Wanna Get Away?
Life takes us on detours. And now and then, time spent far from home can be a good thing, granting you new perspective and recharging your batteries.
If taking even just one day “off” from the world is refreshing, then several weeks away—without any relatives or coworkers to put demands on your time—sounds like a real treat.
But six decades is pushing it.
Say hello to Isinosuke Uwanu, who was a solider in the Japanese Imperial Army helping occupy the eastern Russian island of Sakhalin as the Second World War ended. In late April—for the first time since 1943—he returned to Japan and saw his family, which had thought him dead.
Nobody seems to recall how by the 1960s he ended up a resident of a small town in rural Ukraine, where he fathered two daughters.
I hope he at least remembers how he ended up a father … but I have my doubts. After all, Uwanu will only say that “due to the Soviet regime” in Ukraine, he had been unable until now to make it back home.
I’ve heard some lame excuses before—hell, I’ve TOLD some lame excuses before—but this is a weak one to explain a 60-year absence. He’d be better off claiming he was on an errant flight that got “lost” and crashed on an uncharted tropical island with mysterious hatches, mysterious visions, and attractive people who appear to be having mysteriously little sex.
Uwanu’s story is fascinating, but he isn’t the only one who has to explain a long disappearance. I’m looking forward to hearing the eventual justifications for these celebrities’ prominent absences:
Amelia Earhart: Planes usually don’t just disappear. People have been waiting for many decades to hear the reason why her last journey truly was a non-stop flight.
Al Pacino: His absence of gritty, compelling performances since the 1970s is one of the great mysteries of our time. Come on, Al—we’ll forgive most of your past two decades if you’ll show us again, just once more, what a gifted actor we know you can be.
The Democratic party: Honestly, how can these folks fail time after time to innovate even in the face of repeated Republican blunders? Party leaders shift back and forth between inaction and reaction; no wonder many folks say the U.S. isn’t even a two-party system anymore.
David Fincher: The talented director of Se7en, Fight Club, and Panic Room hasn’t made a movie in a long, long time. He even bowed out of directing the third Mission: Impossible. Let’s hope his forthcoming Zodiac is worth the wait.
Tom Cruise: His absence from sanity will need one hell of an explanation. Maybe Xenu, Scientology’s ancient supernatural figure, can swing by and enlighten all of us. For a price, I’m sure.
Isinosuke Uwanu: Sorry, man, I’m still not buying it. Sixty years away … the last forty or so because you couldn’t step out of Ukraine? I suspect something else is at play here: your love of adventure, your unhappiness with life back home, maybe just a fetish for Ukrainian chicks. Or maybe you figured a Ukrainian village was the best place to avoid Scientologists.
Watch out, Mr. Uwanu: Tom Cruise may be doing M:I:III publicity in Japan.
I'm sure it's not too late to get on a plane back to Kiev.