You know that computer wallpaper of Mount Fuji, the one with thick fields of purple flowers and azure sky kissing her white peak? As long as he could remember, he’d imagined himself standing in that scene, among those flowers, feeling Fujisan’s magnitude pulse before him. Many years before, when he first visited Japan, he might have passed close by her on the train from Tokyo to Osaka. But he couldn’t quite remember.
When he returned to Tokyo three weeks ago, thoughts of actually going to Mt. Fuji surfaced; encouraged, in no small part, by the slumbering volcano herself. For the first few days she seemed to be stalking him; the poster for Mt. Fuji day trips next to the hostel check-in desk; the Fuji fans and Hokusai prints adorning the wall of his little tatami room at Wataru’s house; the huge image of the sleeping volcano papered across the wall in the sento, (Japanese bath house) beneath which he sat, like a potato in boiling water, around him Japanese men rigorously scrubbing themselves. Not to forget the silk boxer shorts, imprinted with Fuji’s full majesty, calling to him from the rack of a clothing store.
And yet, he hadn’t gone.
One afternoon, sitting lazily in the cafe section of a supermarket, he wondered why. Perhaps I’ll be disappointed, he thought. Like the other day, when he tried to re-enact Scarlet Johansson’s walk across the Shibuya Scramble Crossing (from the film Lost In Translation). It was much better when she had done it.
Maybe he was just too lazy to get on the train and go. He’d always been lazy. His film tutor at art college had said so. She knew what she was talking about.
But his favourite theory, and the one he decided to go with, was that he was enjoying too much all the ways Mt. Fuji was coming to him. He would go, one day, just not now. For the moment, he felt at peace with their relationship as it was, one of gentle anticipation and respectful distance.
For now, Fujisan could wait.