Never Expected It to End Like This!

Seeking the Meaning of Life

One day Henri, Isabelle, and I decided to go to Tulum to see the Mayan pyramids. When we got there, we decided to hire a tour guide in order to be informed of the history of Maya. Henri and Isabel preferred a Spanish tour guide, but I preferred an English one. Therefore, we eventually decided to hire a bilingual tour guide who told us that the entire tour, to see everything properly, should take us approximately forty minutes, so we thought that it should be over an hour because he had to explain the same things twice with Spanish and English.

The tour was getting started magnificently, and the tour guide seemed to be awesome, too. During the tour, he was comparing Mayan culture with modern teenagers’ fashion styles. He was explaining, “Young people want to show their individuality – that’s why many people have piercings on their body nowadays, and so did the Mayans. Think about Mayan’s half-naked clothes. They want to show their individuality and uniqueness as well. Now I guess you, guys, start to apprehend what I’m implying. Half-naked cloth for Mayans is the symbol of their individuality. Mayans thought their half-naked fashion style is cool, and they were proud of their individualism, as modern young people are proud of wearing piercings on their body nowadays.” 

As we were approaching the main Mayan temple, he said to us, “Look at over there! Very beautiful ocean, eh? From this cliff, we can see amazing ocean view. The ocean’s color changes depending on which angle the sun shines at. Can you imagine that Mayans were praying at this temple with this alluring ocean view? What a lucky race, eh?”

Pause.

He suddenly broke unexpected news, “Here I have to say good-bye to you because this is the end of our tour. If you want, you, guys, stay here to enjoy the dazzling ocean view for a while. I hope you, guys, have enjoyed this tour. Have a good time, guys.” And he went away without looking back.

We were flabbergasted and speechless for a minute because he ended the tour abruptly.

Isabelle suddenly burst out laughing with tears in her eyes, “I can’t believe it. He told us that the tour would take over forty minutes, but he finished it in just fifteen minutes. He didn’t explain any of Mayan history whatsoever, but just compared modern young people’s fashion to Mayan fashion. I thought it would take more than seventy-five minutes because he had to explain both Spanish and English, so I calculated. I never expected it to end like this!” And we all of us burst out laughing.

What a Confound Guy He Is!

Seeking the Meaning of Life

I have been treated with a plethora of generosity from everyone since my arrival at Playa Del Carmen, as though an Elijah had appeared to them from out of the sky. I have been staying at Ramon’s apartment for a week now. To my astonishment, Henri has been with them for ten days already when I came here. They informed me that he would go back to France in five days, and this is his vacation.

As I say, I have been treated good and proper here, but actually it is overabundant. From morning to night I am fed good and proper without spending any single penny. Every morning Patricia asks me what I want to eat for breakfast and always serves a fresh breakfast with hot coffee, of course. Ramon always eats lunch around 2:00 p.m. and always picks me up wherever I am. He always says, “Shogo, you don’t need to pay for anything because you’re unemployed right now, ha-ha-ha. Don’t worry, bitch, I’ll pay for you.” In the night we always sail on Fifth Avenue to eat dinner and then go to a bar or a night club, or Chilly Willys, perhaps? Every night adventure, Henri insists that he takes care of everything, what a confound guy he is! Every morning I wake up with a heart overflowing with gratitude and fervently thank Lord Almighty for being born under the lucky stars.

I met Henri ten months ago here in Playa Del Carmen. I had been in Mexico due to the Ramon’s execution day, as he called it. Henri is one of Ramon’s best friends. Henri and Ramon had attended the University of ITESO in Guadalajara three years ago and became friends. Henry and I were staying at Ramon’s apartment together ten months ago. Ramon was busy preparing for his wedding, so I naturally spent time with Henri.

Let’s See What Will Happen

Seeking the Meaning of Life

The street is almost empty, and only a few cars are on the road due to the Christmas night. The starry sky is above us, and the night has a brisk weather. While we are driving to his parents’ house, Gerardo suggests to me as if God revealed the divine truth to him, “Shogo, I’m thinking what he told you. You know, so many good things have occurred to you since you came to Mexico. He is right, why don’t you start writing about your life? Your life constitutes with the great deal of breathtaking experiences. And he is right about your anger, too. You shouldn’t think about Japan anymore, you know. I know how you feel toward Japan, but you are in Mexico right now and have been enjoying your life with us. Hence, you don’t need to be angry anymore. I’m thinking you should write about your life in Mexico. What do you think about it, Shogo?”

I am astonished at his idea and divulge, “I’ve never thought about it, my friend. I have always wanted to write about my life, especially my wonderful experiences in Vancouver; I’ve always thought my first book would be about Vancouver period. I don’t know now if I’ll write about the Mexican adventure, but thanks, my friend, I will consider it positively. I just need more time to think about what I’m going to write.”

He is a bit vexed. “Shogo, you don’t need to think, but just write,” he exclaims. “What are you waiting for? Do you think everyone is waiting for you till you get divine inspirations, as you put it? You’re thinking too much about how to begin, I assume. Everyone recognizes a writer in you and believes you are a natural born writer, but only you, Shogo, yourself still have doubt for your talent – that’s why you’ve never get started. Ramon, Jorge, and I have strong faith in you. We just want you to be happy and want you to realize you can do it. Look, Shogo, even a total stranger recognized you tonight and believed you would write a wonderful book. How come? Because it’s so obvious, my friend.”

“Yeah, you might be right. I still have doubt for my ability to write – that’s why I am unable to get started. I will ponder over it in Playa Del Carmen.”

