Are you still there? Sorry, you went quiet for a moment, and I thought I was alone.

A-hem, talking about being a foreigner going blind in Japan is rather awkward and hits close to the bone, so please bear with me when I clear my throat. Not being aware of subtle cues such as my listener's frown, a sideward glance or head-scratch, I tend to ramble on oblivious. My narrative may jump around a bit as thoughts echo in the blackness. If you start to feel disoriented, then you're getting it.

One of life's curiosities, I have found, is the fact that the titles of newspaper articles are not decided by the writers of those same articles. By tradition, the combining of sentences and paragraphs into coherent prose is considered so different from the combining of words into a pithy headline that the two must not be done by the same person. What do you think of my suggestion: "Blind man shares secrets of achieving sexual frisson in Japanese ward office." Wouldn't that entice the audience? If potential readers didn't think the promised secret were pertinent enough to their own lives to read it, they ought at least to feel cheered for the blind guy's sake.