Do Not Want to Continue My Empty and Barren Life Again

In five days, I would have to go back to Japan to continue my empty and barren life again. I have to wake up 7:00 a.m. with a hysterical alarm clock every morning, take an oppressively crowded train to go to Sibuya Station, do what I do not want to do, pretend to obey my supervisor, and so on, such lifeless activities. My supervisor and my colleagues accused me of indiscretion because I told them that I would take a three-week vacation to go to Mexico. They said to me with a confounded expression on their faces, “Mr. Onoe, I just can’t believe you. I think apparently you don’t have any decency and responsibilities as mature people do because while everyone is working, you’re taking a vacation. Everyone has been working here longer than you, and on top of it all, you are new and have been working with us for only five months. I cannot believe how you dare to ask for taking such a long vacation.”

Japanese never change. They are just jealous of my free spirit and envy my free life. I know that at the bottom of their hearts, they secretly want to see the world, but they simply can’t do that because of fear of losing their jobs. And the worst part is that they never admit it because of their pride. What a bunch of vainglorious creatures! They are lamentably unable to realize one of important tools to improve themselves, experience. Just working five days a week like a machine for all their lives without experiences is just killing time. Making money and protecting their security might be good; however, without any enjoyment in one’s life, without any real friends in one’s life, and without any great adventures in one’s life – everything crumbles away from your fingers eventually. I have a few times left, so I should enjoy the rest of my time here at the most. Forget the inevitability of my return to Japan soon, but enjoy tonight at the most and thank to God for giving me the great opportunity to have this awesome experience.

Making Good Friends Is More Important Than Just Earning Money!

Everyone started dancing. “I have never attended such an enchanting wedding in Japan,” I thought to myself. While everyone was dancing exuberantly, I rambled around the garden. The night was so calm, and it was a refreshing weather with a present breeze. The ardently incandescent stars were above me. I sauntered slowly with my hands in my pocket toward the end of garden in order to take a look at the beautiful night view over the town and the calm sea. The sound of gentle wave made me elated, and I lapsed into reverie for a while. I am definitely happy right now, and I am lucky to be Ramon’s friend to experience such an admirable wedding. In fact, this is my third time to come to Cancun because of him. He had a sumptuous apartment in Cancun two years ago, since his grandmother rented it for him for a year. Ramon had always invited me to come to Cancun to enjoy his apartment, and I had indeed gone to Cancun twice to enjoy staying there. I had always watched the beautiful sea from his apartment’s balcony; I had enjoyed swimming and sunbathing at the pool.

Japanese people think that if they want to go abroad to enjoy staying at a gorgeous hotel or have a grand time, they need money. Many Japanese have told me that they cannot go abroad so often like me because they do not have money. What ignorant people! They are apparently too busy making money and forget the most essential thing in one’s life: having good friends is everything. They know how to make money, but unfortunately, they do not know how to make good friends and how to build a good friendship. They have been totally blind not to realize the simple truth, making good friends is more important than just earning money. They never realize that I do not have money, but I have great friends – that is why I am able to go abroad often because my friends have always offered me to stay at their homes for gratis. I hope someday Japanese will realize that good friends can have the power to offer more great things than money can offer them.

 

 

What a lucky race, eh?”

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.

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 Are You Waiting for?

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.”

The Sign of God from the Heaven

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.”