Living in Total Despair

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I have no idea how long I have been depressed and dispirited. I have no idea how long I have been living in total despair. I am sad all the time and have no energy for anything. Even I do not care about anything, I mean that I really do not care about anything – I even don’t give any shit to women. Even I have no idea when this awful depression has started, but one thing is crystal clear to me: I have an infinite void in my heart. The funny part is that, you know, my dear readers (If I have any), nobody notices my state of depression, except my Mexican and Columbian friends. People always say to me, “You look so happy and energetic! Why do you always look so happy?” Can you beat it? No Japanese people notice my depression and say to me, “Are you okay? Why are you so depressed? No sir! No single individual offers me any sympathetic words! The truth is that people are able to see only other people’s appearances; people are not able to see other people’s heart.

Life has been so hard for me for years, since I have lost any hope for my future and enthusiasm for life itself. When I was young, I had a dream, you know, I wanted to be an artist. I had undying passion and respect for writing. I was so happy every day, since my whole energy went to writing. I loved reading books and could not pass the day without reading them. But not anymore. I have completely lost my faith in writing and passion for it. I have been no purpose in my life for years. My life has become just a humdrum existence and I have kept frittering my time away every single day….

Stop Talking Such Bullshit!

Seeking the Meaning of Life

I came back to the apartment the following night. It was Sunday. I stayed over at Jorgito’s house after the Saturday night fever with him. Gerardo was eating dinner when I came back to the apartment, and as soon as he saw me entering, he asked me without any preliminary, “Shogo, where were you last night?”

“I was with Jorgito. We went to Excess yesterday,” I replied with a mischievous smile.

“Son of bitch! That’s why you look so happy tonight. I knew it. I knew it, man! I called my mum around 11:00 p.m. yesterday – she said you weren’t at the house and went to watch a movie with Jorge. But I didn’t believe it because it was too late for a movie. I assumed you went to Excess. Why didn’t you invite me? Are you my friend?”

“Calm down, Gerardo, ha-ha-ha! Believe me, it wasn’t conspiracy; it was unintentional. We didn’t plan to go to Excess last night. It just happened.”

He was still peeved and blurted, “What? Just happened? How? In heaven’s name, tell me the truth, Shogo. Or do you want me to kick your Japanese flat ass?”

“Ha-ha-ha, Idiot. Let me explain what happened yesterday. Jorgito and I were in an exceptionally appeased mood yesterday from the morning to the night. Our souls were jubilant, so to speak. We were constantly thanking to God for giving us such a wonderful day. Happy songs were constantly coming from our lips. Even the weather was warm, and the mighty sunshine was shining on us although it was winter. We were just happy to be alive – we had worshiped life the whole day, so to speak.”

“Shut up, man! Ha-ha-ha, I don’t need to hear if you were happy or if stupid Jorge was singing – stop talking such bull-shit! Just tell me how you, guys, ended up to Excess!” he shouted at the top of his lungs.

When Do You Usually Feel Happy?

I asked another cigarette, and he reluctantly gave it to me. I lit it and said casually: “But, Yoshi, I just said you should take a vacation to learn new things and make new friends from different countries because they think and behave differently from Japanese. I just thought it might help you to understand the meaning of life. Anyway, it’s okay with me if you don’t want to see the world because it’s your life. Please forgive me for saying, but I pity you sincerely, because you said you have nothing to do if you have a lot of free time that implies you don’t have real friends. Life is immense and offers a lot of opportunities if you look at it another way. I know Japanese are busy at keeping their jobs, nothing more, and nothing less. Like you, they just waste their time making money and don’t know how to enjoy their lives. If you had real friends, you would always want to go out with them and would have a lot of plans to share your joy of life with them. By the way, you complained about your boss and job circumstances before if I remember correctly. Are you truly happy just working every single day for the rest of your life without anything to show for you dear life? When do you usually feel happy? I’m very sure that when you work, and your boss scowls at you for nothing, you are not happy. For that reason, I assume while you’re being on the job, you’re not happy. Tell me, Yoshi?”

