Following every break-up, there's the inevitable list of "things we didn't do" together. I think they're a massive part of the lingering sadness one faces - as we reflect, and decide upon the future we could have had.
She gave me a CD, adorably scribbled on with a love note by her. The contents on the disk are a series of podcasts, mostly "Radiolab" episodes, dating back to 2007. Tohko wanted me to put these on my iPod and listen to them on my way to work - only I never got around to it. Foolish me.
I've just put them on now (and it's what prompted this latest blog entry)
Topics on those podcast episodes, as Tohko told me, include theories on what time are, what dreams mean, and a nightmare pregnancy/birth sceniro.
Question: What impact would me listening to those podcasts when I was still with Tohko have had? If I'd talked to her about the episodes in person, and started a conversation based around them? I'll never know for sure now, but I can guess.
We had talked about going away abroad together. She wanted to go somewhere in Europe (never specifying her preference) and I would have killed - figuratively speaking - to have gone to Japan with her.
Tohko is from there, and I think it's a culture you can't really access unless you have somebody familiar with it. If I go to Japan on my own, it's me sat in my hotel room, until to speak the local lingo - locked out of the entire culture of the country for the full week.
+ New Apartment
We were far from ready to move in together, but I plan on moving soon, and she'd have planned a big part in helping me decide where to move to. Would I have left West London, and moved closer to her (North-East London way)? Maybe.
It's likely I'd have got somewhere bigger, to accommodate the two of us - forward planning for a girlfriend visiting in a way I didn't have to when I moved into my current room in Shepherds Bush.
Now? Well, not much changes. I'll still likely move in November when my lease is up. I'll stay in London, but haven't decided what side of the city yet.
It's those smaller details that will change. I won't pick somewhere 'girlfriend-happy' - i.e. somewhere I know she'd like. I'll likely just settle, now, for what I can find.
We'd had conversations, about getting married. She'd have kept her surname, Kanzaki. I said I thought it was a fantastic link back to her Japanese heritage, that she'd lose if she dropped it for plan old "Howard" (my non-writing surname).
If we'd have had kids, I dreamt what they'd look like. Apparently Eurasian babies are beautiful - and as Tohko is stunning, I can believe that our's would continue the Eurasian trend. Tohko had doubts initially about whether she'd be a good mother. I tried my hardest to convince her she would be. Hopefully she listened, and wherever she is now, she's comfortable with the idea, and approaches motherhood happily one day.
(The kids would have either have had Kanzaki as their surname [my idea] or been double barrelled Kanzaki-Howard or Howard-Kanzaki [her idea])
We were forever starting and never finishing films/TV series.
It would have been nice to have concluded the "Story of Film" series we were half a dozen episodes into. Likewise, we'd watched part one of the Doctor Who adventure "The Impossible Astronaunt" the night before the break-up.
I'd also promised to watch The Wire again with her.
As for films, I'd bought a collection of Ozu films to watch with her, and she had a long list of features to have me view.
Plenty of each other's family and friends to meet/get to know better.
At one point, Tohko came *this close* to directing my "The Fool" script. Then she went lukewarm on the idea after her friend Natalaja made some heavy criticisms of the script. After that, my passion for the project dropped off and we never spoke of it again (sorta).
She's making a series of adverts now, for a US company (I forget its name, but they send a box with gifts within to your loved ones on special occasions) and she's working on her own short film. They'll obviously go ahead without me, but I'll never get to visit set or give her first hand feedback on what she's doing.
There's likely more. I'm not going to overthink, and search the rest of the "what ifs" out.
More than likely, they'll hit me over the next few days, weeks or months, like a heavy punch to the gut. They'll devastate me all over again, and have me regretting the things we didn't do, when we had the chance.