Thursday, September 29, 2005

I am slightly concerned

I went to training. Training to be a better English teacher. I am not really an English teacher at all, but I have a full time job pretending. The trainer did a small psychological test. I have yet to go to any training of any sort, where a Cosmopolitan-style psychological test isn't conducted. Usually I end up being blue (as in the colour), although once I was yellow.

We were asked to think of three words to describe how we would feel if we woke up in a room with white walls and no doors or windows (there were other questions too, but they were terribly dull).

After writing the trainer said that this is meant to tell us how we looked upon death. Each person in the room read their answers. One guy said 'afraid, scared, and lonely'. Another said 'afraid, panicky, and dead'. The rest of the answers were along similar lines. I looked at the words I had scribbled on my paper and thought 'what a weird bunch of suckers'. Then I read my words to the class:

Curious, intrigued, and slightly concerned

Silence. 'What are you on??'. More silence.

In my head: 'fuck you all'

Now that I think about it, I think I am slightly concerned.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Ten Storey Love Song

The Stone Roses don't sound like I remember. When I was 15 there were The Stone Roses, Happy Mondays, The Charlatans, The Cure, The Smiths, Depeche Mode. There was a girl down the street. My brother and I played hockey on the dry tarmac. I wore ugly glasses and I hated going to school. I wished I was an F1-driver, an explorer, living in another town, had money to buy CDs, could kiss the girl down the street.

That was 15 years ago. Now I am nearly 30 (and panicking about that). Different bands, still equally important. Different girl, almost as elusive. Still wish I was an explorer, but F1 has lost its attraction. I'd still play hockey on the dry tarmac, if given the opportunity.

So, how about in 15 years from now? More of the same? When I was 15 I didn't think 45-year olds could be desperately in love, and I still don't. How will that affect me?

Monday, September 19, 2005

The Beautiful and the Damned

Last week:

I tried to read 'The Beautiful and the Damned'. It was very trying indeed. For a week I haven't touched the book for fear of crying on the train. It was a fairly smooth ride until the turning point in the book, where Anthony and Gloria's love starts to wither. I threw the book on the floor, and left it there. I picked it up and got throught a few pages, but for the most part 'The Beautiful and the Damned' lies on the damn floor, reminding me that maybe I am more fragile than I like to think.

I went to a free party. Shoncho had spread a large blanket in the park. The Okinawan Samurai had lined up bottles, all promising intoxication. Santos was playing a drum. Masa was freestyling. An indie-pop girl tried to talk about Swedish design. From there on it became a blur, until I put my hand on a candle.

I played futsal two days in a row. Now my legs hurt.

I went for drinks with a friend from Niigata (Snow-country). In a small bar with an abnormally high counter, we talked about snow-angels. After drinks, we went to a shrine and prayed for better fortunes.

I prayed for the snow-angels.

Shades of Grey


She comes at night. Always dressed in black. A smile says 'I am happy to be here'. Never for long enough. A kiss says 'I am happy to be here with you'. She sits on the bed. Black against the grey sheets and white walls. I don't want to fall asleep. Sleeping is morning. Morning is leaving. For now, it is black outside. Inside, there are white walls, grey sheets, a 'London Calling' poster, the girl in black, a kiss, and me. It is enough for now. I don't need more, I just need time.


There are colors now. A hairpin left on the floor. Insecurity left in me.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

A Brilliant Sentence

A japanese girl I know, who can't speak English, thought for a while and said carefully:

-I don't like Dazai.
-Really, why not?

She looked down and I could see her lips moving as she tried to articulate her reason for not liking the man, who I had just told her I thought was one of Japan's greatest mid-century writers. Finally she looked up again:

-He often commited double that right?
-Hmm, maybe not. What do you mean by double suicide?

She whipped out her electronic dictionary, typed for a while, and then with pride in her eyes showed me the screen.

-Right, a couple commits suicide together. Ok. But, what do you mean by 'often'. Once you have commited suicide it is usually rather difficult to do it again. Suicide is not an act which lends itself to repetition. It is definetely a one-time affair.
-Commit suicide. Dead. How do again??
-Oh.....................................girl dead. Dazai undead
-You mean not dead?
-So Dazai found himself a girlfriend, formed a suicide pact, then invariably managed to survive, while his unfortunate lover died.

-Dazai finds girl, says I love you, let's commit double suicide, girl dead, Dazai not dead. Dazai finds new girl, says I love you, let's commit suicide, girl dead, Dazai not dead. Repeat often enough to make it often.
-This is true?
-Yes, true
-That is terrible....

Some days work is more fun than others.

-So I say right?
-Well, yes. Pure brilliance.
-Nevermind. Your sentence is fantastic. Good work.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Manga Man

No, this is not about manga. I have never read any manga, other than Doraemon (blue space cat with tools), and it is not likely that I ever will.

There is a man in my park. He proves that anything really goes here, or at least in my park.
Imgaine you are the parent of a lovely child. I can't imagine what it is like to be a father, but I am sure being protective comes with the territory. Now, imagine a wild-eyed man with crooked teeth. His hair is long and tangled, he spent last night outside. His clothes don't fit, and his glasses are held together with wire and scotch tape. He didn't shower last night, or any other night this week. Today he sits in the park. He has spread out a blanket, on it are piles of manga, his only worldly possessions. He looks mad, his eyes are on fire and he moves fitfully.

Do you let your beloved offspring anywhere near this guy? Not likely.

Yet, a bunch of kids sit around him, as if he was a librarian and it is fairy-tale time at the local public library. Only, Hannibal Lecter would do a better job posing as a librarian. But, Manga man reads manga as if he is an actor and it is the last play to be performed before the apocalypse. He is in trance, the kids are transfixed. Manga man shouts, waves his arms, and the characters leap off the pages. They are in the park, the kids can see them. Now, that's all cool. What blows my mind is that the parents of these kids are cool with them being on the same side of the fence as Manga man.

I take my hat off to these parents for allowing some lunacy into the lives of their kids.