The air is warm pudding only brighter and the squint of the sun seems several shades too sharp in light of the heavy sleep of the breeze.
Young military men plod attired in heavy pants. Their faces are scrunched. Tired. Serious. Eyebrows drawn, jaws tight, clean shave. Sometimes I catch their eye, often not. Often I look near the ground when I walk.
A boy, man? with a faded hair cut steps out of the sheer tinted atm cubicle (not in uniform but an angry t shirt), cigarette smoke frozen in a lazy line hemmed in by the water in the air. He stabs the stub into ash on the top of the trash can and it crumples into a folded caterpillar.
I think about this later. The simplicity of a habit that he does so many times a day. A week. Fire, inhale, breathe, exhale, repeat, finish, stamp, smolder, release. Walk away.
Doors open automatically and the air is cool. Coupons. Boxes of coupons on a clear counter for anyone who wants to save a quarter or two, or three. Here there is no tax. Here they sell orange sweet potatoes near Thanksgiving, frozen and shipped around the world, thawed, displayed, sold, cooked, eaten.
The light is cold inside. It exposes. There are too many of the same things. I know exactly where to go to quickly grab the single items I have differentiated as preferable to the other same things.
I do this quickly and only slow to make sure I make eye contact and smile with the checkout clerk.
I tip the baggers when I have a dollar or 100 yen. I carry my own bags out.
The transition from commissary to Okinawa is similarly opposite as ski lodge fireplace to ski slope.
But, it’s also beautiful.