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.”

I Am Hopelessly Different

A break time is coming! It is my best time of a day at the office. My colleagues always make groups to have lunch together, which makes me nauseated. They are not able to enjoy their break time by themselves, because they are constantly worried if they do not eat together, they might be missing precious information about the latest job news; they are constantly worried if they do not eat together, they might be outsiders. They constantly think about job conditions, poor Japanese! Of course, I am always alone and enjoy being free from my nauseating colleagues and appreciate having my own time. They occasionally ask me to join them to eat lunch together because they are very curious about me. They know that I have knocked about the world a wee bit and can speak English fluently as well as a touch of Spanish. They feel that I am completely different from ordinary Japanese. To tell the truth, I am hopelessly different from them and have nothing in common with them. I even do not know how to talk with them and what subjects I should talk about. I know that if I let myself have a lunch with them, they will only talk about a job, nothing more and nothing less, because they do not know how to enjoy their lives; they only know how to work five days a week like a robot. Their only link to each other at the office is the job, so they have no choice but to always talk about the job.

As soon as my lunch break comes, I dash out of the office to avoid being invited to have a lunch with them. I always have a single idea – go to Starbucks to read a book to improve myself. I have been reading the important book, The Growth of Soil. I am so immersed in Hamsun’s beautiful world and am aware that I am participating in the era of human degeneration. Naturally, I forgot about going back to the office. My usual break time is from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., but when I realized it, it was already past 2:30 p.m.