This is one of my favorite cemetery memories. It appears in my book Wish You Were Here, but it would suit Death’s Garden, too.
Just a reminder: I’m still looking for more Death’s Garden essays. Do you have a cemetery story to tell?
Unlike most of the musicians who hosted us on my husband Mason’s first solo tour of Japan, I considered Mayuko a friend, instead of a business acquaintance. I looked forward to staying in Yokohama as if she offered sanctuary rather than crash space. Mayuko spoke relatively fluent English; the difficulty of communicating in Japan — even with people I knew — hit me harder than expected. I obsessed about being an ignorant foreigner, blundering through a culture I could not comprehend. I worried about offending our hosts by accident. At Mayuko’s, I thought I could relax.
When we arrived at Mayuko’s tiny apartment, she immediately took me under her wing. She gauged the effects of culture shock and jet lag, then drew me a Japanese bath. All I needed was to sleep well, she said. Tomorrow would be my first day as a tourist in Japan: a day without business…
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