I Want to Be a Writer

When I arrived at Gasto, Hiro had already been waiting for me. As soon as he saw me, he waved his right hand and approached me with a jovial smile, “Shogo! I didn’t know you were in Japan. I thought you were still in Canada. How have you been? It’s nice to see you again. You haven’t changed a bit since the childhood. You still look like a teenager as if you would never get old.”

“Yes, everyone says the same thing. I myself cannot believe I don’t have any winkles on my face, and my face is as fresh as a daisy, ha-ha-ha. Nice to see you again, Hiro. You’re getting old. Forgive me for saying that, but I can’t help myself noticing several winkles are appearing on your face. What’s going on?”

“You know, Shogo, I’ve married and have three daughters. It’s a hard business to have one’s own family. Anyway, let’s go inside to have a chat.”

We were escorted to a table and sat down. He asked, “Are you hungry, Shogo? I am not hungry because I’ve already eaten dinner at my house. But I am thirsty. I’m going to order a glass of beer. How about you? You can order anything you want. Let me pay it for you tonight as a farewell gift.”

“Thanks, Hiro. I appreciate. I am starving. I want to have a grilled steak, rice, and coke. Let’s order first.”

He asked a waitress to order food and drinks. And said, “Shogo, you should’ve called me before because everyone wants to see you again, but you no longer have time anymore. You said you’re going to Mexico in three days. You enjoy your life as always, and you always do whatever your fancies dictate. No Japanese can do that. I think only you, Shogo, enjoy life all the time and live freely. It’s a kind of gift, I suppose. Everyone has to work, and most people have their own family to support. You are single, that makes you feel free to travel around the world. You have no responsibilities, but only yourself. To tell the truth, I envy your life, Shogo. I love your style, but I can’t do that, you know. Anyway, what are you going to do in Mexico?”

“I’m going to look for a job there. And you know, I have Mexican friends who are my best friends. Life is funny because my all best friends are Mexicans. Anyway, I’ve known them for nine years, and we’ve had an incredible friendship through those years. The long story short, they offered for me to stay at their house for a while, so that I can start writing my book. I think I’ve already told you that I want to be a writer?”

Need to Share My Happiness with Someone

After reading the message, I began feeling that my new adventure is not a dream; it is the reality. “Son of bitch went to Excess again without me!” I thought and suddenly indescribable rage was attacking me, “calm down, you aggressive tiger; there is nothing to be angry at, and actually, it is OK with me unless he has crossed the line, namely, dancing with my sweetheart!” I almost forgot about her, but he reminded me. I love her very much as a friend and maybe more, who knows? I have known her over three years. Every time I see her, I become extremely happy as a baby god. The prospect of seeing her again soon cheered my spirit up to heaven, so I felt like I needed to share my happiness with someone.

I decided to call Hiro, who is my childhood chum. I have known of him since he was seven years old. We were good friends to each other until we become twenty-one years old. We were born in the same year by the way. We have taken different directions that made us separate. It was indeed a good idea to see him again and to say good-bye to him. Besides, I wondered what he has become. I did not know his cell phone number, so I decided to call his parents’ house whose telephone number is the same as my parents’ telephone number except the last digit. His mother was surprised when I called her, but she soon became friendly and begged me to see Hiro before going to Mexico, because he had no friends and would be very happy to see me again. After I got his house number, I called him. His daughter answered the phone and called Hiro on the line. As soon as he recognized my voice, he became enthusiastic and was eager to see me tonight at eight at Gasto. Settled.

See You on the Friday Night

Three days before my departure for Mexico, Gerardo has sent me a message:

 

Are you a fucking asshole? I did not know that you will be arriving this Friday, man! You should have told me about it before, idiot. Jorge and I are traveling to Guadalajara on this weekend, so nobody will pick you up at the airport. I am sorry, my friend, but do not worry, we will see you on the coming Monday. Please find a hotel to stay at. Sorry for the unexpected inconvenience, my friend. Ha-ha-ha, I am kidding, of course, I will pick you up at the airport, son of bitch! Also, you should know that you will be a Mexican citizen; therefore, you have to learn how things are going on in Mexico and have to learn basic Spanish. Don’t be pussy, idiot, you do not need to attend a school to learn Spanish; you have to learn it by yourself, man, ha-ha-ha….

Son of bitch, again, I have to pick you up at the airport, ha-ha-ha. Don’t worry, I will be there, but be sure to sleep well on the plane because we will have the busy weekend. On Friday night, we will go out with my beautiful roommate, so that you can know about her and vice-versa, she asked me that. And then on the Saturday morning at six, we will go to the bullfighting place to buy some tickets for the Sunday event and perhaps take nap a little bit. You can stay at my apartment to take a rest, but we will go to a shopping mall to look for a mattress or something like that because you cannot sleep with me on the same bed all the time! Are you fucking gay, idiot, ha-ha-ha…?  I just have a single bed.

