Hesitation by Stephenie Meyer

By Stephenie Meyer

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It all came back to me during a pancake breakfast in a VFW hall in Bald Knob, Arkansas. It was our first shoot. I met my Japanese crew at the local airport. A brass band was playing when I arrived, and the ticket counters were decorated with proud banners of spangling stars and stalwart stripes. Yellow ribbons festooned the departure lounge, and Mylar balloons floated like flimsy planets over the cloudlike tresses of blond girls in pastel who had come to say good-bye. At the center of all this effusion were the callow recruits, with brand-new crew cuts and bright-red ears, dressed in the still-unfamiliar pale of desert camouflage.

So much was new to them. In Taos, New Mexico, Suzuki and Oh stayed in a pink adobe suite with a fireplace. They got drunk and made a small, cozy fire in the hearth, and when they ran out of firewood they burned the telephone book and the Bible, then a chair and a bed-post, and finally the bedroom itself. ” In Austin, Texas, after Suzuki passed out while running a bath and flooded thirteen floors of the Radisson Hotel, I asked him if baths, too, were not so common in Japan, but he just shrugged.

I had just defaulted to a vegetarian diet of cabbage and rice because I couldn’t find a job. Politics and weather aside, the rest was fine. I mean, I was doing the starving artist thing on purpose: I wanted to be a documentary filmmaker, but who could find work in a climate like this? When the phone rang at two in the morning, I didn’t bother to answer. It was unlikely to be a job offer at that hour, and I had just gotten into bed and was lying there, rigid, trying to relax against the icy sheets long enough to fall asleep.

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