Hidemi’s Rambling by Hidemi Woods

Singer, Songwriter and Author from Kyoto, Japan.

Frantic Washing hr628

I am a germphobic. I never go out without packs of wet wipes and always carry a small spray bottle of sanitizer. Whenever I touch anything that shares contact with others, I wipe my hand right away. It’s especially cumbersome when I go on a trip. My routine after check-in is to spray sanitizer to tissues with which I wipe the door knobs, switches, handles of the wardrobe and the refrigerator, hangers, remote controls, faucets, toilet seat, toilet cover, flush handle. If the hotel doesn’t have a duvet style bed for its rooms, I bring clothespins and wrap the cover with the sheet by fastening them together so that any part of my body doesn’t touch the cover that isn’t washed each time. Then I place two pairs of slippers that I bring from home, one for pre-shower and one for post-shower. As you can imagine, it’s so much fuss for me to stay at a hotel. I just can’t help it.

I took a short trip the other day to a neighboring prefecture. For this trip, I was extra nervous because of that Corona virus turmoil. The local train I got on was near empty and most of the sparse passengers were wearing a medical mask. A 2-hour somewhat tense train ride later, I arrived at the hotel. A big spray bottle of sanitizer was put at the entrance and all the hotel staff at the front desk were wearing a mask. I went out for lunch at a family restaurant and it was also empty despite lunchtime. The shopping mall I visited afterwards had only few shoppers around. Since I hate crowds and a jam, all places turned in my favor. It seemed I bought comfort with nervousness. Back in the hotel room, I worked through my room-cleaning routine and had dinner with my partner in the room with deli foods I had gotten at the supermarket, not because I was worried about Corona virus at a restaurant but because I am cheap.

side table near bead frame

Photo by Castorly Stock on Pexels.com

Next morning, I used the elevator to have a free breakfast at a small eat-in space inside the hotel. I was off guard and didn’t wear a mask although the small elevator was unexpectedly packed with guests. Nobody was talking and I unconsciously held my breath. After an awkward silence, I was released to the designated floor. The breakfast was a buffet style. I took food with tongs that many guests used, out of plates that they slowly walked by and looked into. Everyone pushed buttons on the dispenser of coffee and juice. Wet wipes didn’t give me usual assurance for this particular trip. I went back to my room and washed my hands frantically.

I have once read an article that says excessive hygiene is counterproductive. It means that being exposed usually to germs builds resistance and thus makes people hard to get sick. If so, my germphobia is not only self-complacent unction but also simply a bad habit. That may be true, but I can’t, just can’t stop for the life of me.


A Sentence Finisher hr595

I don’t like someone to tell me what I’ve already said or known. There’s no such thing as copyright to what we utter, but I always feel like claiming it. Actually, I often urge people close to me to admit I’ve already said what they just said. It doesn’t matter how ridiculously trivial the issue is. As long as I recognize I’ve said the same thing before, I declare that I’ve said it before they said it. Even when I haven’t said it but known it, I can’t help telling them that I’ve known that. It’s impossible for me to hear through something pretending that I hear that for the first time or I didn’t know that. My mouth involuntarily utters “I’ve already said it!” or “I know it!” I’ve had this irksome habit since I was little. Suppose I said to my mother, “It’ll be hot tomorrow, I’ll wear summer clothes.” Next morning, when my mother said, “It’ll be hot today and I put out your summer clothes,” I instantaneously claimed, “That’s what I said yesterday!” She would go, “Is it?” And I would go, “Sure it is! I said that! You should add ‘as you said’!” If I’d heard the weather forecast for rain and my mother said “It’s going to rain today,” I said, “I know!” at once. As such an annoying child like that, I gave my parents painful conversations when they inadvertently touched what I had said or known and forgot to add ‘as you said’ or ‘you may know’. Their experiences must have been so torturous that my father still hastily adds, “As you said,” when he talks to me to this day. It seems my childhood practice caused him a trauma and he sometimes adds ‘as you said’ to what I haven’t said. My terrible habit hasn’t subsided, it has, rather, aggravated to sentence finishing. Now I anticipate what someone is going to say and want to say it before she or he actually says it. I just simply can’t wait for them to finish once I make out what’s coming. For instance, my partner begins, “Tomorrow, I’ll…” and I interrupt him, ‘Go to the convenience store to make a payment for something, right?” The problem is I’m more than often wrong. My partner answers, “Yeah, that reminds me,” and he forgets what he was really going to say. My interruptions make our conversations unnecessarily long and cumbersome. It appears that I want to be ahead of everything by showing that I know everything beforehand. And that’s all because I want to appeal how smart I am. No wonder I’ve been disliked by anyone, including my own blood relatives. Of course I can imagine there are numerous other reasons for that particular matter…

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