – on the way to wherever he was telling me to go. Or maybe he was right. In any case, success!
2.23 p.m. – Scamper up three flights of stairs. Find and buy gloves. Look around the store. Holy shit, this is roadie heaven…and this is only one floor…!
2.30 p.m. – Mid-lusting after some new [white!] Sidis, start talking about ride routes with the super nice sales guy. I’m still bundled up in a jacket and scarf; upper lip starts sweating [gross, I know]. Wonder about protocol on this one while trying to speak in Japanese and think in English [this doesn't help the sweat situation].
2.45 p.m. – Am told that not many people go looking for mountain passes to climb, women even less so. This makes my day, despite the fact that I’ve been too busy eating to ride my bike for the past two—okay, okay, three weeks. Reluctantly leave because I have no money to spend.
3.45 p.m. – Home again, my Mom is still in her darkened room. Feel slightly bitter because hi, I’m her daughter too.
5.00 p.m. – Find out my Mom has Norovirus, not depression. Email my sister: “Never mind, she just has diarrhea!”
6.30 p.m. – My Dad comes home, goes to check on my Mom.
6.32 p.m. – My Dad steps in dog pee. Walk into the room to find my Dad flailing around with one foot planted in place. Imagine a 60-something Japanese man in a suit and black wool overcoat playing Twister and it’s a pretty accurate mental image.
6.35 p.m. – Clean up dog pee.
6.45 p.m. – Start heating up random stuff for dinner. Promptly drop a plateful of food and watch it shatter all over the kitchen floor.
6.46 p.m. – Clean up bits of glass and food while trying to keep my dog away from both. This is accomplished mostly by staying in Bird Dog Pose.
7.10 p.m. – Eat dinner.
8.30 p.m. – Eat too many prunes [I love prunes, okay? Love. Even if my intestines don’t].
11.00 p.m. – It’s been a long day. PTFO [“pass the fuck out”].