I Am on Your Side

He drained the glass of beer and started his monologue, “By the way, you know, Shogo, why I married at such a young age. I married when I was twenty-three years old if you remember. I was so terrified of my father when I was child. He always beat me and rebuked me apropos of nothing. I thought that if I have my own family and my own house, I would be free; however, now I am restricted more than ever. Shogo, you shouldn’t marry before you experience everything you desire, because if you marry, you can’t do anything, but just go to work and go home. My past ten years were prosaic routines with no enthusiasms of life, but only an occasional quarrel with my wife. Indeed, I haven’t done anything in my past ten years. I have just gone to work and have stayed at home. If I go out with my old friends and come back home late, my wife will be so angry and complain to me about things. I enjoyed drinking with my friends while she was taking care of our children, and she just stayed at home to watch TV. Or she hasn’t done anything in her life, because she always has to clean the house, take care of the children, and wait for me to come back from the work.”

He lit a cigarette and continued, “I’ve thought I’m wasting my time, and I’m getting old without doing anything in my life; therefore, I’ve decided to start doing what I want to do, and I didn’t care even if I had to be divorced from my wife. Two years ago, we actually talked about the divorce, but after talking with my wife about what I felt toward everything, we became good friends again. The result is the new child. Now I have three daughters. It’s very difficult for me to support them, and money is flying away. For example, I have to buy their clothes, and of course, my wife wants to buy expensive ones. I have to pay for the rent, my children’s education fees, and other such daily stuff. If one daughter wants to learn dance, I have to pay twenty-five thousand yen per month, and of course, the other daughters want to do the same thing, and so on and so forth. There is no end, Shogo. However, I’m trying to do something right now – I feel doleful, and incredible regret assails me when I think about my wasted past life. I’ve started playing golf five months ago, and it has become my hobby. Even though I can go to play golf only on Thursdays, it makes me feel alive and good, for I at least have one day for myself. I have to confess I always envy you and am jealous of your free life. You always do according to your heart’s prompting and do not worry about anything. In fact, you have accumulated more superb experiences than any ordinary Japanese. Everyone always says you are mad, you are irresponsible person, you are impolite, you are selfish, etc. They say only bad things for you; they are so blind to see your good side. Shogo, I am on your side, and I want to live on my life like you, but I can’t – that is the truth. You don’t care about what other people think of you, and you always go your own way, that is your greatest strength, I guess. Tell me Shogo, how is your writing business? When can I expect to see your book printed?”