By the way, you should go to Excess to see your Czech sweetheart, man! She will be so happy if you show your presence. I talked with her two months ago. She told me that she misses you so much and wants to see you again. And she sent you a million kisses, ha-ha-ha. She loves you very much, you lucky bastard! She is so beautiful and funny. We can go there to see her next week, so don’t worry!

I think that is all. See you on the Friday night and bring some Japanese stuff, man. Oh, I forgot to tell you that I want to go to Cancun and Playa Del Carmen with you, so please ask Ramon if I can stay at his apartment as well; otherwise, I will spend more money, and I do not have it. See you very soon, my friend!

Gerardo Balboa.

I Always Pretend Not Be Afraid of Anything

After a brief silence, he carries on, “However, I am constantly feeling bored with taking a lunch break at the same time, eating lunch at the same places, seeing the same colleagues every day. I am unsatisfied with my life, but I can’t change my circumstances because I don’t have enough energy left inside me. I guess I have lost my enthusiasm for life and curiosity for life a long time ago. The worst thing is that I am accustomed to going through the same routine without any uneasy feelings, and I can no longer see the other way of life either. You know, human beings have the ability of adjusting to any kind of circumstances. It is quite the dangerous ability, isn’t it? To be earnest with you, I envy you, for you are free like a bird and seem not to worry about anything. Mr. Onoe, you are a special person, because everyone wants to travel around the world without worrying about anything; everyone wants to take a vacation to enjoy their lives; everyone wants to take a risk to have some great experiences and adventures. However, the problem is that not everyone has the courage to take a huge step like you. Everyone is afraid of losing their jobs and afraid of losing their securities. The truth is that not everyone simply can take a risk, including myself. But you can do it, and I suppose it’s the admirable gift for one to have great courage like you.”

Here Ms. Kato approaches us with the confirmation for my flight, “Here is your itinerary, Mr. Onoe. I think you know of Mexico better than me, so as usual, I have nothing to explain you.”

“Thanks for everything, Mr. Kura. I am so excited about my new odyssey. You said just before I have great courage, but to be candid with you, I am afraid of taking such a great risk, like everyone else. However, my anticipation of a new experience overcomes my weakness. If I start thinking about money, job, security, and such superficial things, I can’t do anything in my life, because pessimistic thoughts make me paralyzed from taking any actions. Therefore, I’ve decided to be worried about such trivial things when I am in Mexico, since it is silly for anyone to think about what hasn’t happened yet. Besides, I guess that sort of thinking is the worst wasting time in one’s life. I trust God, and I always pretend not be afraid of anything. Such is my way, Mr. Kura.”

He is standing up to wish me luck, “Mr. Onoe, I hope everything will be satisfactory for you in Mexico. Also, I believe you can have incredible experiences over there. Thanks for the wonderful chat you always give me. Have a good trip, Mr. Onoe.”

I Don’t Think It Is Called Life

“Life is only one time, Mr. Kura, so I want to enjoy my life at the most and want to be feeling alive all the time. I know if one has a good job, he tends to stay at his job as long as possible because it makes him feel secure and protected. In addition, in Japan if one has a job, it’s almost impossible for him to take a long vacation unless he decides to quit his job. That is why everyone doesn’t take a vacation; everyone works hard throughout a whole year without taking a rest and without a joy of life. I don’t think it is called life. I’m sorry for expressing my opinion boldly, Mr. Kura, but I really think the majority of Japanese don’t have their own lives, and they can’t enjoy their own lives because of their never ending jobs. They just go to work and take day offs on weekend. A week quickly passes without doing anything, like a smoke. They are continuing the same dull routine until their retirements. I presume they always think life is humdrum continuation; however, I like my life so much and have enjoyed my life more than anyone else, although my life has always been upside down like a rollercoaster.”

Here he interrupts me by saying, “I’m sorry, Mr. Onoe. Give me a second.” And then he is calling his colleague, “Ms. Kato, could you look for the flight ticket for Mexico on the November 27. Mr. Onoe specifically wants you to look for a year open ticket, so you can decide when he returns because he is going to change the return date over there anyway.”

He is looking back at me again. “Sorry, Mr. Onoe, now she is looking for your ticket,” he apologizes and expresses his feelings, “I’ve been immersed in your talking, so I forgot to do my duty. Mr. Onoe, I really think you are an extraordinary person. I’ve always thought so. Every time you come here to buy a ticket, I enjoy talking with you enormously because you always make enliven me with your fantastic experiences. I am forty-five years old now. I think I went to Australia twenty years ago if I remember it correctly. It was the most crucial experience in all my life. I really want to take a vacation to be feeling free again, but I can’t do it, because I am afraid that as soon as I take a long vacation like you, they’ll give my position to another person. I don’t want to take a risk to lose my job – that’s the truth. For that reason, I’ve decided to see the world again after my retirement.”