Rocks on Fire

Just learned, experientially:
Do NOT apply peppermint oil, even partially diluted in a carrier oil, to one’s privates confident that it will, at one and the same time, cover up, before going out, incipient malodor as a result of not having showered for more than 24 hours (which it did) and provide, as well, a bit of brisk invigoration to said privates, which it did far more than “a bit” – to such an immense degree, in fact,  as to readily evoke this post’s title. 

Lesson definitely learned! 

Non-Buddha Status Confirmed

Good to get it confirmed early on, on this the third day of the new year, that I still, by the start of the two thousandth and seventeenth year of the Common Era, haven’t attained Buddhahood, that is to say complete enlightenment; not even close.

Confirmed thusly:
I enter a neighborhood drugstore with a ten pack of the el cheapo brand of toilet paper I always buy there (since the paper looks clean enough and I don’t need my tp, in fact prefer it not to be, perfumed), wait for the customer already at the register to be processed, and then step up to the register.

The cashier rings up my tp, which comes to 199 yen, tax included, and drawing two 100 yen coins from my change purse, I extend my hand to place them in her own. This is a tendency of mine – to want to place my money directly in the hand of the cashier – maybe because I feel doing things this way is warmer, friendlier than putting the money on the small plastic money tray, with its raised rubber grid, that Japanese stores almost invariably have placed for use on the register counter.

In most stores, this one included as best I recall,  most cashiers are fine with doing it my way, but not this one. As I extend my hand holding the coins between thumb and fingers, the cashier raises the plastic tray, indicating I should place the coins on its rubber grid. I raise my hand higher and extend it again; she raises the tray further, signalling unequivocally that I’m to put the coins on the tray, not in her hand, so I do. She then places the tray on the counter takes the coins from the pad, and processes the transaction.

But then she holds out the one yen in change, along with the receipt, as though to place them directly in my hand, and that’s where I feel the anger, along with a dark satisfaction of revenge, as I say, “Please put that” – meaning the money – “there” – indicating the tray, which, after a moment of hesitation, she does. Then she holds out the receipt and I say, “That too,” so, after another moment’s hesitation, she places the receipt on the tray as well.

I take the yen coin and the receipt and our eyes stare directly at each other briefly, hers looking as hard as one yen coins (couldn’t say about mine though they more or less feel that way), as she says “Thank you” and I say “Thanks” back, then leave.

. . . facades . . .

How so so very difficult it can be to get at the truth behind all the facades! The facades that we manufacture for others, and those that we manufacture for ourselves.


… near noon, fireball high in the blue
tree branches filigreed with the
light green of early spring

Omotesando En Plein Soleil

… proceeding down Omotesando from Harajuku Station, crossing Meiji Dori and proceeding up the slope, almost the entire length of the left-side sidewalk, with its pointillist movement of pedestrians, in full sunlight, to past the Apple Store anyway, at which point the opposite-side wedding hall blocks the sun up to the entrance to Givenchy, where the sun fills the sidewalk again …