I Need to Be Free, My Brother!

I open the window in my small room to look up the sky and make sure that today is a clear sky; I want to stroll around the park so that I can be at peace and be relaxed. Before going out, I checked my e-mail inbox and received a message from my good friend Jorgito. It is a panic-stricken e-mail, actually to the point of desperation:

 

Dear Shogo,

Are you still alive, my brother? Are you still working? Have you quit your stupid job already? If you have not, I sincerely hope that you will quit your job as quickly as possible, so that you can enjoy your freedom and concentrate on your mission as a writer. I always remember our talks. Remember, Shogo, we always talked about the meaning of life, the society system, our adventures, beautiful women all over the world, Prison Break, and so on when you were in Mexico. I miss our talks and you so much. I am not gay, but I love you very much as a friend. But now I am surrounded by imbeciles every day.

I am writing to you at Starbucks, because I do not have any place to eat lunch in my office, where my stupid colleagues are everywhere talking about the fucking job. I hate my job and my colleagues so much. Today my boss is pressuring me too much again, and he told me that I have to work on this Saturday and Sunday, too. I do not understand why I have to work on the weekend. I am feeling like I am a nigger slave, shit! I really think that my boss is incurably retarded. I really want to quit my job, but people always say foolish things to me: “Why do you want to quit your job when you can earn a good salary?” “You have to think about your future more seriously because you are over thirty years old now” “Are you crazy because you have just started working here and actually have been here only for a month, but you are already thinking about quitting a job again?”

I think that mediocrities cannot understand our way of lives, my brother. I am so frustrated by the situation I am in. I am always agitated when thinking about a job. I really do not want to participate in this part of the world society system, do not agree with it, and do not want to be a slave. I just want to live according to my own system. You know, I am talking about the right system… because it is so simple that I just want to enjoy my life and work for myself.

I am really worried about my illness, because I went to a bathroom seven times yesterday and am having fucking diarrhea today. I really think that the irritated job makes my illness worse because of unbearable stress. How about your stomach? Still bleeding from your ass? Shogo, I am worried about your health, too. You have to quit your job before it makes your health destroyed incurably. Please do not waste your time. I know that you have a talent, so focus only on writing.

For the sake of my health and life, I swear to Lord Almighty in heaven, I am going to quit my fucking job as soon as possible, even after the lunch break! I mean it! I am not joking, Shogo. I will do it! As soon as I quit my job and become free, I will let you know. Because I need to be free, my brother! I do not need to have a boss, do not need to have a fixed schedule, do not need boring meetings, etc. Tell the truth, I am scared to death of quitting my job because if I do, I will not have any income. I am so worried about that. Honestly, I can no longer endure working for my company. I mean any companies. But the problem is always fucking money. I am feeling so confused and do not know what I am supposed to do! I just know that I must be strong enough to complete my mission! Shogo, please tell me what I have to do. I trust you. If you say that I have to quit the job tomorrow, I will do it. I need your encouragement!

Well, we must always contact each other and must always support each other. Do not forget your mission because it must be more important than anything else. Start writing your book as soon as possible because I really want to read your book. Hope I can see you very soon. Take care, my Japanese brother!

Your fellow sufferer,

Jorgito

I Am Not Totally Alone on this Earth

Monday is coming. Most Japanese hate Monday. It is a depressing day because it is the beginning of treadmill, which means that they have to start all over again and continue their tedious routines. But for me, it is the blessing day, because Monday is my day off, and I do not need to see my hysterical supervisor, who constantly makes my Benefit One life miserable. Just remembering her existence makes me mad, and every time her insulting words invade into my mind, I make a secret oath to myself: I swear in the name of Jesus, by the time I quit my job, I will have made her humiliated before my colleagues by dragging her around the office by pulling her hair mercilessly, amen!

On my day off, I always turn my irritating mobile phone off, because I do not want to disturb my freedom, and needless to say, I have no friends in Japan. I am almost suffocated with loneliness, because I have been alone for a long time since coming back here and do not have anyone to talk with. I am used to spending all my time by myself and have begun enjoying being alone. But at the bottom of my heart, I do not feel so alone completely, because I have good friends in Mexico who always send me messages to check that I have not committed suicide yet and who talk to me by messenger when I am online. It is good enough for me to know that someone far away from Japan is concerned about my circumstances, which makes me realize that I am not totally alone on this earth. It is so strange to me that all my best friends are Mexicans. Why I cannot find any single friend in my own country is a mystery to me. Because of my good Mexican friends, I have been in Mexico six times and have begun to love Mexico so much. I am pondering: Is it God’s way to educate me to perceive that there is the country where people are friendly, warm, and a full of life? Or is it God’s way to make me realize that I perhaps do not belong in Japan?

Are You Smug?

He glances his wrist watch and apologizes, “I’m so sorry for talking too much and didn’t realize it’s been past 11:00 p.m. already. Thank you so much for giving me advice and encouraging me to make a decision. I’ll do my best to achieve my goal. And of course, I’ll try to read Demian. Are you coming to the office tomorrow? See you tomorrow, Mr. Onoe.”

