“Sure, no problem,” I tell the Customs agents and excuse myself to fetch the adaptor from my bedroom.
When I hand them the adaptor, I am told I must fill out a dōisho.
“Dōisho?” Looking the word up in my electronic dictionary, I learn that a dōisho(同意書) is a letter of consent.
Nakata draws up a sample dōishoand instructs me to copy it verbatim.
As I am writing down the sentences, I hear the front door creak open.
“If you don’t mind,” I say to the two agents, and rise to my feet.
“Not at all,” Nakata replies.
Walking over to the entry, I find Azami standing at the door, dressed in a flowing purple summer dress and frozen like a doe in headlights. I could strangle the woman.
Tell her not to call and what does she do? She rings me up every ten fucking minutes. Tell her to stay away from my place, so, naturally, she comes by.
“Ah, hello, long time no see,” I say cordially as I nudge her outside. “I’m afraid I have company at the moment.”
Closing the door behind me, I glare at my girlfriend. “Goddammit, Azami! When I tell you to do something, for fuck’s sake do it!”
“I’m s-s-sorry,” she says, taking a step away from me. True to the flower she is named after, she is as pretty as a thistle and just as prickly.
“Ah, Christ, I’m sorry, Azami. The one who should be apologizing is me.” I feel like a real arse. No, I aman arse. “Listen. Just make yourself scarce for the next thirty minutes or so, will ya? I’ll call you the moment I’m finished here and explain everything.”
Nodding, she does a sullen about-face and walks down the hallway towards the elevator.
What a jerk I am. Keep going Azamiand never come back.You deserve better than an arse like me.
“Thank you,” I say to the empty corridor, opening the door and stepping back into my apartment. “Please, do come again. Bye-bye now!”
Returning to the dining room table, I finish writing up the dōisho, affixing my official seal to the document where the Customs agent indicated.
“One other thing,” Nakata say.
I almost groan. The Japanese have an annoying habit of going through an exhaustive list by saying “one more thing” before each item. I figure it will be more of the same here. To my surprise, however, there really is only one more thing: the password to my email.
Nakata shows me the piece of paper on which I wrote the password yesterday morning when my place was raided.
“We tried this, but it didn’t work.”
“Let me take a look at it,” I put on my best-puzzled face. “This is an underscore here, not a hyphen.”
“Yes,” says Windbreaker, “we tried it both ways.”
“Huh. It looks right to me,” I say, scratching my head. “But you know, I can’t remember the last time I actually typed the password. Oh, how silly of me. See this, what looks like a ‘b’ here? This is actually a ‘six’.”
“That’s a ‘six’?”
“Looks like a ‘four’,” Windbreaker laughs.
“No, that’s a ‘six’.”
“Could you rewrite the password for us then,” Nakata asks.
When all the documents are signed and stamped, the two agents pack up and head for the door.
“Now, don’t forget about tomorrow,” Nakata reminds me, stepping into his sneakers and tapping the toes against the ground. “We need you there at nine o’clock sharp.”
“Nine o’clock? But, I thought Ozawa-sansaid nine-thirty.”
“Oh, that’s right.” Nakata scratches his salt-and-pepper hair. “I mean nine-thirty.”
“I can be there nine,” I offer.
“No, no. Nine-thirty’s fine.”
“Okay, I’ll be there at nine-thirty, then.”
“And don’t be late.”
And with that the two of them are gone.
The first posting/chapter in this series can be found here.
Rokuban: Too Close to the Sun and other works are available in e-book form and paperback at Amazon.
All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.