You count the hours before you arrive home after months of absence.

You had wanted to witness the graduation of your firstborn. You remember the lightness of being you feel, unbearable in so many ways because of the prospect of having your load lighter, much much lighter now.

You do not allow the tear to fall. You just have to hold it and hold it longer and much longer.

In between layovers that last more than a lifetime, first in Honolulu for a couple of days for a job prospect and for attending a patron's wake, the second in Tokyo where all the signs are strange, the language also strange, and the price of coffee to perk you up is too stiff you hold back from buyong a cup, you think thoughts about absences and presences, about the missed birthdays, missed holidays, missed new years, and missed christmasses.

But then you are coming home. Well, at least for a time.

A. S. Agcaoili
Narita, Japan
April 11, 2006

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