電車を乗るのときいい気持だと思う。

An urban heart brought me without strings to the city of cities. The glowing, polluted and beautiful metropolis where two sides of everything crash, headlong, into one another. I have been tailored over 31 years to enjoy being caught in the middle.

Love grows like a bud, understanding forcing its way up through the mud of contextless confusion. I feel I am approaching everything. Riding hands free on the express train toward the heart of myself. Pink, white, green tips of branches from long-standing trees reach out to me. Under their trunks are the roots of history, sentience, memory. Each sentinel is a story waiting to be told.

The patterns of words become maps on my tongue. I can read and write before I speak, and this does not feel backwards at all. The lines of graphite and ink on white are a comfort to me. I see design and repetition in the numbers of stroke order. In the edges the buildings and flashing lights make. The curves of shadows around the bend of a wall against the river. I see kanji everywhere and I understand it on an intuitive level better than these intanible roman letters.

Every morning is a half hour commute.
The tracks of the train are well planned and get me where I’m headed fast. Though I have an inate sense that I will have to find a new home to do the work I want. But like the avenues of blossom-dusted trees, I am rooted to this place. I am rooted to places and times. There is no need to set fire to these. If I should, on what strength will I weather the storms?

Each seed cast from my hand is a place I will return to again. A semi-nomad has many homes and I was born from a motion-born blood. The energy of the air stimulates my cells to change. I am a creature of imagination, full of potential not yet realized. The set-up is still in progess. I am still riding, keeping balance, waiting for my station to come.

寂しいときはどうしたの?

[What to do in loneliness.]

I watch the train driver lean out the window as we pass the station, hand on the emergency break. There are blue lights that you can stand in at the ends of stations, almost ultraviolet in their subtle comfort. When we pass the platform, the conductor closes the window and removes the key that would allow the train to stop suddenly. When we come to the next station, even ones we glance through on the express, the conductor has been trained to lean out and watch the tracks.

The light, I noticed, is sometimes switched on for rainy days, too. Such a subtle and quiet prevention plan. One, I assume, most people don’t even know exists.

I stand in the blue light every time I wait at the station when the sun has gone down. I find the coming home alone is the hardest. I think my ears must still unconsciously listen for you at the door, in the other room. I think my mind is waiting for your coming in. My heart trying to justify in terms of logic and reason why it hasn’t happened yet.

It is a mean, hard-pressed, and lasting habit with barbs hooked into every late-night though, every half-woken moment, every sudden start from a nightmare or a dream. I had not even known it needed breaking until just yesterday.

But, how does one leave off a thing never consciously done?

Perhaps, by consciously doing something else. A behavioural cut-up until the torn-up, shorn-off feelings fade. Until habits do not directly contradict reality.

How long is that? Three days? Weeks? Years? A lifetime?

Do I have enough time left alive to place anything in the hole of you?

It’s worth a try.

Maybe I should make myself a blue, almost ultraviolet light and lay in it at night.

電車で書く日記 ー Entry from the train

I tricked myself into missing you. I had even written about it. It went like this:

Was there any way to know for certain how long we would have to connect? No, there never is. No telling. Only guessing.

I guessed you’d be unavailable for good. I didn’t know you’d br gone. I miss you, but that phrase means nothing. More accurate is: I miss the chance of you. But without that, I think I’m better off.

You were a distant star I saw through a high-powered telescope. A formation, far away, still undergoing progress. Developing into a system with orbital rings and gravity. I saw you at the start, but you drifted away from me. A rate by which I might gauge your distance.

Thousands of light years at the nearest.

I did it, not for real reasons, I think. Only to see what it would feel like when I leave. It felt exactly as expected. I was down, sore of heart, knowing somehow I had missed out.

Turns out you are still around. Just as unavailable, but not as tangibly so. Less physically, more emotionally. You bodily still pass in and out of my space. Occupy the lounge in your quiet silent way. In shadows, you hardly make a shape. Maybe no-one notices.

But I do.

Do you want to know?
I have the nerve now to tell you.
Will it change anything?
No.

Because ghosts don’t touch. We only phase in and out of reality. We pass each other on the brink of world lines and soul strings. You are a creature much of the same make-up as me. I know my kind. Outlier of one sort or another. Protective, shelled from the outside, cold as hell.

The question I have is are you a formless goo on the inside too?
I could tell if I could form a thought or a sound. If my own cells hadn’t turned my heart to gel. I don’t even know how I’m still alive. I should have died. Or…wait. Did I? Is this what death feels like?

Of a kind.

I am getting holes burned in the sockets where my eyes once were. I look in the mirror and see, not blue-grey irises – but dimes of ash. Charcoal burned to its last bit.

Funny how, only months ago, I had believed in that. Charcoal as a means to change the world. As a means to grow. I realized only after it was too late that the only thing to do with Charcoal after you make it with careful attention and long stretches of time – is to burn it through, all the way until its spent. That’s the whole goddamn point.

