Time with people. Even though they will all be dead soon too, even though the world is on fire, even though our lives are transient and brief. What matters is our time together, regardless of circumstance. Financial capabilities matter only in the service of our friendships, of the time we spend together.
This is to say we’ve spent thousands on plane tickets to weddings.
There’s no where else we would be, nothing else we would really want to do anyway. Our highest ambitions are to spend more time in more places with more people. Sometimes, of course, with just each other. Rarely. Usually with someone we met somewhere else, in a third place that itself contains so many good memories. Be it Houston’s bars and the BMX long board rides to them, be it Denver pick ups in Fits, be it knocks on doors in early San Francisco mornings, or be it odd Hong Kong evenings scouting the server’s pants at a local bar.
They’re all the moments we travel for, the moments we save and work and grind and learn and think and grow for. They’re the moments we live in if not for.
All too often now my photos remind me of friends I can no longer call. Of people I can no longer email. Of humans our daughter will never meet.
I can’t say good things about those moments, other than that I am lucky to have met so many people, here or gone, in the country I was born to or in those I no longer live in. In countries I never have. For each of those memories I am lucky, and for all the memories we’ve already made that I am not yet so poignantly attached to. May I not be for quite a while more.
Walking towards Toranomon Hospital from a business hotel in Shimbashi at eight am on a Sunday I am grateful. I am finally certain of release, and that this hospital will be just one more story, one more odd memory. I am grateful to be here, then, in the July sunshine, in Tokyo, in the early morning summer not-yet-heat. I am grateful for my partner, for our daughter, for the friends we saw here, for the friends we missed seeing here. For my roommate, more than twenty years ago now, who came down from Tochigi to go for a long walk with each of us, give us a break from our own worries. I’m grateful for the friends who messaged, who looked after our cat, and who share their own worries.
I’m grateful to be human and alive, for however long it lasts. It’s wonderful to know so many people in so many ways. No matter where we may be.