Pause.

“I am happy when I finish my work and go home. I am happy to stay at home to do what I want to do, watching Japanese TV shows and playing video games. I’m no problem being rebuked because the company is not mine, and besides, my boss gives me the steady job. I feel secure. I don’t expect anything else from life, except my security. I am sorry, Shogo, I have to go to see a dentist right now. Please let me know your mobile phone number so that we can go drinking sometime.”

I gave him a wrong number and said, “See you around, Yoshi.”

“I’ll call you, Shogo. Maybe, I’ll let other friends know you’re in Japan now. Everyone wonders where you are and what you’ve become. See you soon, Shogo.”

Complete Boredom

I countered thoughtfully, “To be sure, I completely understand what you’re talking about. And I am not interested in politics, because people are too ignorant to know what to choose; therefore, we have a lot of parties anyway…. But really? You said you are happy to work every day, but I presume you don’t have any life. Actually, I can smell perfect resignation of life from you. Just working five days a week makes you happy? You don’t need a vacation? Have you taken two or three months of vacation recently? Do you have friends beside Japanese? It’s not life, Yoshi. Sometimes, you need to take a vacation to enjoy your life. You have to see the world sometimes, so that you can learn something new, which might expand your vision of your life. For me, I always take a vacation every six months to go to Mexico to see my friends. That makes me happy, and I always have a great time. My Mexican friends came to Japan two years ago, and we went Kyoto and China. That trip was awesome, too.”

He couldn’t listen anymore and made me stop talking by bellowing, “Shogo, just listening to you makes me annoyed. Why the hell should people see the world? You’re talking as if Japan was the worst place to live and as if just going to a job every day couldn’t make people happy. You have to know, I don’t need any vacation because if I always take a vacation, I’ll have nothing to do, just complete boredom. If I have a lot of spare time, actually, I don’t have anything to do. Consequently, it’s good for me to work constantly so that I won’t get bored every day. I don’t care about Mexicans, Americans, Europeans, or Canadians. I like Japanese people and women. I don’t need to go anywhere. Just having the good job and having two day offs a week satisfies me and is enough for me. Shogo, if you don’t like Japan, why are you staying here? Just leave Japan, I kindly suggest to you.”

I’m an Autodidact

Here I laughed at his perplexity and asked for a cigarette: “Give me a cigarette, Yoshi? Thanks.”

“I have a job and am working for a company, but it’s not important and nothing to talk about – for the sake of earning money, I’m just doing it. The main thing is writing. I’m writing in English, so that I’ll have a lot of opportunities to find publishers around the world. Also, I think Japanese can’t understand my book, like you don’t comprehend what I’m talking about right now.”

“I still don’t understand what you mean, Shogo. Who asked you to write the book? Do you have somebody to check your English? Who are you working for?”

“No, I am not working for anybody, and nobody asked me to write either. I am working for myself. I want to be an artist. I’m pretty sure that you don’t understand it either because, being Japanese, you can only comprehend how to go to work every day. I know art is like a trash to you. No, nobody checks my English because I’m an autodidact. I’m pretty sure too, being Japanese, that you don’t understand the way of one educating himself.”

He started getting irritated and threw the cigarette on the side work, “Shogo, you’re talking to me condescendingly. What’s wrong with being Japanese? I like Japan and like the Japanese way of life so much. I think you are screwy, because you think you can educate yourself without anyone’s instruction. You simply can’t do that if you really want to write books. First of all, you have to learn how to write, edit, and organize from some experts. That’s why we have teachers. I really don’t comprehend what you have in your mind. Furthermore, I like my job and am satisfied with my life. I have a good job and work five days a week, because now Japanese economic situation is bad, so some of my friends can’t work five days a week. Therefore, I am lucky to have the steady job. Besides, I’m interested in politics and am studying Japanese politics now. Maybe, you cannot understand that way.”