Your Eyes Are Sparkling More Than Ever

The happy smile appeared on his face, and he uttered jubilantly, “Welcome back, Shogo. Now you’ve become yourself again. It is a nice feeling to have old Shogo back again!”

His animated expression made me smile, and I said emotionally, “Thank you very much for everything, Jorgito. I don’t mean only this occasion, but the whole things you’ve done for me. I really appreciate for your kindness, and I am lucky to have you as a best friend.”

“Oh, Shogo, you don’t need to thank me because you are my friend. It’s my great pleasure to help you all the time. By the way, everyone tells me that you’re looking better, day by day, and your eyes are sparkling more than ever,” he nodded pleasingly.

“Who said that?”

“Everyone, my parents, my friends, including Betty, who is my housemaid, you know.  Every time someone asks me why you look intoxicated and elated, I feel so happy because I know about the secret of your euphoric state. Every time someone asks me about your radiant face, I nod to myself contentedly and talk to myself under my breath, ‘I know why Shogo is happy every day – because he is free! He doesn’t need to take a job his heart refuses, he’s started writing, he is living in his dear life on his own sweet way, he isn’t in Japan; his is in Mexico, he is doing every day what his heart desires, and so on and so forth.”

Here I couldn’t refrain myself from uttering, “Because of you, my friend. You’ve made me come here and given me the opportunity to find my true self. Without your help, I couldn’t get started. You must know your friendship made me start and made my crucial dream realize.”

He blushed and replied embarrassedly, “Oh, Shogo, you’re very welcome. I am just happy to hear that you are happy and enjoy your life here in Mexico. You know what I’m thinking about? I’ve been thinking about your past three months’ life. You came to Mexico City, visited Playa Del Carmen, and now you’re going to Los Angeles! You are the happiest Japanese bird under the vast firmament, my friend. Can you believe that the new adventure lined up for you again? Isn’t it incredible, is it?”

Are You Going to Los Angeles Tomorrow?

My nightmare turned into a new adventure. I decided to go to Los Angeles to get the emergency card, which I can use only for a month. Gerardo suggested to me that he knows that I am dying to resume my work, but I should use this opportunity to have a new experience; I should not rush to come back here to continue writing. Besides, I haven’t taken any day offs since I got started, so I should take a short vacation, at least a couple of days, so that I can get to know about Los Angeles, can recoup my strength, and can start over writing with renewed energy. I totally agreed with his point of view and decided to stay there for three days.

One day before my departure for Los Angeles, I went to the office, since I had an appointment with Jorgito. When I entered the office, he was calculating the expense of material for his next project. He said, “Hey Shogo, how are you? I was waiting for you. Sorry for asking you to come to the office, because I know you are busy with writing, but I want to talk with you before you fly to Los Angeles.”

“Please sit down here, Shogo. Give me five minutes to finish this,” he offered me the chair.

“No problem, take your time, my friend,” I lit a cigarette and looked at the outside below to watch happy passersby in the sun from the window.

“Shogo, I’m done. Are you going to Los Angeles tomorrow?”

“Yes, my friend. I’m looking forward to embarking on a new adventure.”

“I’m so relieved by your final decision. It’s much better for you to fly to Los Angeles than fly to Japan. And it’s much cheaper. Still you have to pay some expenses for this errand though.”

He was looking at the outside for a while with pensive face and confessed, “You know, Shogo, the other day when you told me that you would go back to Japan because of the stupid problem, I was so mad at you. I thought, why did you have to go back to Japan? You’re halfway through your mission, and everything is getting better for you. Also, I was so mad at the fucking Japanese. Why don’t they want to let you know about your pin number over the phone? You’re living in Mexico and doing the most important thing for your life, but they don’t want to help you; they obstinately make you go back to Japan to have the proper proceedings. Is the bank’s regulation is important than one’s destiny? I really don’t think so. I don’t understand Japanese sometimes. Why don’t they just make an exception on this special occasion? Why don’t they want to help their fellow man who is trying to realize his dream? Why do they heartlessly try to hinder their fellow man who perseveres to follow his own destiny? I don’t comprehend Japanese bastards!”

“I know you were very angry with me the other day. I am sorry because I wasn’t quite myself, and my mental state was shaking. Anyway, forget about Japanese, because talking about incurable cold-hearted creatures is a waste of our precious time completely. Let’s talk about something more cheerful, my friend.” 

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….

There Is Another Way

“Of course, man! He was right to be angry with you, because he has tried to support you in every possible way, so that you can achieve your goal. Moreover, he simply wants to see you be recognized as a writer and wants to help liberate you from where you don’t want to belong. You have to understand why he is angry with you. To be candid with you, I am angry with you right now. Why, Shogo? Tell me only one plausible explanation for going back to Japan? Please make me understand your hasty decision. Do you miss Japan? Tell me the truth, man!”

