Nihongo

He said all he needed to say in a language that sounds like nonsense in Spanish to those who don’t speak it. He said it, and his hands flew around a space that seemed the exact distance between his soul and mine. In the process, he pulled my heart a little closer.

All I know is I understood, even if the words weren’t clear. I understood, and I felt an immense necessity then: I had to learn that language that made it all so tender, even if the process meant saying goodbye for a while to the man who seemed to own those sounds.

Now that I’m finally identifying certain foreign noises as familiar words, as I’m able to answer a few questions, as my paintbrush tries hard to emulate drawings that have been long accepted as representations of ideas, I find —to my dreamy heart’s despair— that this language wasn’t created exclusively for two lovers from opposite sides of the planet. People actually learn it and use it for many more reasons than simply lulling a soul to sleep the sleep of dreams come true.

It has been difficult to assimilate the fact that my view on three sets of characters will never be close to reality. No matter how bitter I feel every time I hear sentences that sound like human reruns of colorful animated cartoons, there is nothing I can do to change the course of facts: I learned a language that more than one hundred twenty-eight million people speak day by day, a language that is synonymous with incredibly advanced technology, bizarre live drawings representing havoc, and an infinite horde of slanted eyes spread about four main islands that could as well be a completely different planet.

I’m too naïve if I think this demonic language of puzzles could ever mean to my side of the world exactly what it means to me: love.

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