Yuta and I juggle our washing on the handlebars of our bikes, his tote bag full of towels, my garbage bag straining to hold everything I own, bouncing and twisting dangerously over the pockmarked streets, all the way to the coin laundry.
Yuta and I layer salmon and mint swatches of towelling on a bed of denim and gaily coloured hankies, taking turns to fill the machine first with cloth and then with coin and then we’re off again.
Yuta and I sit on the second floor of a brand new cafe and talk over cappuccino and Americano and three types of scone served on slate tiles atop hand-worked benches in rosewood and oak.
Yuta and I take our obvious differences for granted, but it may be we have more in common than he has with the man photographing the woodwork for a local magazine, or maybe it is easier for these Asian faces to forget that they are not the same, but probably not.
We don’t decide.
Yuta goes for a ride to make sure the laundry is ready for the drier.
I take a call from a familiar voice straining to sound like mine.
‘Allo there mate… How ya goin’? I really wanna see ya…
Cockney is close enough.
Yuta and I refill our coffee and talk about weddings and the relationships that seem like they should be the easiest, and how the most natural are the ones that we need to work hardest at.
There is a tension in similarity that we might never release.