Wednesday, December 16, 2009

To Hiroshima

Most often we sped, sometimes we crawled, occasionally, nearer Tokyo, we slowed completely to a halt. I listened to a radio play I'd downloaded from the BBC, extended my foot rest. My neighbour curled up like an egg, his head sticking out across the aisle. I pushed back my seat, pulled down the head cover until it almost touched my chest and blocked out what remained of the light.

We stopped at the services around midnight. I must have slept, fitfully, afterwards because the next thing I remember distinctly was half the bus emptying at Fukuyama. The clock said 6.02. We pulled into Hiroshima early, in the middle of the morning rush. By eight o'clock I was on the other side of the station, across the first river, looking at a shrine built on the roof of a concrete car park.

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