The victory ceremony was a simple affair. The brigadier commander read his prepared remarks. The governor read his prepared remarks. Those in attendance cried Banzai. That was it. Additional festivities were scheduled for the afternoon, so I returned to my lodgings in the interim to work on my overdue letter to Kiyo. She had asked for more detail this time, so I would have to articulate my thoughts as thoroughly as possible. There were many things I wanted to tell her, but when I picked up the paper to write, I didn't know where to begin. I thought of this and that, but this was uninteresting and that was unwieldy in words. I tried to think of something that would flow smoothly off my brush, without too much effort, and also be of interest to Kiyo. Not one single happening seemed to match these criteria. I ground my ink, moistened my brush, and stared at the paper. I stared at the paper, moistened my brush, and ground my ink. After repeating this same routine numerous times in the same manner, I came to the conclusion that I'm no writer. I gave up and placed the lid over my ink stone. Letter writing was too much work. It would be simpler to set out for Tōkyō and tell Kiyo everything in person. I could imagine she must be worried, but I could sooner fast for three weeks than compose the kind of letter she'd asked for.
I pushed aside my brush and paper and lay down, resting my head on my bent arms. I gazed out at the garden, but Kiyo still weighed on my mind. Then I reasoned as follows. If I had come such a distance and still cared sincerely for Kiyo's welfare, then she must surely sense my devotion. And if she sensed my devotion then there was no need for a letter. If I didn't write her, she would assume all was well with me. Correspondence was for times of death, times of sickness, or news of life-changing events.