"Meitei, eh? Like a flake of goldfish food, floating this way and that, hither and dither, on a pond. The other day, as I hear it, he was out walking with a friend. They happened upon a nobleman's residence, and Meitei, despite having no connection to the place, insisted they impose on the occupants for a cup of tea. Flits his way through this world."
"Did they get their tea?"
"I never bothered asking -- anyway, the man's just quirky. In no way devious or nefarious, though. Light and airy goldfish food. Suzuki, eh? -- calls here, does he? Well I'll be. Not much of an intellect, but savvy in the ways of the world. The gold watch type. No depth, however, and no grounding. 'Smooth your edges,' he says, but does he really understand what it means to lose one's edges. If Meitei's goldfish food, Suzuki's straw-wrapped konnyaku jelly, featureless and shape-shifting."
The master, greatly taken with these witticisms, enjoys a hearty laugh, his first in a good while.
"And what of yourself?"
"Me? Good question. What would I be -- perhaps a Japanese yam. Stretched thin and stuck in the mud."
"I envy you, though, ever calm and self-possessed."
"I'm really just run-of-the-mill. Nothing that merits envy. Happily, though, I'm content with where I am. For that I'm thankful."
"I presume you're well enough off these days."
"Yes and no. Who can really say? At least I can say I'm feeding myself. Certainly nothing remarkable."
"I'm struggling of late. Endless irritations. The whole world, it seems, is out to get me."