Sadly, there is no lady for Takeda to court on this occasion. Instead, he pulls out his bottle of brandy, uncaps it and takes a long swig. The liquid burns his throat but warms him up on its way down. Ahh. It temporarily fills the void eating him up from inside. A small frog is sitting on a block of granite by the pond. The scene is almost a replica of that old, famous haiku poem from the 17th century.

 Furuike ya

Kawazu tobikomi

Mizu no oto

The poem about the old pond and the frog jumping into the water. Such a simple, yet elegant and evocative description, eloquently capturing the season and its atmosphere.

What would a man in his situation have done back in the 1600s? Samurais losing their master would often commit seppuku, or ritual suicide. In case they opted not to disembowel themselves, they would live on as ronin, masterless samurai, the same expression currently used for unemployed office workers. Takeda takes another gulp of his shochu. In a way, behaving like a samurai would be the honorable way out. It would also save Atsuko from financial ruin and the attendant social stigma. Although she is already taking care of the kids on her own, the thought of their reaction to his demise is unbearable. He has clearly missed out on the better part of their early childhood, but it is also obvious that they adore him for what little attention he has had to offer them. On the other hand, how will they react when they learn they are about to be evicted from their home? There will be no more living in their upscale mansion in Odaiba. In fact, no more living in Tokyo. The insatiable void within him bares its teeth again demanding to be fed more shochu.

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