I was looking down for several seconds with my hands in my pockets and replied, “Gerardo, of course, I don’t want to go back to Japan, believe me, but the truth is that I’ve been frittering my time away for the past several days because of this fucking problem. I couldn’t progress my work because I simply can’t concentrate on writing. This fucking problem has constantly been bothering my mind like a pest. As you see, I’ve been perpetually agitated for past several days. The worst part is that I’m losing my equilibrium. Moreover, I know Jorgito and you want to help me, but it isn’t a pleasant feeling for me to ask you for money all the time even if you are my best friend, trust me. Wait, Gerardo, I know what you want to say, but just listen. I know you are a very good person and good friend – you’ll sacrifice your needs for me when the thing becomes unsolvable. And I don’t want to let it happen. Besides, I know you don’t have money, son of bitch! I don’t want to make you sacrifice for me. The main point is that I want to compose myself again. Maybe, in two weeks, I’ll come back here, I promise.”

“I know what you’re feeling, and I know you haven’t been yourself for past several days. Of course, I don’t have money, but I want to help you. Do you really think you don’t have another option? Think harder, my friend.”

Pause.

“Maybe, there is another way.”

“What?”
            “I said I know another way to solve out the problem; however, it is only temporary. I guess I should go to Los Angeles.”

“Why? Tell me everything.”

“They told me that I can’t fix my problem in Los Angeles, but there is a Japanese agency which will lend me an emergency card. If I get the card, my parents can deposit money into the account, and I can withdraw it here.”

His face was brightened by the prospect of hope, “It is good news, man! Why didn’t you tell me this before? Who cares if the card is temporary or not? The important thing is that you can withdraw money here. Shogo, get the emergency card, ask your parents to deposit all money you have into the account, withdraw all the money, and keep it into a safe place. That’s it, my friend! You don’t need to fix your card problem; just let it be invalid like a used condom, ha-ha-ha.”

I smiled at his spontaneous mirth and said, “You are right, my friend. Tomorrow I’ll call Los Angeles to get more information about the emergency card. I guess it’s cheaper flying to Los Angeles than flying to Japan, isn’t it?”

“Of course, it’s much cheaper, man!” he piped up, “it is between four hundred and five hundred American dollars. Anyway, you can go there with less than five hundred American dollars. And good thing is that now Voralis has international flight, so you can go to Los Angeles from Toluca Airport. I’ll buy the flight ticket for you. Call me tomorrow after you get the information and let me know how many days you want to stay there, okay?”

I will Help You

Several days had elapsed in this fashion, and I could not concentrate on writing, so naturally, the writing was neglected. One day I was so stressed out by the abortive circumstances and said to Gerardo, “I guess I have to go back to Japan to fix the problem.”

He was visibly confounded and inquired, “Why? You don’t need to go back there. Just ask them to transfer the money into my bank account.”

“I asked them, but they said ‘NO’ because of Japanese law.”

“What? Fucking Japanese! I can’t believe it!” he exclaimed resentfully. “Why? I am your friend, and my bank account is valid. Besides, why can’t they tell you about the pin number over the phone at the first place? You are in Mexico, so they must tell you about it because you have no money. Above all, the money is yours; not theirs. I can’t believe such heartless creatures exist on this earth. I’m beginning to understand why you hate Japan so much. They’re fucking inflexible people. I remember vividly that when I was in Kyoto, they couldn’t let me use the internet unless I took a membership card, shit! Anyway, Shogo, you must avoid going back to Japan. We have to start considering another way to solve the problem. Going back to Japan isn’t an option for you. Understood? You’ve started writing, and you are on the way to realize your dream right now. Jorge and I will help you and lend you money till you solve out the problem. Besides, Jorge won’t let you go back to Japan.”

“In fact, I saw Jorgito today and told him everything. I told him I’ve been so frustrated because I couldn’t concentrate on writing. This silly problem has kept on bothering me constantly and made me lose my equilibrium. It’s been torture for me not to be able to focus on writing. Japanese bastards obviously don’t care about anything, but only the bank’s regulation. In conclusion, I have no choice, but go back there, fix the problem, and come back here to resume my mission.”

“What did he say?”

“He listened to me very attentively with sympathetic ambience and said solemnly that he doesn’t want me to go back to Japan and wants me to find another way to solve it out, but if I can’t compose myself and can’t have peace of mind due to this fucking problem, he’ll respect my decision. But I know he was so angry at my decision because I can see it on his face.”