I could tell you more about the Tatami Guesthouse: How yesterday morning the thermometer display that sits on the ledge at the reception window read 14 C — indoors — and everyone goes around in their shiny polyamide puffy jackets, avoiding eye contact as we brush past one another heading to or coming from the trough-like communal washbasin at the end of the hallway by the fridge. How the water at the communal washbasin, when you run it through the heater, is faintly unctuous on the fingertips and smells of branched hydrocarbons, suggesting kerosene from the heating mechanism is getting into the water — you try to avoid using that tap to brush your teeth or fill your kettle. The injection-molded house shoes I’ve claimed as my own from the loose supply at the main entrance, a bit loose so that I clomp around like a stag. The cold I’ve been nursing the past few days, lying in bed until 9, wondering abstractly if it’s one of the new respiratory things, feeding the heater first thing when I get up, never without a sense of having failed at something though the something remains formless: hardiness, indifference, inurement, an openness to the turn of the season. It is never so cold outside as in, and by the time the heater shuts off, at the end of three hours, and writing time is drawing to a close, I am inclined to open the window save when the rain is lashing down, as has been the case the past three days. (I would welcome the cool freshness of the rain, but experience has shown it would spray all over the bed and floor and the desk where I keep the personal effects displaced from the closet I have made into a desk.) I justify my expenditures on nukazuke from the bar on the corner and other small luxuries with the need to maintain a supply of ¥100 coins to feed the heater, not to say the shower cabins on the ground floor.