The Brain is a computer. The only thing that differs the brain from its more mechanical successor is its ability to express a range of complex reactions: emotions. Play around with, disconnect, or destroy those electrified passageways within the organic computer and things change. The person you once knew might never be the same.
Try to clean up the hard drive with some chemicals; like Megaman busts viruses. But this is a boss battle unlike any other. And there’s no troubleshooter. No walkthrough. No Geek Squad. Nothing to do but leave it in time’s hands.
I knew when I moved abroad that things like this could happen. I couldn’t expect life in America to stop while my own kept going in Japan. Yet my grandmother was the last person I thought wouldn’t be around long enough to welcome me back to Philly. She was just too strong—mentally and physically—for all of that.
When I was younger, our conversations were all about baking the perfect batch of cookies, making those cool swirls on chocolate-covered pretzels, and whatever else she felt like going on about for an hour. At the end of every conversation we’d laugh together. Just for the sake of laughing. She’s probably the reason I often find myself laughing at the littlest things that happen throughout my day.
When I visited her apartment in later years, her coffee table would be filled with completed books of sudoku. That was our game. Although we couldn’t play it together (I mean we could, but that sort of takes the fun out of sudoku), we’d talk about why the game intrigued us so much. It was all about pure logic; no room for guesswork.
My tears dissolved into puddles on the sidewalk, as I walked the streets of a rainy Tokyo. ‘The brain can adapt,’ I keep telling myself. Yet why can’t her system repair itself? If repairing is a lost cause, then where is memory stored? Someone tell me how to convert those organic electrical impulses into 0s and 1s! If Johnny Depp could transcend, then there must be a way for me to at least say goodbye to my grand-mom.
That’s all I wanted. But brain cancer took me and my entire family by surprise. All that’s left are the memories we have, and the stories we tell of her.
I feel like her death really hasn’t hit me yet. Probably the most difficult part about dealing with death while abroad is that you don’t have anyone to really share the grieving process with. My friends here don’t know my grandmother, so I can’t really reminisce on the past with them. I guess things are just different. I never really dealt with death abroad, so I’ve taken an alternative approach to getting through it: writing and music.
So I write and write, and write some more. On the way to work, on the way home, and with a chicken sandwich in my right hand during lunch. In in-between times FlyLo fills my head space.
Flying Lotus has helped a lot during the past two weeks. In particular, his album, You’re Dead. It got me thinking about the idea of passing on. It further reaffirmed my belief that death is a part of the natural cycle of the Universe~~~things begin, things end, begin, end, and begin again. Whether we become space dust or something more, one thing is always true: “We will live on forever and ever”
July 12, 2015 and life goes on