Storm over Tokyo

October 01, 2002

A storm was coming. There was no doubt about it, the only question was when. The rain had been hanging in the air, bulging down onto the city the way a fat man’s belly hangs over his belt. This being Tokyo, though, there were no clouds. Sometimes it felt like there wasn’t even a sky, just a slightly less solid earth that you had to wade through. When you opened the window it would ooze its way inside, slithering over you.

Back home the storm would have come and gone long ago, clearing the air of its impurities, bringing refreshment and a sense of balance. The English sky threatens for a while, makes a lot of noise, then shoots its bolt and rolls over. Here there was no respite. The rain would just keep coming, sending you running for cover. Once you were inside, all you could do was watch the rain splashing in its own puddles, listen to it hammering on your roof like angry baboons on a car in a safari park.