He called a waitress to order another beer and lit another cigarette again.
I was a little nervous since he asked about my book. However, I thought that I do not need to conceal anything from him, since he just confessed his true feelings to me. Therefore, I decided to tell him about my past aborted efforts candidly.
“Hiro, it’s good for you that you’ve started something you like for yourself, and I am glad to hear that. About my writing business, I’ve struggled in vain to write for over eight years and haven’t produced any tangible things yet. The worst thing is that I haven’t been able to write any single line with my past efforts. But it doesn’t discourage me, for I know from the bottom of my heart that I want to be a writer and express myself. I don’t make myself hurry up right now; I am trying to be patient to wait to know about myself better. Without knowing about myself thoroughly, I can’t get started. Frankly, I don’t know how long it’ll take me to understand my heart, but I’m willing to embark upon the journey of self-realization. When I become forty-years old, perhaps? Ha-ha-ha…. It doesn’t matter to me anymore, but the important thing is that I’ll never give up. Maybe, I can get started writing my book in Mexico, who knows? Let’s see what’ll happen. By the way, you said before that you are very sad and regret your past life, but I see sadness and regret haven’t entered your heart.”
“Yes, Shogo, I’m not completely regretting my past life because of my family,” he replied with a bright smile, “you know, it’s sometimes good for me to go home and be surrounded by my wife and children. I don’t like going to an empty home. As you know, I tend to feel lonely easily and can’t stand loneliness. Whenever I go home after my work with an exhausted soul and see my children’s bright faces, I feel very happy as though my wearily toil were rewarded. I’ve had only one good thing in my life, having my own family. It’s so hard to feed one’s own family though. I shouldn’t let myself think all the time that I want to live your life and want to be like you. I should start thinking my life is as good as yours. But, Shogo, only you, among our mutual friends, still look so young. I really think you are the living proof that if one lives freely and does what his heart’s desire in all his life, he can stay young. Also, I think you’ll achieve your goal someday, because remember, Shogo, you’ve always accomplished everything that you’ve decided to do. This time, too, you’ll be a writer, but not an ordinary one, a great one. Don’t you think so, Shogo?”
“Yes, you are right about me, Hiro,” I replied gratefully, “I guess I will be a writer. To be frank with you, maybe, I’ve accomplished many difficult tasks in my life, but this is the most difficult one and will take time. I don’t know how long it’s going to take me for becoming a writer, but I’m pretty sure that someday I’ll become one. Thanks, Hiro, for giving me encouragement. I need it.”
Here he interrupted me with an anxious face and said, “Sorry, Shogo, I have to go. I didn’t know that it has been past 11:30 p.m. I’ve been enjoying talking with you so much, so I must’ve forgotten the time. My wife will be angry with me, but don’t worry; she knows you, and I told her that you are going to be away from Japan again. I’ll pay it, no problem, Shogo. Please wait for me outside. Don’t vanish yet, please.”
He marched out on the street and said, “I had a really good time, and I’ll miss you, Shogo. When are you coming back to Japan? I assume you have no intention to come back here, which I can see from your face. You don’t belong here, Shogo, you belong to the wide world. You’ll never learn how to adjust to Japanese society, ha-ha-ha. But it’s good for you to find out the places where make you happy. I’m not exactly happy to stay in Japan, but I have no choice, you have a choice. Enjoy Mexico, Shogo. If you ever come back to Japan, call me. I’ll call our mutual friends next time. So long!”
“I hope to see you again. Enjoy your life, too. So long, Hiro!”