It’s 12:16 a.m. on Tuesday morning but Sean and I both feel like it’s Tuesday evening. He’s on my brother’s couch, eating from a bag of Herr’s mesquite-flavored potato chips and we’re watching Dustin Hoffman teasing the Letterman audience with a “dirty and true” story about his time filming Tootsie. Spill it, Dustin.
We arrived in New York at 6:15 pm after a 12-hour trip in Economy that was as comfortable as such a trip can be. I consider a transworld flight to be a real test of friendship. Sean, who was claiming to be “on the verge of snapping,” several times managed to hold it in well enough to remain pleasant to me, even faced with the prospect of donating his fingerprints and his photo to Department of Homeland Security, so I consider us even bestier bestests now.
If the flight was long and tiring, immigration, customs and retrieving our luggage were a surprisingly pleasant breeze; we were in a cab in less than half an hour. Sean’s first impressions of New York City (and, thus, America): “Ye are a big people, aren’t ye?”
There was Lombardi’s for dinner last night and we gorged on real cheese and beer heftier than Sapporo. Sean showed me the “fake empty wallet” he was planning to plant in his slacks, in case we should be mugged. It made me remember my first day in New York City, when I was all of 18 years old, terrified to walk from my dorm to the KMart several blocks away. Living in Japan has left me soft and, I fear, defenseless so while I encourage Sean to leave the fake wallet at home, I keep a close eye on my belongings, too.
Tomorrow, we’re heading to Florida to spend a few days with my parents. Conan’s somewhat pasty face is filling my brother’s plasma TV. Sean wants to know who he is and remarks that he thinks he’s “a bit of a weirdo.” I couldn’t care less, just as long as he doesn’t speak Japanese.