I walked out of an izakaya tonight, wishing I had something to put over my sleeveless blouse.
It will not be kotatsu weather for some months. I still fill awkward silences with "atsui desu ne."
But it is not too early to begin some preparations.
Like other mammals, I will prepare for hibernation.
The way my apartment is set up, walking into my kitchen is basically like walking outside in the winter.
I have been cooking and lingering around tables of food recently.
This summer I typically spent about four hours at work.
And sometimes I would eat nagasomen twice in those fours hours. I stood next to the halved bamboo, grabbing somen noodles that slide by. Slurping them, with my co-workers or students.
Last week, I harvested the rice I planted in May.
I could not believe that the rice had time to grow as tall as it had. I remember that day in May so well. I remember what I was wearing and how the sun was falling.
By September, the mud has turned to hard ground. Knife in hand, I cut down the rice alongside 5th graders.
Full of somen, rice, edamames, all kinds of octopus, homemade tacos, and beer I will gradually sink into a season of lazy coffee and cake.