Monday, March 10, 2008

Gaijin.

You are writing about when you were in Japan.
And it must be under 300 hundred words.
Do you think you can do that?

I can't write about Japan.
Japan is a dream to me.

Japan has lost all the colours and all the smells, madness and memories - faded fifteen years and ten lifetimes ago. Japan is a single brush stroke, a fast car, a US Marines flag - held high riding in the wind across the mountains from Nagoya to Iga on a 250cc road bike.

Japan is Miyazaki Yoko, taking me by the hand as we choose a room and she undresses and my inexperience is her aphrodisiac and she has been here before and I have not and we only have two hours and that is forever to me as she cries out, I'm Coming, I'm Coming - no wait she says - I'm Going, I'm Going and afterwards there is no one to share the moment with, only millions of misunderstandings, staring at me on the train home to a family who nod and smile and feed me as though they understand.

And that night, in a warm bed in a cold room by the train station, I fall asleep to the scratch and squibble of an illegible alien announcement. And somewhere, someone misses me, but under the covers I am alone, and trying, trying, to fit in, remembering home, my sister, my dog, until in sleep - only in sleep - it all makes sense, Japan is a dream to me, and I have become Japanese.

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