Doraemon on the morning commute

  • Nov. 9th, 2010 at 9:02 PM
mochi: Toothpaste fighting germs (Anpanman: Hamigaki)
Red leather shoes with black stitching and ever so slightly tapered tips are the first sign. Dark skinny jeans, near enough to black that at first glance they don’t reveal themselves to be denim, a black mock turtleneck and black suit jacket with three gold buttons on each cuff, and a pair of hipster-large glasses on a man too sophisticated to be any USA style hipster, all topped by the perfectly coiffed wave of his fine black hair, remove any doubt. The man who sat down across from me at Charles/MGH is from Japan.

He looks serious at first, a businessman on his way from one appointment to another, thoughts occupied by meetings and reports. He has placed a small blue backpack on his right knee, which is crossed over the left. Reaching into it, he pushes some items around, and his expression softens. With his right hand, he cradles a small figurine of Doraemon--the blue, time-traveling, robotic cat from the Japanese comic and animation of the same name.


“Papa, take this with you.”

“Doraemon? Won’t you miss him?”

“No, he’ll be helping you. He’s very resourceful.”

“Resourceful, hm? Ok, Akkun. Thank you.”

“You’re welcome, Papa.”


Smiling now, he gently returns Doraemon to his bag.

I watch his face as we cross the Charles river and enter the tunnel to Kendall/MIT, my destination. He does not stop smiling, a quiet, private smile, all the rest of the way.

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