I can see my house


“It sure is hot,” the Japanese lady beside me exclaims, talking to nobody in particular. Fanning herself with her hand, she removes a small towel from her bag and pats her forehead – the actions of a woman who is determined to prove a point. “Sheesh, it’s hot,” she continues. I share a knowing smile. I guess it is kind of hot, now that you mention it.

The elevator arrives and we both step in. I push 17, she pushes 12. I enjoy the actions of people in elevators, not quite knowing where to look or how to act. The lady checks her watch and rustles in her bag again in a bid to appear normal. After all, that’s what people in elevators do, isn’t it? The twelfth floor opens and she scuttles out, disappearing down some unseen corridor. I hear music and the chatter of people in the distance. The doors close, and I continue to rise.

At the top of the building is a small restaurant serving expensive food with a view. “Welcome!” a neatly dressed waiter beams. “Today’s special is chicken and egg over rice.” I nod my head in understanding and walk past him. I’ve already eaten. It’s 1pm and there are a few people around, most of which who, like me, have come up to the top floor to escape the heat and admire the view. The skies are clear, and the Northern Ward of Kita is spread out below. The Sumida river glimmers and Asukayama Park looks like a piece of rainforest that has been clumsily misplaced.

Three elderly women are staring out the landscape window. “I can see my house!” one of them enthuses, pointing in the direction of Sky Tree. There’s a brief silence and then they all laugh like school children, not a care in the world. It’s a nice moment.


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