My center grows cold and heavy. In Nagasaki, the winter months move on slowly. With my cast iron heart planted firmly in my chest, I find that simple tasks have now become difficult: getting out of bed, grooming myself, getting ready for work. The heater has been on the fritz—that, or my Welsh roommate and I are simply too stupid to read the Japanese on the remote and can’t figure out how to turn it on. After fiddling with the remote for the millionth time, I set the thing down and forget about it. I crawl into the warmth of my comforter and futon mattress and wait for my heart to grow heavier.

Daniel Clausen

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