This morning I woke up to the sound of crunching plastic. I realized that I had left my sofa too close to the bookshelf and the rabbit had used it as a ladder to get to the bag of hay that I had placed out of rabbit reach. I put Kuma on the floor and pushed the sofa away from the bookshelf. Man, I thought, it has to be three in the morning. I was thirsty, but didn't want to further interrupt my sleep in case it caused me to oversleep the three alarms I had set.
I stumbled back to bed, bleary-eyed and grateful for the warmth of my two comforters. Less than thirty minutes later the first alarm sounded.
You have got to be kidding me.
It was dark outside. There was no sign of light, no peek of dawn through my windows. It couldn't be winter yet. I was barely finished with summer. Sure, the local grocery stores have already started playing holiday music. Yes, the big Christmas tree is up in Kyoto Station. But it can't be winter weather just yet. I haven't even aired out my sweaters.
Winter laughs in my face, poking me in the toes with icy fingers and pinching my nose in my sleep so that I wake up thinking the swine flu finally caught me. Winter knows its time is not here, but it's a bully of a season and shoves in on Autumn's schedule. Why you gotta do me like that, Winter?
So I let the alarm sound for a while, realizing that I needed to get to bed earlier. Sometimes it seems as though the sun sets early only in Japan, like the country is torturing me. Then I recall working at Bac-Pac in college. In November the sun was setting when I arrived at 3. When the last latchkey kid had left and I hopped in my freezing cold car the sun was down. Verdict: winter is the worst season ever, everywhere.