March 20, 2006

The Disappearance of a Registry

What a strange weekend indeed. Friday night involved the typical Wakayaman fare: finish work, go to the gym, shower and shave, food at an izakaya, a few drinks with some friends, sleep. After that, everything that I undertook was distinctly outside of the routine. I got up at 6:00am on Saturday morning, rode the train to Namba Station while listening to Daniel Lanois on my discman and groggily reading Murakami's novel A Wild Sheep Chase. It is an amusing and often poignant off beat detective story, but still it is not nearly as strong in a narrative sense or in a philosophical sense as Hard Boiled Wonderland or Norwegian Wood. Upon arriving at Namba, I met up with Kris and Martyn, good friends that I made on my trip to Vietnam. We spent the day together at Universal Studios Japan, waiting in long lines, goofing off (their laughter is contagious and irresistably salubrious), and roaming through replicated American cities while the rainfall gradually dampened my clothes. Throughout the day I noticed luminous fragments of my childhood appearing to me for a second only to drift off somewhere out to sea. Those halcyon years of Fred Flintstone's "Yabba dabba doo!", cheeseburgers on Saturday afternoons, friends I would hang out with all day long, smells of the streets of Berkeley, near campus, Shattuck Ave., North Berkeley, etc. Although I was very tired, I was awake to something, perhaps that something is both within me and beyond the present day.

Upon my return, I made some friends at Wakayama Station. Makiko, Nanayo, and Ayano gave me a ride home because I had no umbrella and was barely able to keep my eyes open or stand up straight. This constellation shines on me through rainy evenings and I wander my way to something good. I made three friends, and went to bed tired, grateful, at around midnight.

On Sunday I headed up to Osaka again for round two with my friends. As I was waiting outside Namba Station, I felt the bittersweet pang of solitude--of being alone in an enormous crowd. The rush of young people--on dates, in groups, waiting for someone, going home from work, etc. gives one the feeling of being in a dream. Everytime I stand outside Namba Station by myself, I feel this deep, immeasurable duration of the world--changing at every moment, each moment interpenetrating the other and yet wholly different. Everybody is on their way--all at the same time, all falling forward into the next moment, extending with every step what is past. At night, I dreamt a very strange dream which has been in my thoughts this morning:

I was somewhere in Japan, and had a date with a very close girlfriend. Her name started with an "M." I was looking through my mobile phone to find her name, but a message had come up on my phone. I read the text message, but it turned out to be a virus that deleted my entire directory of phone numbers and mail addresses. Not only did this crush me because I needed to get into contact with "M" (as each second went by in the dream, I could imagine her forgetting me), but I also knew in some way that this loss really entailed losing my entire stay in Japan. Three unforgettable years of my life vanishing with an errant press of a button. When my body rose this morning, I felt the heft of this dream, of my recent thoughts about my last few months of this stay. After my shower, I sat on my balcony, where I routinely sit a few minutes every morning, and saw a perfectly clear blue sky--it looked bigger than I had ever seen it in Japan. The sky itself seemed like my life--in the rough, uninspiring days, it seems to contract, get smaller, more sordid and meaningless, then one morning you wake up and see how vast and endless it really is.

Today I am the only one in the teacher's room. It is a lonely sound--these computers and the kersone heater running as well as the arrhythmic click and ping of my typing cutting through the noxious drone of machines.


Blogger Ns.Eri said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2:11 AM  
Blogger Ns.Eri said...

Hi Jeff!
I wanna go USJ!
I want to see some picture of USJ☆
Did you take any pictures?
and why did you see that dream?it's littele..solitude?

8:36 AM  

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