A chilly early-spring afternoon at Inokashira Koen
Perspective is a dangerous thing to lose, she realized.
As much as she resented all those times he seemed to elude her, she also knew that the very thing she admired most about him (such passion and talent!) was the result of what she disliked most about him (the frequent bouts of isolation).
Without him ever having to tell her directly, she learnt a lot from him.
Like, "Tokyo's a time warp."
It wasn't an excuse, it was true. How fast time passed in the city that never skips a beat, every week was just an endless cycle of mundane chores, regular work and distracting activities, and already a quarter of 2008 was almost over.
Or, "You must have something to show for your time here."
She thought of all those hours wasted in the shopping malls, accumulating material possessions that essentially added no real value to her inner life. She thought of how her initial enthusiasm to master Japanese was quickly waning, deterred by the wall she had hit in learning more complex grammar rules. She thought of her tendency to be lazy and leave things be, not something she wasn't proud of but living alone with no one to watch or nag at you, it was easy to slip into a comfort zone.
Even though her immediate response to him was always indignance, she knew that if only she could climb off her high horse, she could make her time here so much more worthwhile.