Today we toasted Jason, his irreplaceable contribution as lead guitarist, blues harpist, and my partner in silliness. J and I have known each other since we were students here in Japan. Then, we both came back to teach English on the JET program. One day he called me and said he had joined a band and wondered if I would be their lead singer.
For the first 4 years in the Wada Affair we would ride to practice together, talking the whole way about our former lives as wanna' be hippies, as Americans, as children. We talked about Japan and Japanese. And of course we talked about music: PHISH, Dead, Talking Heads, John Lennon, Pizzacato, Cibo Matto. What I now realize is that we never talked about people, at least not in the perjoritive sense. We just talked about topics that made us laugh because they involved good memories or good music, or helped us to reflect on parts of our lives that we needed to or had already changed.
I was there when he met his wife, Hiroko. She is perfect for him. I mean, really perfect for him. I know she will take good care of him when they go. She is grounded and sensible, but still silly like us. She played guitar with us for 3 years, too. I love her laugh and her easy going disposition. She is very easy to be around.
With them leaving, the band is heading into very unknown waters. I am not pleased. I love all the members, but if we were a family, Mrs. Wada was Mom, Mr. W was Dad, Jun was our uncle and J and I were the brother and sister. While you love your Mom, Dad, and Uncle, you aren't close in the same way. Your sibling speaks the same slang (in our case the same first language, too), and they like the same music. They get your DL remarks, they can read your mood, and they can make you laugh while everyone else talks about adult stuff.
Jason, you were a great brother! I'll miss you and I wish you and Hiroko lots of luck in the U.S.!