It is many things: places, characters, weather, scents, sounds – together they create a harmony, a uniqueness. Perfection is chemistry, of things, of people. Alike a secret recipe that everyone ought to know, that many seek, and yet, most of us can only imagine it. That day is different for you or for me, remember the uniqueness. It’s an an equation for happiness. Our perfect days are as special as we are; and next year, next month or next week, perhaps, our imagined recipes will look foolish, begging us for an update. As one grows older, one acquires a better understanding of things: of how much a day can have, of a definition of perfection.
What makes a day “perfect”. One day is not much, we go through them weeks by weeks and months by months, not thinking twice about them. Monday blues and TGIF ; we forget days, we forget these hours, often we waste them. Nonetheless there is always a special one, expected or anticipated, dreamed of (often), and possibly, with a little luck things fall into place: the chemistry holds.
I can imagine the warm light barely passing through the thick curtains of the hotel room, while we lie in bed, emerging. Time is ours this morning. It is quiet, peaceful, a little eerie. We are high in the sky, the room hovering over the city, made of crafted fittings, the devil is in the detail, floor to ceiling windows. It is grand, we are grand; at the top of the world. We are the world, our world is today, we are today, like there was no other days before. Through the window, the city under us, we own it, we imagine people going to work, making a little fun of them. While living that dream I wonder: are they real, what is real? What is this city, this place in time and space? Are we real?
But this is no fantasy. It’s autumn, the trees screaming their fear of winter, in yellow, orange and reddish attempts to alert us. Dying leaves and colorful hopes. This is Japan, Tokyo or Osaka maybe, or higher up, Nagano, Sapporo, or even the lower slopes of Mount Fuji, or the South: Hiroshima, Fukuoka?
Doorbell, good morning, bowing, bowing lower. Thank you, Arrigato, more bowing of course. Breakfast is served, feeding the formula, the day’s chemistry, simulating our little haven, we see and taste peacefulness, nature and quality in everything.
The city is our adventure: singular shops and tiny manufactures, populated with craftsmen, generation to generation, traditions whisper time is ageless. But we now better, our hours are counted. We jump from taxi to taxi, to discover one by one, taking our time, these people who make this place so unique, so special and so startling. Our journeys are our destination – cliché, but so ever true.
Time stops: lunch. Some bowing and many fresh, raw, seafood, light on the belly, fresh to the palate, exquisite. The formula holds.
The rhythm changes, excitement of the samurai’s foundries, hammers and fires. All then slows, patience in melting, polishing, forging. Tea ceremony, gift giving and more bowing.
We slow down further. An onsen, a long bath, a massage, shy bows. A feeling of purity adds to our sensations, to our minds.
We lose the remaining of our clothes, and lose ourselves a little further. We subject each other to a methodical reading, through tactile, visual, olfactory information, and not without some intervention of our taste buds. Within lovemaking exclusively, time and space opens, different from measurable time and space.¹
The chemistry seems complete. We are a little lost and we revel in it. Bliss and eternity run in the room, in our heads, perhaps even in our veins, our shared awareness. We are eternal, king and queen of a kingdom lost in time and space. Nothing exist. Nothing material. Us, and us only.
A gong summons us back to an half-reality. Tea is served, complice bows and smiles. Another gong, another taxi.
Our best clothes are laid for us – dinner jacket and gown de rigueur tonight. The Blue Note waits us, suspended until we sit. A fantastic table, a brilliant trumpeter plays for the audience – but no one is duped: he plays for us, he is with us, and we are in his instrument, extension of his mind. Yet he smiles to us, a little jealous. He has seen what we are made of today. But we are the jealous ones: here, back on earth, in the club, we know the artist is in his kingdom. Nothing belongs to us anymore. Our joy, emotions, all belong to him, the chemist of this time and space.
The last notes played, our chauffeur, with delicate manners, bows, offers us a journey through the city night lights. Cocktails, perhaps a cigar, in a secretive place. We are the place, all eyes on us. Lascivious dancers, sensual lights. The dreams come back. Speakeasy, live easy. We revive the day, share it and cherish the memory, forgetting there is a coming end. Chemistry.
Precious flowers, rare kimonos, they are so beautiful, as soft as this day, and as rare. We kiss. Value the moment, grateful to one another, grateful to the world, to the spirit of the day, to the chemists along the way.
The city below sleeps, it grows even darker, a train passes. We lock ourselves again from the world, curtains, lights, sounds. We too, become darker, we change, and find new ways of reading the music within us: vivace gioioso, allegro con brio, piuttosto presto.
Everything has a rhythm. Our chemistry, our formula is within us, and it beats, and beats again, ever so lively: at least until sunrise.
¹ After Italo Calvino in If on a winter’s night a traveller (get it here).