I Don’t Think It Is Called Life

“Life is only one time, Mr. Kura, so I want to enjoy my life at the most and want to be feeling alive all the time. I know if one has a good job, he tends to stay at his job as long as possible because it makes him feel secure and protected. In addition, in Japan if one has a job, it’s almost impossible for him to take a long vacation unless he decides to quit his job. That is why everyone doesn’t take a vacation; everyone works hard throughout a whole year without taking a rest and without a joy of life. I don’t think it is called life. I’m sorry for expressing my opinion boldly, Mr. Kura, but I really think the majority of Japanese don’t have their own lives, and they can’t enjoy their own lives because of their never ending jobs. They just go to work and take day offs on weekend. A week quickly passes without doing anything, like a smoke. They are continuing the same dull routine until their retirements. I presume they always think life is humdrum continuation; however, I like my life so much and have enjoyed my life more than anyone else, although my life has always been upside down like a rollercoaster.”

Here he interrupts me by saying, “I’m sorry, Mr. Onoe. Give me a second.” And then he is calling his colleague, “Ms. Kato, could you look for the flight ticket for Mexico on the November 27. Mr. Onoe specifically wants you to look for a year open ticket, so you can decide when he returns because he is going to change the return date over there anyway.”

He is looking back at me again. “Sorry, Mr. Onoe, now she is looking for your ticket,” he apologizes and expresses his feelings, “I’ve been immersed in your talking, so I forgot to do my duty. Mr. Onoe, I really think you are an extraordinary person. I’ve always thought so. Every time you come here to buy a ticket, I enjoy talking with you enormously because you always make enliven me with your fantastic experiences. I am forty-five years old now. I think I went to Australia twenty years ago if I remember it correctly. It was the most crucial experience in all my life. I really want to take a vacation to be feeling free again, but I can’t do it, because I am afraid that as soon as I take a long vacation like you, they’ll give my position to another person. I don’t want to take a risk to lose my job – that’s the truth. For that reason, I’ve decided to see the world again after my retirement.”