He looks at the outside poignantly for a while. And then he continues, “To my great sadness, my two brothers emigrated to America six years ago. They’ve been telling me that I have to go there because I can have a better life over there with a lot of money. What does it mean by that? They are talking constantly as if making money were everything for life. I am so ashamed of them, and I’ve decided to stop contacting with them for years now. I like Mexico, you know. People are very generous here and are down to on earth. I can still feel humanness in them, and they apparently have compassion toward humanity. I might not have a lot of money, but I have enough money to support myself and am proud of myself for remaining as a human being with consideration. Young man, remember that, money is just a paper and nothing more and nothing less. If you let yourself lose over money, not only lose your dignity, but your life on this earth as well. Life is more than making money, I assure you, young man. I am over fifty years old. My experiences have taught me these imperative integrities. I’m telling you all of these things, because my instinct keeps on telling me that you are different from contemporary and aimless young men. Tell me, why are you coming to Mexico, and what is your intention for your life?”
I am stunned at his vehemence of America, and at the same time, I cannot help admiring his intelligence. He told me all of them with a complete calmness. His way of talking somehow impresses me, and I involuntarily start to tell him about my life story, acknowledging that I came to Mexico in order to start writing a book; conceding how I have been struggling in vain to write for years despite of my fervid efforts; confessing how I had suffered, and how I had felt useless and a total failure in Japan.
He listens to what I uttered with fully attentive eyes and nods many times during my speech as if all my sufferings were familiar with him. After a brief silence, he says, “What expressive eyes you have, young man! Do you always look at people’s eyes directly when you talk? Do you know your eyes brighten ardently like incandescent stars in heaven? Most people are not able to talk to people while looking at their eyes directly, because it makes them embarrassed.”
I am abashed by his compliment and blurt, “I don’t know it’s good for me or not, but I always do because I want people to know what I’m talking about. I suppose it is the way everyone ought to talk anyway. Many people say I have impressive eyes, but I don’t know why people always praise my eyes.”
“Don’t underestimate your own power, young man!” he admonishes me, “don’t you realize what a great story you’ve just told me? You said you don’t know how to start. Why don’t you start writing about your life? Your life is a full of adventures – I’ve never met anyone who’s been living through such an extraordinary life like yours, including your helpless tribulations in Japan. You don’t need to try to be anybody else; just be yourself – just tell the truth, what you’ve experienced. That’s enough for you to get started, and the whole world will be spellbound by your story. Like me, I am still overwhelmed with your fabulous story. I still can’t believe a man is able to accumulate such prodigious experiences in his lifetime. What a sorrowful cross you had borne on your back in Japan, young man!”