“It’s been said, by all manner of folks, really throughout forever, that it just rains too much in Portland.” The truck? rumbles across the Hawthorne bridge. “The thing that folks just don’t realize is that the weather machine here in town is broken. And what I mean to say, is that it is not simply engaged in controlling the weather—that much is obvious, I think. It’s just that the weather machine here has made up its own mind about the weather. Everyone wants the sun, I suppose. But can you really have sun all the time? I don’t think so. No sir, I think one needs a good melancholy now and then.”

“Of course, you’re from Japan—I imagine that all you weather machines are just quite fancy—I suppose, digital, maybe. Ours is mechanical, you see. It’s a bit queer. It certainly doesn’t do what it’s supposed to do—hence, all the rain. Mind you, I’ve become quite acclimated to the weather. Throw me a sunny day, and I don’t know what to do. What in the world is that burning orb in the sky that’s baking my skin? You know?”

Saito smiles.