Hurricanes Are Dumb

Reed decided to make the journey back home to his family for a few days. We were talking earlier today during my witching hour/his Japan afternoon which he opened with exclaiming how bummed he was about his grandma. That made me a little sad. He said he was still thinking about going home. I’m sure his mind was already made up anyway, but I suggested that he should probably go because being with his family will comfort him.

He booked a flight departing that evening, which, per my calculations, means he should have arrived, or will be arriving, to the southeast United States some time around now. This will place us in the same time zone for the first time, like, ever. I’m going to leave him be to spend time with his family unless I hear from him. I’m not pressed since I’ll be seeing him in a matter of days anyway.

He confirmed my arrival on Monday and said we were still good to go after I asked if that would still be okay. I have no reason to think that everything won’t work out as planned, but the additional moving parts to the situation are slightly unsettling. He was supposed to be nestled securely in Japan days before my arrival eagerly anticipating my visit. Now we BOTH have independent journeys to make back over to the Orient. I’m not sure as of now when exactly his return is, but as he did assure me that we are still on track for Monday, I guess I’ll have to trust it.

But even all that aside, now we have Hurricane Jackass Joaquin wreaking havoc around the Bahamas, and the highly exact science of meteorology has narrowed down its predicted path over the next several days to the following very specific, detailed conclusions: it may make U.S. landfall, or it may not.

Hurricane Joaquin after too many shots.
Hurricane Joaquin after too many shots.

Helpful illustrations like this one from weather.com are extremely useful in providing the graphical interpretation of what would surely be expressed verbally as “We really have no idea what the hell is going to go on.” Either that, or perhaps Hurricane Joaquin is intoxicated. I usually don’t care much about hurricanes to the extent that I bother to track them, only, this WOULD be the weekend where I have a 6 AM flight to Canada to connect me to my afternoon Japan flight. And if Joaquin does anything to screw with that, I will not be a happy camper. I’ve never tried to kick a hurricane’s ass, but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t be done.

That's more like it.
That’s more like it.

This illustration from AccuWeather.com is at least a little more helpful in that it actually bothers to establish a trajectory to begin with, and then goes on to show that the predictions are saying at this point that it’s more likely that Joaquin stays out at sea. Either way, even by Sunday, it doesn’t seem to really be a threat to my flight at all.

To countermand all the universal forces obviously conspiring to threaten my happiness, I pulled out my suitcase last night and started some preliminary packing. So I’m letting it be known to the powers that be that I’m going on this trip come hell or high water. Even literal high water.

Can I just be in Japan already?

Aww, but guess who texted me just as I was finishing up here. I guess that makes me smile a little bit…

If It Can Go Wrong…

I’m no clairvoyant, but I tend to have a pretty solid sense of intuition in terms of reading people or having feelings about situations and being able to develop a sense of what’s what or what’s likely to occur beyond the scope of tangible evidence. At least, I try to think that it’s sharp intuition at work and not in fact just a general cynicism that compels me to assume the worst and thus inherently disallows all shock and surprise when the worst actually turns out to be true, or does in fact happen. Perhaps it’s a little of both. It’s never my intent to be a pessimist, but rather to be cognizant of all the various possibilities (and probabilities) that could derail plans or expectations.

Pertaining to Reed and Japan in recent weeks, I had all kinds of crazy scenarios running through my head of things that could possibly throw a wrench into my trip. Like anything that could cause the need for drastic military activity – war, or a major terrorism event.  Any kind of serious injury to either of us (which almost came to fruition when I sprained my foot which is why I’ve taken it easy since then). At one point I even read about a volcano eruption in Japan that was causing flights to be canceled. I figured it’d be just my luck that something completely cataclysmic like that would happen at just this time that would somehow thwart my plans to visit Reed.  I’ve never considered myself to have “bad luck” per se, but the way my life has been going lately, it’d just be more of the same.

Another possibility that kept repeating itself in my head from time to time for unknown reasons was a death in Reed’s family. From his Facebook page I could see he had at least one elderly relative who I took to be a grandmother, and the thought crossed my mind several times, What if his grandma dies right before I’m supposed to come and he has to cancel? It wouldn’t be last week, because 2 weeks ahead would be sufficient enough time usually to resolve a situation like that. If it happened while I was there…eh…that could go either way. Maybe we’d have to cut my trip short or maybe not, but at least I would have gotten to see him in person. But if it happened this week, the week before, that could get hairy.

Sure enough, we were talking early this morning while I was getting ready for work. I actually find that to strike the perfect balance between our extremely different (i.e. completely opposite) time zones because when my alarm sounds for me to get up for work, it’s evening there and at least we’re both sufficiently awake and alert. He started texting me at almost 2 AM, but I was in and out of sleep for the most part.

Anyway, we were embroiled in what became our most sexually charged conversation to date. Suffice it to say that the straight-laced, semi-geeky Catholic boy has a few kinks up his sleeve. Figures. The last thing I said to him was that I can’t wait to be in his bed with him, and 8 minutes later he reports that his grandmother passed away.

My heart dropped for two reasons. My first thoughts: Awww. That’s sad. But then (selfishly): Does that affect my visit?

First things first, I offered my condolences and empathy several times. Clearly his loss is the most important thing here. But of course there is also that whole thing about me planning to fly there this coming Sunday, and so I did kind of did need to know if this event would change anything. It’s one of those touchy situations where you don’t want to seem like you’re trying to make it about you, but at the same time you do have a valid cause for concern that should be addressed. As tactfully as I could, I asked if we would need to rearrange anything. He said his mother implored him not to come home because she would rather him stay and relax, but he hasn’t decided if he will stay back or not. If he did decide to go home, he assured me he’d be back in time for my arrival. He said he didn’t want me cancelling my flight and emphasized that he’s still excited to see me (which I thought was sweet to bother to say).

It seems likely that my visit is still on either way, but it’s a bummer to start things off on a bad note like that, with him having to process the emotions of losing a loved one. I inferred that she must’ve been in ill-health because he remarked that her passing wasn’t surprising, but loss is still loss whether sudden or expected. I told him if he wanted to tone our activities down next week, I wouldn’t mind. In any case, I hope that me being there is good for him and helps him to take his mind off of it. I suppose a sympathy card will be in order.

It’s not accurate to say that I KNEW his grandmother would pass, because I really had no reason to think that she would. I wasn’t even sure she was still alive to begin with because all the pictures I THINK I saw of her were from years ago, like at his college graduation and his commissioning ceremony. I just find it interesting that I was nervous that it would happen, and then it did.