What Do You Do for Living

When I passed a drug store, an old friend was smoking a cigarette and waving his hand to me by calling my name, “Hey Shogo! What are you doing here? Come here to talk to me.”

I  was so surprised to see him, because he was often on my mind, and I was wondering what he was doing, because I had been away from Japan for several years, and indeed, I had not seen him over eleven years: “ Hey Yoshi, long time no see! What a surprise! I’m on my way to go home. What are you doing here?”

“I got a cavity, which makes me perturbed, and I want to get rid of it now. I’m waiting my turn to be seen. Moreover, I am exhausted, because today was a hectic day, and my boss rebuked me from nothing. He was just frustrated, I guess. Anyway, where did you come from just now?”

“I went to the park to ponder over something important. Walking streets aimlessly and strolling around the park are sort of my job, so to speak.”

“Shogo, you haven’t changed anything at all and look exactly the same as when we met the last time. And I don’t understand what you are talking about ‘as usual’. Why don’t you cut off bullshit such as strolling around the park, etc.? Just talk to me straightforward! What do you do for living?”

“Yoshi, let me explain in more plain words. I’ve been writing a book.”

He was perplexed and said, “I really don’t comprehend what you’re talking about. Are you writing in Japanese or what kind of language? Who are you writing for? What kind of racket are you in? Are you writing for a company? I know you’ve been abroad for a long time. America, perhaps? I forget. Shogo, please make me understand. Just let me know which company you are working for?”