Thursday, February 21, 2008

the best 40 bucks i ever spent

since last winter, i have lamented[1] the fact that every single window in my house is made of rippled privacy glass, not clear glass. when the windows are closed, it's like being blind. i hate it. in the winter i feel like my mind and heart are held hostage, and it's been slowly paralyzing me.
this year, i decided it was a priority to get the glass changed out, and i've been desperate to do so. i had one teacher working on it, but it'd been weeks and i had heard nothing. (for heaven's sake, i even dreamed about it). finally, after sighing about it to yet another teacher, she actually stepped right up and called a glazier[2] to get some prices, and she didn't ask anybody's permission. the prices were more than fair--about 70-90 dollars, definitely worth it for some sanity. a hopefulness i haven't seen in a long time exploded out of my pores. i chattered excitedly about waking up and having tea in the morning, actually being able to see the day, watching the trains go by, and looking at the rising sun[3]. we seemed set to go: i knew how to get the windows to the glass shop; i knew how much it would cost; i knew how long it would take. tired of high (or even moderate to low) expectations dying with a plummet into frustration and despair[4], i planned to go straight after work. the same helpful teacher made the mistake of mentioning these plans to the office. then the office gutted and dismembered my hope. i was told they had been unable to reach the landlady for permission during the past three weeks and that i shouldn't do anything until she had been contacted. after the (almost exact same) experience last year of trying to get screens for my house and being made to wait five months for something i could have easily bought and installed in less than a week, that news pushed me over the edge. in a move completely unlike the obedient and respectful girl that we know, i went straight home and took out the window, drove to the glass shop, and had that thing changed. it cost forty bucks.

then i was riddled with guilt.
and overwhelmingly pleased.
it was very confusing.

however, i was granted mercy. the next morning, the landlady gave her consent, and no one was the wiser. i had the second window replaced that evening, and now i have a stunning view. that first night i sat in the dark wrapped in a blanket and did what i've ached to do for eighteen months. i watched. i watched the clouds slide over the moon; i watched the headlights crawl like shadows across the school buildings; i watched bright trains shoot sleekly in and out of mountain tunnels. i watched the quiet night.

wailed about to anyone who has every stayed at, eaten in, or imagined my house.

never, ever thought i'd use that word.

not directly of course. that causes blindness.

known as the japanese tango. the steps are simple; your superior tells you, "i will ask every person's opinion in this school and maybe a few of my relatives in another prefecture, and until it's unanimously decided how we should treat this issue which is none of our business, you will have to sit on your thumbs and wait.


  1. Yay! Yay! Omedetou!!!!!!!!!!

  2. i'm very impressed. stunning view! i don't blame you!