The time is 9:50 PM on Tuesday July 9th, 2019. Tonight I shook myself out of my lethargy that tells me to take a nap or stay home and completed one more item from my ‘to-do’ list. I had learned of the Kabuki Springs & Spa from BaySpo that I picked up during the Cherry Blossom Festival. I was amazed that there was an onsen right here in San Francisco that I had been ignorant of during my 13 years of living here. My go to place has always been Archimedes Banya and although it is nice I prefer the Japanese style.
Due to the insane amount of work these two days after the Fourth of July holiday weekend my mind was in disarray. I could stay home, work out, go to karate or go to the spa. I chose the spa because it was on the list and I told myself I wouldn’t be a free man too much longer and wouldn’t have the chance. It is also Tuesday and there are days for men, days for women and Tuesday is co-ed but a bathing suit must be worn. So I made myself get in the car and go check it out.
It was a nice place and I feel very relaxed now. I will visit again but in lieu of the details I’d like to write about something that occurred to me in the steam bath. The steam when it first comes out creates a very thick cloud so that you cannot see the people at the other end. Slowly the water droplets dissipate and you can see everyone clear as day. Then you hear the clunking of the machinery and gurgling of heated water and the steam comes out in full force making the people disappear again. This made me think of the steam as a metaphor for the people that come and go in your life. You cannot see them at first, they slowly come into your life and you see each other clearly for a time. But as life goes on they slowly fade away until most of them are no longer seen and completely disappear. What a profound thought.
After the spa I went for dinner and through Google Maps went looking for a good ramen restaurant. There was one called Marufuku Ramen located in the Japanese shopping center so I went to check it out. There were tons of people waiting outside and I learned there was an hour wait even for one person as there was no bar area. This was much too long for even decent ramen so I decided to go to Izumi Kaiten Sushi instead. After dinner I took a very short stroll through the Japanese shopping center and my thoughts turned to Eiji.
Eiji was an older man I worked with at Japan Airlines. He liked his sake and I remember how much fun he would have during the Cherry Blossom Festival drinking with his buddies. I wrote about this in 2017 and 2018. It seems my thoughts always turn to Eiji when I’m alone on a summer night in Japantown. He passed away and I still find it hard to believe he is gone. I didn’t know him for most of my life, he was there everyday for two years and then like the other in the steam bath faded away and I’ll never see him again. I wonder where his spirit is now and I hope he is having a wonderful time at that Izakaya in the sky.
Well, it is now 10:08 PM and I must get to bed. Another busy day awaits tomorrow and before I know it I too will be head to Japan and this time alone will be over.