“Have a good night and take care, Mr. Yano!”

Instead of going to Sibuya Station, I run on the streets aimlessly as fast as I can carry my legs in order to punish myself, for I am angry with myself beyond rage. Uncontrolled tears are coming down my face, because I am so humiliated and ashamed with my attitude toward Mr. Yano. I start talking aloud to myself angrily, “Do you have a right to encourage and give advice to him when you are incurably dispirited and constantly feel ennui? Are you smug? Have you completely lost your dignity? Have you let yourself be degraded so shamelessly? Don’t you have any pride in yourself anymore? Shame on you, you fatuous!” I am rushing through people violently, and I do not care what people think of my strange behavior. As soon as I find a bench on Dougenzaka Street, I collapse down on it. I am so ashamed, because everything I said to him was actually for me. I desperately needed to encourage myself tonight, but it obviously was not for him. I have been helplessly trapped in Japan myself, and it has become impossible for me to escape from here. Therefore, I need to encourage myself to stand up and give myself a gentle push to follow my destiny. I did not encourage him tonight; he encouraged me tonight with his shower of admiration for me, which I do not deserve. What he has seen in me is beyond my comprehension, but the important discovery is that even though I was downhearted, my words had the power to inspire him. I am so glad that I had the dinner with him tonight and am glad to know that even in Japan I can find a fellow who is so innocent and has a lot of curiosity about life. Thank you very much, Mr. Yano, I will do my best to improve myself to write this anecdote in my book, so that someday you will know that it is you who unconsciously encouraged me and saved my life when I was in the bottomless pit. I hope that in the near future, you can go to Vancouver to find a satisfying job and escape from Japanese working conditions that you hate from the bottom of your heart. Good luck to you, Mr. Yano, I know that you will see the world someday! I want to show you that you are right about me, but I still do not know how.

You Will Become a Great Writer Someday

“Yes, you are always right and enlighten me. I think you are very intelligent and are a very strong person. I mean your inside. You are completely different from other Japanese who I’ve met in my life so far. I’m sorry for reaching the conclusion by myself so soon, but I can’t refrain myself from saying that it’s a torture for you to stay in Japan, since no Japanese are intelligent enough to understand you. I wish someday I can have a strong faith in myself as you. Where do you get such wonderful ideas? From books, perhaps? By the way, I’ve been reading Brothers Karamazov, which you recommended to me, but it’s very difficult for me to understand because of numerous characters. It’s very interesting though…. I know you always feel at home with difficult books. You’re a truly extraordinary person, Mr. Onoe. With your high intelligence and incredible experiences, I have no doubt in my mind that you will become a great writer someday, and it will be real pleasure for me to read your books in the future.”

I am little embarrassed by hearing such passionate praises from my fellow countryman and say, “I’m not as good as you think of me. I myself, too, am still seeking the answer. By the way, have you ever heard of the name Hermann Hesse? You should try to read Demian, which will help you to understand the importance of having individuality in one’s life. I should go because I have to catch a train.”

The Wide World Is Waiting for You

I am astonished at his tirade toward Japan and am feeling that it is my duty to give hope to my fellow sufferer, like Moses preaching multitude: “Mr. Yano, I’ve never seen such mean people around the world except in Japan. Japanese are disgustedly mean and hopelessly ignorant. They think Japan is the best country without actually seeing the world. They think Japanese culture, Japanese society system, Japanese education system, Japanese government, and Japanese way of life are better than other countries. But all of them are ignorant. They’ve never seen the world and have only Japanese friends. Thus, unfortunately, it’s impossible for them to grasp that there are other way of lives around the world and even better ways, since they’ve only known of Japanese way of life. They think about everything from the point of the Japanese way of understanding, which they simply can’t help.”

I light a cigarette and continue, “The worst part is that they refuse acknowledge that there actually exist better cultures around the world than Japanese culture. Small guys’ pride, I guess. It’s wasting time for you to argue with Japanese dolts, because as soon as you mention Mexico, Canada, Europe, they’ll start ignoring you, push you away, and bash: ‘Here is Japan. Why are you talking about other countries? We don’t care about other countries, since Japan is the best. If you despise Japan, why don’t you leave here immediately? What are you doing here, man? Here is no place for you.’ See, it’s perfectly a waste of time for you to argue with them. You just try to explain them that there are other ways of life around the world, but as soon as they hear you mention the name of other countries, they’ll get angry and make you stop talking by shaking their heads contemptuously, for they don’t want to admit their ignorance. My advice is, Mr. Yano: ignore Japanese bastards as much as you can and concentrate on what you desire in your heart to achieve in your life. Of course, you can have your own dream which nobody has a right to take away from you. For that reason, why don’t you just save money and go see the world? The wide world is waiting for you! If you really want to see the world, you can do it, because nobody can make you to stop following your own destiny if you have a strong determination and a little faith in yourself.”