“shinenju is the home of every hand,” the teacher said in solemn answer to my question about touch.

wtf?!” i thought to myself as i nodded in pretend understanding. every time my hand went up with a question i felt like a lemur peeking over a hill only to come face to face with a donkey half an inch from my face and staring at me like i’m an idiot.

he’d said it so seriously and matter-of-factly that i ran straight to my heads storage facility to dust off any japanese or buddhist terms that sounded like sin and jew in one syllable. coming up with none i checked in next at my mind’s attendance office to see if maybe i’d skipped a week or two of class without permission. turns out i hadn’t missed any days, which meant one of two things; one, i took horrible notes or two, i took copious notes.

after school that day i went home and pulled up my notes which led me into a cross-country relay race between buddhist philosophies and japanese realities. i ended up nowhere which is where i started and if i’m correct, i think that might be what he meant. if i’m incorrect that’s okay too cause i’ve learned not to take for granted that second hand.

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