He lights a cigarettes and chafes, “You obstinate son of bitch! You know, if I were in your shoes, I wouldn’t let myself waste any time and would write a book every day like a possessed. If I had such a superb gift as you do, I would produce book after book, so that I would make sure that I wasn’t wasting my talent. I really don’t understand you sometimes anyway. You have to promise me that you will start writing your book after Playa Del Carmen, okay?”

“Yap, I will try doing my best – you will see, my friend. You will see my artistic side after Playa Del Carmen. Even you won’t recognize me anymore, because I will write every day, without allowing myself any rest like a blissful lunatic, ha-ha-ha.”

“I hope so, I really hope so. Let’s see what will happen, my friend.”

I’ll Be a Writer

Seeking the Meaning of Life

As soon as I come back to the table, Gerardo asks, “Shogo, what just happened over there? What did he tell you?”

I am still perplexed and say reflectively, “He just gave me five hundred pesos.”

“I know. I saw it, but why?”

Pause.

“He wants me to remember I have a friend in Mexico whenever I see it.”

“Really? I don’t believe it, because nobody hands five hundred pesos out to a stranger or helps a stranger without any ulterior motives just like that.”

Apparently, Gerardo does not believe what just happened and has a suspicion of the gentleman. Hence, I decide to tell him exactly what has just happened without omitting anything to him.

After a pensive silence, he says passionately, “Shogo, you know, as I told you, nobody gives you money without any ulterior motives, but in this exceptional case I believe you. Of course, I saw with my own eyes when he hand the money out to you. I think somehow in your past or your whole life, you’ve always helped people or been generous to people. I don’t know what way you help people, but you’ve been always good to people in some way – that’s why such an incredible thing happen to you. Don’t flatter yourself, idiot, I know what you’re thinking in your mind, but wait and just listen to me. I really believe that if one wants to do something with all his heart, the universe will help him – that’s why people always help you now.”

I reply jubilantly, “Yeah, you are completely right. I am always kind to my fellow men except Japanese, ha-ha-ha. But I don’t believe it’s just a pure fluke. This kind of thing just doesn’t happen to everyone. I think it’s the sign of God from the heaven – I’ll be a writer. It’s the sign of fulfillment, my friend! If not, why have unexplainable things kept on happening to me in all my life? This is not the first time such an extraordinary thing has happened to me; there are legions, ha-ha-ha! If you want, I’ll tell you other wonderful incidents.”

“Calm down, Shogo, I believe you. I think so, too, this kind of thing simply doesn’t happen randomly. I totally agree with you, but please don’t be too excited, idiot,” he laughs.

“But I’m still thinking about it. As you know, I love Starbucks, but today suddenly, I changed my mind to go to Burger King. Why, my friend? Why on earth did I change my mind suddenly? And why did I exactly choose Burger King because I always prefer McDonalds? I think God changed my mind with his index finger, so that I could meet the gentleman there. It was fate. Otherwise, I can’t explain the whole thing.”

“Ha-ha-ha, idiot, are you still exuberant? Yeah, probably, you are right, this is the sign from heaven, as you said. Who knows? What I understand is that this kind of thing usually doesn’t happen, and only a few people are born under lucky stars to have a privilege to experience such an extraordinary event in one’s life. I hate to admit, but you are one of them. In fact, I’ve always suspected it though. The incident confirms it. If you simply told me this incredible story, I wouldn’t believe any single word that came from your mouth; however, I saw the whole thing with my own eyes, you lucky bastard! I was unlucky to be a witness, because I know, you’re going to tell everyone about the incident, and every time you need a proof, I’ll be summoned to confirm it. I’ll be a fucking living proof, man, ha-ha-ha.”

Please Don’t Say Anything

Seeking the Meaning of Life

He suddenly fishes out five hundred pesos from his wallet and asks, “Could you accept a small favor? Here is five hundred pesos. Please don’t feel insulted. I know you have money, and it’s not too much but just listen. Just imagine these kinds of situations – maybe, you are not worried about money now, but one day you might face a situation you want to take a bus, but you don’t have any money on you or you might face a situation you want to eat something, but you don’t have enough money to buy food or something like that. When you face these kinds of situations, and you open your wallet and find the five hundred pesos, I want you to remember you have a friend in Mexico. I want you to remember I will remain your friend, and if you need any help, my door will be always open for you.”

He shows me his identification, “See here is my name, here is my address, and here is my occupation. I am living in Golf de club, too, like your friends. Now you know where to find me.”

I am flabbergasted and do not know what to say. I simply accept it and say, “Thank you very much.”

Here he stands up and offers his right hand to shake my hand, “I have something to take care of. I hope every Mexican will help you and will be kind to you. You seem a bright young man, so I am not worried about you. I wish you will spend a great time in Mexico. Please don’t say anything. It’s nothing, my friend. It’s just a small token for your incredible story. Once more, allow me to be giving you the last advice. I can detect anger from your voice when you talk about Japan. I can easily understand how you had suffered and how lonely you had been in Japan. However, listen to me, young man, when you let your anger overcome you, you can’t write a good book; anger makes you stray from your true intention. Let it go, however difficult it is, okay? Moreover, I still can’t fully recover from the shock of such a brilliant young man like you who is destined to overcome a great deal of tribulations. Anyway, I have a hunch that you will be starting to write your book very soon. Don’t forget what I’ve told you – just tell the truth faithfully that you’ve experienced. It is a real pleasure to meet the young man, who has his own vision. You just believe in your own power come hell or high water, and everything will be jake with you. Have a good time in Mexico.”

With that, he walks out.