From: Peter Rivard
Long time, no write. I've had technical difficulties--meaning my hard drive crashed and burned, erasing all of my saved data, including y'awl's email addresses--so I've been out of touch for a while. There are still a few people whom I've yet to track down, and some of these addresses may be dated (if you'd rather have mail sent to a different address or not sent to you at all, please let me know). Suffice it to say that the smart e-man saves early and often, and I am not a smart e-man. A bit has happened since I last wrote--some truly sad, some merely disappointing, and of course a good bit rewarding. I'll pass on the the more interesting news soon. Tonight (Fri. April 26), I've come back from a hansekai (a staff party for having succeeded in something, in this case a city-wide junior high school tournament in which my base school didn't win anything but didn't embarrass itself, and in which my twice-a-week school embarrassed itself not nearly as much as expected [indeed, the volleyball team came closer to winning a game than ever before, losing 25-6]). Therefore, I don't have the stamina to write much, but I find myself inspired by one moment midway through the evening. As we left the cheesy, gaudy restaurant where we had the initial party, I found myself behind the restaurant, shielded from the highway and lights, looking at a broad pan of rice paddies, lit in an almost bluish tone by the full moon--if you've ever seen a selenium-process photograph, it had exactly that tone--backed by a near ring of low mountains, in turn backed by bluish moonlit clouds, behind which, in turn, lay darker more distant mountains and the moon-and-cloud sky itself--in short, it was the most beautiful scene I'd ever peed upon. I've retched upon even more beautiful landscapes, but alas that's another story, and another country (I'll only say that in tropical communist countries, inadvertent sushi should be feared even more than the guys with machine guns on every corner). Asides aside, the memory of that landscape will haunt me forever after; whenever I go to the bathroom, it will unfold before me (sure beats crossword puzzles). This is truly a beautiful country; I urge you all again to please come visit me, and pee on the Land of the Rising Sun.