I for one had an excellent Easter. Michael’s parents and Michael and I went out to eat at a Japanese steakhouse, one of those where the cook makes your food right at your table. It’s quite a show. He was out of school all last week for spring break, and we enjoyed ourselves spending time together. We went to Science Central one day. I’m sure I would have loved it had I been nine years old. As it is I’m twenty-nine and merely liked it.
Another day we watched four Amazon Prime documentaries all in a row. One about parrots, one about the Bomb being dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, one about cats and one about the truth behind urban legends. The one about the Bomb was the best one and Michael and I got into deep conversation about war and how there are all these tough decisions you have to make and you often will never know whether you were right or wrong. Like, we’ll never know whether dropping the Bomb saved more lives than it took. But one survivor interviewed for the film had a very touching and, I think, healthy take on her experience: she said she was actually glad it had happened. She said something to the effect that her suffering, and the suffering and horror endured by the people of Nagasaki and Hiroshima, and all the destruction and death, was all necessary to let the world know how terrible the Bomb was and why it must be never be used again. She said she was sure it never would be, that “our suffering will end with us.” (I wish I was as optimistic.)
What struck both Michael and I as extremely sad was that, according to this documentary, the Japanese themselves turned their backs on the survivors and their children. If they found out you were a survivor, or that one of your parents was one, you couldn’t get work and you couldn’t find anyone willing to marry you. Now, I can understand why people might be reluctant to marry survivors after the war because at the time there was no way to know whether the physical damage could be passed on to the next generation. (The answer, apparently, is no. I looked it up and read that children of Hiroshima/Nagasaki survivors who were conceived after the war were statistically no more likely to have health problems or birth defects than any other child.) But, once it became clear that radiation poisoning wasn’t contagious, it seems really disgraceful the way those poor people have been treated. Michael and I discussed why this might be so and he suggested that maybe it was because the survivors and their kids were a living reminder of Japan’s loss of face, their shame. But we don’t know all that much about Japanese culture so we’re just speculating.
All in all it was a good week we got to spend together. We had meant to visit the Auburn Cord Duesenburg Museum but it didn’t happen so Dad and I went together yesterday afternoon. We had fun. I salivated over those huge, pretty, shiny cars that reminded me of birthday cakes. There was one that had to have been eighteen, maybe twenty feet long. (Must’ve been a nightmare to park.) Here’s a picture of me standing next to one of the cars:
(The dragon on my shirt is off the Bhutanese flag, btw. Three cheers for cultural appropriation! I’m a big Bhutan fan.)
We weren’t allowed to touch them, of course. I’d have loved to get inside one of them but that would have gotten Dad and I both thrown out. There was only one car they let you get into, a 1916 Something-or-other. Dad took this rather poor quality picture of me at the wheel:
That’s all my news for now. I think I’m doing just fine.