Translated by Ralph McCarthy
I call Saito again but hang up when it goes straight to voice mail. The big glass doors slide open and then closed. A group carrying skis comes in and passes by my seat. It's bright inside the airport but even brighter outside those doors, so at first I saw the ski group only in silhouette. Seated across from me is a man in early middle age reading a weekly magazine. On the cover of the magazine is the face of an actress, a face I see on television now and then. I can't remember her name, but I know it has the character for sakura, cherry tree, in it. I don't have a ticket for the plane. I'm meeting Saito in front of the ANA check-in counter. He's supposed to bring the tickets.
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