Fukushima mon amour

By B.

I got back from work today to find 5 big white bags of salt piled up outside my door. I know she means well, and I can tell by the tiny little dark spots on the top bag that she must have cried a little before leaving. I cry too when I have good intentions and no means whatsoever left to communicate them, no way to mend. I can understand that. Tiny little spots on white bags of salt, covering half my door, like WW1 trenches. I set my laptop bag down on the floor, sit down with my back against it, and let the lights in the hallway go out. Still I sit, as to not disrupt the darkness.

You’re out there somewhere right now, right here in Shanghai, trying to guess the moment that is now, trying to feel what I feel, think what I think. Hoping I will see this gesture of yours, the apologetic love it contains. It’s true, you do know me, Betty. I worried then, about radiation and all that, I did. To the point of panic. Back then you used to laugh at me. B, you know you don’t have to wash those vegetables for 10 whole minutes before you cook them right? (joking and lovely.) B, you can’t stay home from work again because of a yet to happen nuclear disaster 3000km away (blaming. I’m so irresponsible). B, can you stop talking about half-life and mutant apples for one fucking second please? (I can’t). I was scared then. I don’t know why, I can’t explain it properly, I only know that those reactors spoke to me, right there and then, I couldn’t go to work, did not dare eat. Couldn’t breathe, sleep, or accept any attempts to repair, couldn’t stop the movement initiated. Those cores threatening to burn a hole through the containment, through the hull, and through 5m of reinforce steel, that same core inside me lost also its stability, initiated the same unpredictable set of chain reactions, not really possible to monitor, not really possible to understand.

So I pumped sea water, straight into my heart.

That was then, a month ago and counting, the containments did not hold, and those tiny dark spots on the top of 5 white big bags of utterly and completely useless salt tell me that the fallout did eventually reach us here in Shanghai, and that most of it landed on you. Poor Betty.

Fukushima my love, I know we can’t rebuild you to what you were, to what you aspired to be. I went down with you then, scared and angry just like you, afraid of what I would become, just like you. Just like you I stood shaking by the sea, I cried for you my love, and I’d like to think you cried for me too.

I’m seated now in my silent pitch-black hall way, my hand leaning on the WW1 salt trenches blocking my door, and I’m thinking that it’s a comfort to know we tried everything, even the impossibly retarded.