This trip is more lonesome. I have several theories as to why, but it’s undeniable, whatever the reason might be. It’s funny, in Okinawa I wasn’t lonely for a single second. It’s strange to feel suddenly & abruptly thrust back into loneliness after being so comfortably “at home” (finally) this past year in Japan. I’d almost started to take it for granted. And going HOME – this is what it will be like, I think. Here I am in paradise, surrounded by nothing but chatty groups of white people, honeymooning couples & rowdy bachelors. Down at the water they dump tigerbeer down their throats and drown hours upon hours in idle conversation. I stand on the rooftop in the irridesent moonlight playing my little travel guitar. I look down at all these people sponging up “the good life:” Buffet dinners & lapping waves. I feel somehow on the verge of my first ever mature thought.

The guitar in the moonlight is beautiful, for its own sake. No audience, no expectation, no plans, no song, just sound and ocean and sky and moon. When I get home, I think I will again be displaced, separate, apart. I love to make fun of all the “L.B.H.”es in Japanbut then, when here I’m surrournded by “normal” groups of socializing white people and I realize that I too am pretty socially awkward, if slight less so than some. Maybe this is what I appreciate there after all… nearly everyone, Japanese included, are usually even more socially inept than myself. I am aware that I enjoy this sort of entitled sense of social superiority immensely.

Ironically, I’m also aware that in retreating to such comfort, I’ve only alienated myself further than ever from social ease and the realm of my peers in Portland and elsewhere. Solitude was something I needed; strengthening, empowering and productive. Yet now, finally comfortable & on the verge of my triumphant return, I feel smaller and less confident than ever in some ways. Shocked, here in Thailand to find myself such a victim of “reverse isolationism.”


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