On the Importance of Learning of Tokyo’s Destruction by Godzilla 2 comments

*A small memoir from a trip this fall*

It’s been a long week of teaching classes: you wake up, you do your class prep, you do your teaching, you do your grading, and you go home. At home is nothing in particular. Your wife is living four and a half hours away for her new job; you’ve moved the majority of your things with her. The apartment is strangely empty and strangely full of far too many things you need to pack before you can join her in a couple months.

The wind likes to whistle lonely in the evening.

Today you’re driving home after another day of teaching, but it’s a little different in that you will be picking up your suitcase so you can drive those four and a half hours to see your wife. The first hour is alright as you drive through the forests of northern Minnesota and the setting sun is turning everything golden. Then the trees go stark and two dimensional against the still glowing horizon; the only things with depth are the clouds in the sky. Then there is nothing but the tunnel your headlights carve along the route, a tunnel that is hours and hours long.

Even the waters of Cass Lake offer no comfort when you stop to stretch your legs: the wind blows too cold in your face for you to watch the lights in the water.

About an hour from your destination, still tired, your searching radio finds it, the song that will take you the rest of the way. “Oh, no! There goes Tokyo! Go, go, Godzilla!” Before your mind can think about how improbably wonderful it is to find this song out of nowhere (though is it even a favorite song of yours?), you’re singing, shouting along with the words.

You’re halfway around the earth from Tokyo, you’re in the middle of the flat beginnings of the Great Plains and the tallest thing around here are grain elevators, but what else would Godzilla have left to stomp once Tokyo and the other great cities with skyscrapers are nothing but rubble?

You’re on your way, you’re almost there.

2 thoughts on “On the Importance of Learning of Tokyo’s Destruction by Godzilla

  • Nicholas

    I love this piece! Also, one time I checked out Blue Oyster Cult’s greatest hits from the library. It is quite baffling that they wrote and recording “Don’t Fear the Reaper,” in light of…every other song they wrote and recorded. I mean, plenty of the other songs are awesome, too! But that one sounds like it’s from a completely different band. It’s so bizarre! Glad your time of separation is come to an end!

    • Neal Post author

      Hey, thanks! I seriously wanted to write this blog the weekend it happened in… early November, I think, but there was just no time. Get crushed by Godzilla, fall of 2016! Grr! 😉

      Somehow I wasn’t aware that Blue Oyster Cult had done “Don’t Fear the Reaper,” so that’s a bit baffling to me right now as well. Somehow in high school I heard the song Stairway to Heaven but didn’t know its name and could swear someone attributed it to Metallica and believed it was a Metallica song for a couple years (I’ve never been too confident in remembering a lot bands that I’ve heard just on the radio or in other people’s collections, so I assumed the other person just knew better) so that was all kinds of messed up. I think I had the same issue with Aerosmiths’ “Dream On,” but that’s mostly because that doesn’t sound like Aerosmith and does sound more Zepellin. :p

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