You could be a fool. Save the scraps for you. Make pencil cores to draw your heart’s contents out. Bu sticks in the sand work just as well. And to not burn Charcoal is to waste the energy you first put in. A self-defeating act in and of itself. Throwing  effort to a weak wind. No point. Better to use what we have and not complain when it’s through.

I think I am burning through what I wanted of you.

In the end, with the ash we can make lye. And with some fat skimmed off our sides, we can make soap to wash our faces off. Our hands can be clean in the suds of what we’ve done.

Wait, what? We? Us?

Oop. No, I just mean “me”, “I”. There is no “you” to make the plurals out of any more.

「私」、「俺」。「たち」じゃないから、「あなた」がない。 でも。。。日本語でちょっと違うでしょう?

Funny… Nihongo doesn’t differentiate between one and many things. What does that mean? I think I am going to learn.

Indirect Translations (with help from natives)

きのうのばんはとても変な夢を見た。夢の中で日が沈んだから、人々はとても心配した。色々なことをするけど何もできない。ある子供は海にいた。海はとても寒くてから、子供は凍った。ある人は日をもでしたいけどできない。ある人は車を運転したいけどできない。ある人はほかの人を助けたいけどできない。何もできない。

俺はおきて、かわいになりましたよ。

I had a dream last night where the sun died. In the dream, everyone was worried. Lots of people tried to do lots of things, but nothing worked. A child fell in the ocean. It was so cold the child froze. Someone tried to fix the sun, make it go back up — but no, it would not work. Someone else tried to make a car work. Someone else tried to help the person trying to fix the sun. Nothing worked.

— Untranslated —

I was in the dream for a moment. I wanted to go to the store and buy all the warm things because I knew that you had figured out how bad it would get. People just didn’t know yet. I didn’t try to argue, but I wanted to protect what I could before it was too late.

I looked for you, but you would not come back to me.

I woke up, fell back asleep, and still — I was in this broken world, looking for you. I looked up at the sky to see if the broken sun was anywhere in sight. Instead, I saw the moon, a mere sliver but huge and close to the earth. And I thought, the moon too is almost through now.

I went on, wondering how long the badness would take to settle in. I went on looking for you. You did not come to me.

I already know the meaning of these things.

My sun is done, and my moon too. I have little light and little warmth to go by. We already knew how things would go. The science was already known. Others have plod along this road. And yet, my heart still looks for you.

Stupid me.

I will stop being sick as of today. I will go back, full-time, to my studies. And I will craft a tongue to make new sounds I had never known before now.

Then: 日、月、星 — we will see. Maybe I can fix the sky after all. Maybe I can touch new lines. Maybe, just maybe, I’m the one.

And if not?

「まだまだ」と言う。

日本へ ー To Nihon:

Door closed. This door is a wall and I do not pass through it. I am not the ghost I thought I was. Or you know magic I did not expect. Ways to repel, to keep me back. I stare from the threshold of the house and wonder why you keep me out. Am I a demon? No, but a harmless ghost with pale skin and eyes the color of a storm-ridden sky.

Flicker of a spit of fire, shifting yellow light against a dusty brown incense stick. The flame blows out, but still, the tip glows orange-red. Amber scented smoke in my eyes and words stuck in my chest. Lumps of meaning I cannot express. Sentences that express nothing at all.

I wander through 意味 (meaning) and 体制 (structure), lost.

We two live merely doors apart, but these lives have ages between them. Worlds spent in other times. I can see your face sometimes, but never your mind. I look from a barricaded distance and glimpse images of what loving you might be like. You live, dance, sing in a light my eyes dilate against. Your body, the vessel of confusion. Your voice, the siren’s call crashing me against the rocks.

Alone, enshrined in failed attempts, I am ever cast in your shadow. An isolated drop of fresh water in an ocean of salt. A particle of dust in clean air. Dead cells to be blown away on a wind headed somewhere else. In this state, I cannot reach up or out. I only drift.

I know the key to change, but cannot forge it. I have no physical existence until we touch. I am caught in the updraft, reaching, reaching.

Will you reach back?

The moment you do — we connect.
You have nothing to lose, nothing to fear from me. I have no desire to change you, but to know. To see. To love.To grow into you.

Graph me to your skin and let’s see what we can make. Here is my arm, my blood, my heart.
どうぞ。取っておねがいします。よろしく。

Flux

I wrote these words years ago. September 2, 2011 exactly. From the sloughs of sayings and passages, things I no longer agree with – these words rang true.

“When there is no other course, we have to learn to walk the one before us anyway. When we can’t bear the one we’ve found ourselves on, we have to find a place where we can breathe the air again. When we’ve become something we can’t imagine being, we have to find some way back to where we used to be.”

What have I become that I can no longer love? And what, in the storm I passed through in my coming here, did I lose?

When, where, how can I come back to it without running from the things I still need? How do I coallate a new me?