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Memories of Tokyo

She had bought it from an artisan lost in the depths of the homeware floor in a Tokyo department store. The few words they had exchanged by means of an interpreter had alleviated the feeling of solitude in which she lived for a while. With meticulous precision, the elderly man struck the tip of his hammer. Each blow of his pierced a hole in the metal plate with sharp, jagged edges that added to the others in a harmonious pattern. Many years later, she continued to use this impossible-to-clean ginger grater: strands of fibers always clung on to it. Scattered across the rigid surface by an alien will, the minute holes believed they worked together for a common goal, yet if one were obstructed, the others would continue in their task without even noticing anything was any different.

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