Requiem for a Friend

My last 2 years in TO, I lived in a house in East York. I don't really believe that there's life east of the Don Valley (I'm half kidding Suze!), but that was where there was an affordable room in the upstairs of a house. My landlady lived on the main floor, and rented out her 2 upstairs bedrooms. The 3 of us shared the kitchen and living room. I enjoyed the time I spent there. It was quiet, close to my first 2 practicums in Teacher's College, and not far from the church where I was organist. Miki and I moved in about the same time. Miki was the girl with whom I shared the upstairs for the first year and a half. She was Japanese, and doing a business administration/HR course. When she finished the course, she decided to stay and get a job. Unfortunately, she applied too late after she finished her courses to get a quick nod with her visa. The Canadian government seized her passport and she hired a lawyer. I took Miki home with me for Christmas that year. I couldn't imagine anyone sitting in a room by themselves for the holiday, and her friends were all going to Florida. When there are already 20 coming for dinner, what's 1 more plate? It also meant that she got to experience a North American holiday and all that good stuff. In January 1998, I came home one afternoon to find boxes of Miki's things in the front hall, waiting to be shipped by boat back to Japan. She'd given up fighting with the Canadian government and was leaving in 3 days (how's that for you? I want more time than that to pack for vacation) She asked me if I wanted to buy her stereo for $100. It was a little shelf model, single CD, double cassette, AM/FM with separate speakers. I jumped, seeing as the tape deck in my clock radio was broken (and had been for a couple of years), and it sounded way better than what I currently had. I don't know what happened to Miki - she went back to Japan, and I'm assuming stayed there. But one never knows. I do know what happened to the stereo. Last week, I went to put in a CD as I worked on the computer. The drawer wouldn't open. I tried again because it's become tempermental; and it opened. A little black plastic thing fell out. The CD player is toasted. While the radio still works, and the cassette players are operational, I think the stereo I bought 10 years ago is on its way to the electronics recycling day here in May. We don't use it a whole lot, and we've been looking for somewhere to put the satellite radio. But it's sad, in a way. I realize that the unit was second hand to me, and cheap, but it was the first large electronic purchase I made. Even if it was from a desperate Japanese girl who was scraping up money to send her clothing home to Japan. Thanks, Miki.

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