I Bet You Win

He was beaming, “Ha-ha-ha, bitch, don’t thank me for anything. You are my best friend, and it is my duty to support you till you publish the book. However, you must work harder to achieve your goal this year, because if you don’t, the inferno is waiting for you to suck your life unmercifully. You must avoid going back to Japan with all your might. All joking aside, you have nothing to do in Japan and nothing common whatsoever with Japanese. If you go back there, they’ll destroy your potency and uniqueness. You must protect your unearthly intelligence and extraordinary personality from being ruined by participating in hectic daily Japanese activities. It isn’t your life obviously; you have a higher thing to achieve, namely, distributing the truth around the world. Let Japanese continue their dreary routine till they become skeletons, but not for you, okay? In order to avoid the worst situation, you must write, write, write, every day. You must finish writing your book as soon as possible. Once you complete the book, everything will be ducky with you, I promise. Thus, just write, bitch!”

“Thanks for encouraging me all the time, Ramon. However, you should know the reality, and I have to open your eyes: I am a tyro. I’ve just started writing – on top of it all, this book is my first earnest effort. I am not sure whether I am writing total nonsense or something good to offer the world.”

“Stop talking hogwash and underestimating yourself!” he retorted, “it’s impossible for you to write mumbo jumbo, but you can write only a first-rate book which contains human emotions and the truth. You said you’ve just started writing – that is completely wrong, Shogo, I tell you. Listen to me, you’ve constantly written books in your head in all your life, but you’ve never written on a paper – that’s all. You’ve always been a writer although you haven’t published any books yet. I guess you know about it subconsciously. As I’ve told you a million times, it is just matter of time, once you finish writing your first book, you’ll be recognized as quick as a lightning, since you’ve written the book from your heart. Besides, you can’t stop knocking down book after book, since writing is in your blood.”


“I bet you win.”

I Always Think About Today

He suddenly asked, “What did you eat for lunch today?”

“I’ve found a cheap pizza shop on Fifth Avenue and usually eat there.”

“How much?”

“Thirty pesos for two slices of pizza and coke.”


“It’s not expensive, I see. I know you are busy writing right now. But why don’t you try to take a break at 2:00 p.m. every day and come back to the apartment to eat lunch with us? I always come back here to eat lunch around 2:00 p.m. I’ve been thinking that if you want to stay here to complete your book without taking a job, you should spend money as little as possible. You’d better start considering about the cheapest way to dispense with the daily expenses. Just consider what I’ve said, okay, bitch?”

He is always generous to me and always ruminates about my situation, as if my life were better than anything else and more important than his own life. He earnestly wants to help me to succeed in completing my book and eagerly wants to see me be recognized as a writer as soon as possible. He has never changed since I met him the first time: All in all, he has been a great friend to me.

His forever sympathetic attitude toward me touched my heart defenselessly. After the brief silence, I expressed my feelings with tears in my eyes, “Thanks, thanks, Ramon, always concerned about my circumstances. I am just happy to write every single day, so naturally, I’ve forgotten about my economic situation. I’ve never thought about money seriously in my life – I was born to be an economical dope, so to speak. I’ve always focused on one thing only, what I can achieve today. For me, I never think about the future, or I should say, tomorrow. I always think about today, nothing more and nothing less, my friend. Day by day is enough for me. But I suppose you are right about it. I should start considering about how to economize the daily expenses; otherwise, I’ll have to go back to purgatory.”

I Am a Very Slow Writer

From that day on, my life dramatically changed for the better, and I have felt as though I were reborn again with a dauntless heart: I am a new man in toto. I wake up as fresh as daisy every morning full of enthusiasm. The main thing is that I have a prodigious purpose to accomplish every single day.

I have never been so happy and contented in my life; I have felt that the angels of heaven smiling upon my life all in all. I wake up at nine sharp every morning as fresh as Dionysius and jump up from the bed like a jubilant frog, without a hysterical alarm clock or Gerardo’s loud fart, so to speak, eat a breakfast tranquilly, go to Starbucks near the entrance of Fifth Avenue to have a morning coffee, so I can be relaxed to muse on my daily task, like Don Quixote concocting his knight errand. I go to Mamita Beach to read my favorite books to warm up myself as a Trojan before fighting for his belief, and I contemplate God’s blue horizon as serenely as Apollo. I amble on Fifth Avenue as free as a jubilant beggar in order to find a cheap place to eat lunch, go to the other Starbucks in order to write some pages as grave as Dostoevsky, join Ramon and Patricia to eat a huge dinner as if I were a giant, and contentedly saunter on Fifth Avenue again with them, since the night of Fifth Avenue makes a different impression on me.

It was about 7:00 p.m. on a Friday. When I came back to the apartment with heart a full of happiness after the intensive session at Starbucks, Ramon was changing his clothes in order to sail on Fifth Avenue with full enchantment. As soon as he saw my fulfilled face, he piped up, “Hey bitch, how was your day? How many pages did you knock down today?”

