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Hidemi Woods 

Singer, Songwriter and Author from Kyoto, Japan.

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Stressful Relaxation hr583

After I completed recording the main vocals for my new song in August, I came down with a cold. I got over most of it within a week, but a throat condition remained bad. It has been persistent ever since and I still can’t shake off this nagging condition. My throat hasn’t reverted to normal yet, which inclines me to anxiety. I try to return to health by relaxing and warming myself at the communal gym and spa inside my apartment complex every day. Those facilities are free to the residents while there is a catch. Their operating hours are limited and they close early in the evening. By the time I finished working and eating dinner, I usually run out of time for going there. I end up doing the dishes and changing into a gym suit in a mad rush and dash toward them. It’s like I go through a time trial before relaxation. Then, after I’m successfully in time for the operating hours, most of the time what awaits me there is something annoying. For example, a man comes into the gym while I’m on an exercise bike and turns on the TV that he makes blare right in front of me. His girlfriend joins him later and they lie down on the exercise mat while watching rubbish before my bike. “This is the gym, not your living room! And not the place for TV!” That’s what I gulp down with effort instead of utter. I’m forced to curtail my exercise and go into the communal spa. There, the residents take their babies and infants with them. They shriek, cry and go on a rampage. The mothers let them relieve themselves in the spa not in the toilet although the toilet is right there at the locker room, and poop is often lying on the floor. “This is the spa, not the toilet! And not the place for infants!” That’s what I gulp down with effort instead of utter, again. I submerge myself in the jacuzzi with the babies who may urinate next to me at this moment. While I’m taking a shower, the announcement that tells the spa is now closing comes from the speaker with a melody of Auld Lang Syne. Now I have to finish up quickly. I rush out to the locker room, hurried to put on my clothes and make barely in time before all the lights are shut down automatically as the operating hours are over. I’m the last one left there when the spa is in the complete darkness. I’m so accustomed to it that I always bring a small LED lamp with me. “10 p.m. for a closing time is too early! Lights should be kept on at least!” That’s what I gulp down, but sometimes utter for this once, as I’m alone in the dark. I dry my hair with a dim light from my small LED and leave. My brutally hectic time of the day finally ends like this. Thus, relaxation is so hard to get. I wonder when my throat returns to a good condition…

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