“A good ten pages, my friend. It was an awesome experience. As you know, I am a very slow writer. I usually write only two or three pages a day, but I am content with a little progress, which I’ve made each day. However, suddenly, some divine inspiration came about, and I wrote page after page like a possessed. It’s actually a tremendous feeling to write like that. I am so happy, my friend!”

He was laughing. And he said, “Shogo, I’ve told you many times that Playa Del Carmen is good for you because here are a lot of tourists, so you can speak English. Besides, here are many sexy women, the fresh climate, the warm weather, the incredible blue sky, beautiful beaches, the calm ocean, and so on and so forth. Here you can relax and feel peaceful, which makes you stimulated to write. I’ve always told you: the beginning of writing is the most difficult thing for you, but if you can clear that stage, you’ll knock down a number of books. I am very proud of you, bitch!”

I could not help smiling.

Understood That My Suffering Had Meaning

I decided to go to Starbucks near Ramon’s apartment, where usually only a few people occupy the second floor and where I can be all myself in order to gush down my thoughts on papers. While walking on my way to Starbucks along the golf course, I was so radiant as though I had become the sun itself because my heart was blazing ferociously. I was as light as air and gliding on asphalt like a wind. Suddenly, my eyes caught a beautiful blond mother with ocean blue eyes sitting on a bench, who was changing her child’s diaper; I thought that the mother herself needs to have her underwear changed by a Japanese caress, perhaps? I was shaking my head chidingly, “Not today, not today, sir! You have more important things to do now. Vagina can wait! Now off you go, idiot!”  

As soon as I came to Starbucks, I grabbed Java Chip Frappuccino and glided to the second floor. I completely lost the track of time and did not have any idea how long I had been writing when Ramon called me, “Hey bitch, where are you? It’s now around seven, I am waiting for you at the apartment.”

“Sorry, I didn’t know it’s been so late. I’ll be right back. Wait for me there, okay? I’ll tell you everything that has happened to me today when I am back there. Ramon, you aren’t going to believe me!”

“Hey, calm down, bitch. Do you want me to pick you up there?”

“No, my friend. I’d rather feel like walking after such an incredible experience that I’ve been through, because I’ve been blossoming the entire day.”

“Ha-ha-ha. As you wish, bitch. But come home soon, okay?”

“Like the wind!”

After I hung up the phone, I decided to read what I just had written. When I read it, uncontrollable tears were streaming down my face. It was so natural; I simply couldn’t stop them from streaming down. It showed me that I’ve always written in my head subconsciously, what I have always felt about my life and the world. It was revealed to me that I could express my feelings on papers. This realization was enough for me. I felt like being rewarded for my persistence and understood that my suffering had meaning.

Just Listen to My Heart

I still could not believe that the blazing sun was above me, since it was January. Japan was now freezing, with a bitter wind, perhaps? “It is a marvelous day indeed, so I don’t need to hurry to strike a conversation with this beautiful woman with a white bikini. Take time, Shogo,” I talked to myself under the breath. Ergo, I just nodded and said hello to her. As soon as I opened A Wonder Plays on Muted Strings, I completely forgot about the lovely woman with a white bikini sitting right beside me, for I was so engrossed in Hamsun’s lyrical and passionate language. The marvelous passage made me shiver to the core of my being:

 “It is wrong of a captain to ask God to forgive him – as he forgives God. He is simply dramatizing. A wanderer who does not each day find food and drink, clothes and shoes, house and home provided, according to his needs, feels just the right degree of privation when all these splendors are absent. If one thing does not work out, another will. And if that other fails to work out also, he does not go around forgiving God but takes the responsibility himself. He put his shoulder to the wheel of fortune – that is to say, he bows his back before it. It is a trifle hard on flesh and blood, it grays the hair horribly; but a wanderer thanks God for life, it was fun to live!”

This rapturous passage enlightened me and made me fall into reverie. Do I need to wait for divine inspiration from above in order to get started? Why don’t I just start writing from what my heart tells me? In all my life, I have always known what I want to say, and I have eagerly carried my own unique music inside me. The problem is that I have always tried to write everything into a single book heretofore – that is why I have not gotten started yet. I do not need to write all my thoughts into a single book; why don’t I just start writing what I feel like expressing today? Hamsun has revealed to me: “If one thing does not work out, another will.” If I write nonsense today, maybe, I can write something good tomorrow. The imperative thing is that I ought to start writing and ought to keep on writing every day faithfully. I do not need to ask God to give me inspiration; I just listen to my heart. If I listen to my heart attentively and write according to what my heart tells me, God will take care of the rest. No matter what happens, I just have to take the responsibility myself.

I could not control the excitement anymore, for I felt like starting to write a book immediately. I suddenly jumped up and thanked the ravishing lady sunbathing right beside me for enlightening me and kissed both her cheeks. She looked at me confoundedly and said involuntarily, “You’re welcome.” She was still staring at me bewilderedly, but I did not say anything. I just bowed deeply and bolted to Fifth Avenue like a firecracker.