I Really Need To Change

Gerardo is now moving on. He does not cry for Andrea anymore, and he stops singing a melancholic song at once; he is having an amorous time with Jessica. He confessed to me, “Shogo, I’ve started to love Jessica. And now we’re dating more seriously than before. I still have a tiny feeling toward Andrea, I admit, but what can I do about that? Just say adieu to my old sweetheart and let it go at all once, I guess. Anyway, God has bequeathed a New York vagina to me – Jessica is a New Yorker, you know… lucky me, ha-ha-ha….” 

While his quest of a true love is getting progress, he lugubriously felt that something was missing in his life. One day he came back to the apartment with a heart full of excitement and announced as proud as a peacock, “What? Are you still writing? Shogo, you need to take a break, man. I don’t want to disturb you, but you got listen to me. Do you remember what I told you five days ago? I told you that I need to find something I really like, so that I could be happier. In short, I’ve decided to join an American football team. I’ve already signed up and bought all football equipment and gear which are in my car, so I’ll show them to you later.”

I was so astonished by his foolishness and admonished, “Idiot, are you out of your mind? Do you really think that you can play American football? Look at yourself, man! You are as weak as a sad autumn fallen leaf. And on the top of it all, your legs are as thin as chop sticks. They’ll smash you as if you were a tiny cockroach. It’s sheer suicide, my friend. Do you really think that you’re able to compete with strong muscle dicks? For the love of God, please consider it again!”

“Shout up, man! Do you really think that I’m not strong enough to withstand their tackles? You’ll see how strong I am. You won’t believe in your own eyes how I’ll knock muscle son of bitches about like ninepins. Indeed, I can brow them into the thin air by a single fart, as if a cannonball blasted right beside them, so to speak. You’ll see, my friend!”

“Okay, okay, cool down, idiot. If you say so, I’m not going to stop you. Anyway, how much did you pay for all of them?”

“I paid seven thousand and five-hundred pesos.”

“What? It’s too expensive, man!” I exclaimed.

“I know, my friend, but listen to me,” he lit a cigarette and made clean breast of his conviction, “I really need to change. I really want to try something I truly love. I’ve loved watching American football games since I was a little boy; however, I had never dared to play it. I have to tell you the truth. Because of you, Shogo, you’ve inspired me. Since you came back to Mexico City, you’ve written the book relentlessly like a blissful moonstruck. I thought I should start something I truly love, so that I could get the same zeal toward life as you.”

Pause.

“As you wish, my friend. By the way, I’m happy for you, because you’ve finally started doing what you really love,” I drunk a cold Fresca and asked, “how many days are you going to practise it a week?”

“Thanks, my friend. I’m so excited,” he smiled and gushed with pride, “I’m going to practice it twice a week from 10:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. I know it’s too late, but I have no choice, because other teams are using a field. Furthermore, I swear to my sweet Jessica, I’ll start jogging around La Condesa after work every day. As you correctly observed, my legs are not strong enough right now, but in a month, you won’t recognize me, for I’ll be as strong as Clerk Kent, ha-ha-ha….”

I Am Feeling So Alive!

March has been coming with scent of hyacinths. Trees are soughing ecstatically as if heaven and earth were rocking. I have still been staying at Gerardo’s apartment. A month has elapsed quickly since my triumphant return from Los Angeles. Needless to say, I am happy as an adolescent Pan and feel like being on the top of the world. I wake up with a full of vigour every day, for I have a great task to tackle it: writing a book. My book has been bigger and bigger each day, and I am feeling that my journey of writing Seeking the Meaning of Life reaches to the end very soon. All in all, I have started being in love with Mexico and regarding that Mexico is one of my sweet homes. What I love Mexico the most is the weather. Now it is the middle of March, and the bright sun dances on the God’s heaven every day. Mighty sunshine always baths my whole being as if heavenly Father himself nourished me. I need only a t-shirt and jeans to stroll around La Condesa. Thank God, I am feeling so alive!

Since my return from Los Angeles, I have been committing to myself with body and soul and following my program diligently. I have to wake up at nine sharp, eat breakfast, go to Starbucks to write for three hours, amble around La Condesa to lapse into reverie, sit on a bench to contemplate the fountain, eat lunch, head back to the apartment to write for another three hours, saunter to Galerías Polanco to eat dinner, ensconce in a comfortable couch at Starbuck in order to relax with sweet music, and stride back to the apartment to write for another two hours. At the end of day, I always feel exhausted, as Elijah the prophet after challenging the forty-five hundred priests of Baal imported by Jezebel to a contest at Mt. Carmel to prove whose god is the true God. However, it is a good feeling for me to burn out like that, and I feel contented with the progress, that I have made each day.

I Regard That the Entire World Is As My Home

Life goes on. Where am I? I am still in Mexico and enjoying my life with my friends. It is still hard for me to grasp what has actually happened and still hard for me to believe that one’s life can change dramatically such a short span. Life works in mysterious ways. Four months ago, I was a slave and utter failure in Japan; I was isolated and cut off from Japanese society; I was like a wondering Jew in my own country without a single friend. I did not understand why I had to bear the sorrowful cross on my back for such a long time, since what I wanted to do was only one thing: just being true myself all the time. Jesus was crucified, for he showed the truth to the world; I was rejected by my own countrymen, for I tried to express my true feelings. The truth is that I am different from my fellow countrymen; in fact, I am indefinitely different from them. And I cannot change that, since this is who I truly am, totally unique individual. If being true myself causes me to separate from my own countrymen, I am gladly ostracized from Japanese society.

Million thanks to my Mexican friends for liberating me! At last I have become who I truly am and begun living my life in my own sweet way. This is the first time in my life to feel that I am doing what I am supposed to do for my dear life. It is still hard for me to believe that I have finally started writing my first book, which is almost completed! It is indeed a superb feeling for me to do what my heart desires every single day, instead of doing what I hate in order to earn money. On top of it all, I feel right and that this is it. My whole being is rejoicing and acknowledging triumphantly, “This is life! Life is supposed to be fun, but not suffering.” I thank the One who created the world every day for leading me to the road, that I am supposed to walk on.

Load Almighty in heaven gives me the second chance. I had totally wasted my time in Japan in order to earn money. I was forced to pretend to be someone else in order to have a monthly salary. I was degraded to become an apple-polished slave due to my malicious colleagues. For what? So that I could keep my job! What a subdued excuse! Every time I think back to about my inferno period, I feel conscience-stricken. It is one of my unforgivable sins I have ever committed in my life: I closed my eyes to Japanese meanness, baseness, and maliciousness. To cap it all, I had committed the worst sin in my life: not living my life to the fullest.

However, I am now floating on air, because I have marvellous friends who accept me as I am. I am pleased as punch that my destiny is not in Japan; I regard that the entire world is as my home. I am grateful for my Mexican friends who have succoured me to walk on my private destiny and given me the opportunity to redeem the great crime of not living life to the fullest. I calmly burned the bridge behind me and resolutely started walking on the road, that God prepared for me – I was emancipated. Since then, I have never looked back to the past. This is a record of the man, who has undertaken a sacred pilgrimage of singing his own song on his own tune, with the determination to go through a life of hardship from one end to the other, to give battle to social dogmas, and to be punished more than enough. I am an artist, a seeker, and a confessor, obliged to sincerity. I have the truth to write upon. It might difficult for you to swallow the whole story, but it actually happened….

My Heart Is Intact

Life is a full of surprises if one takes a risk to leap into unknown adventures. I had not expected anything and had not foreseen anything about what the Mexican odyssey would become when I decided to embark upon it and decided to surrender to the fate. My life has dramatically changed since I began knocking about the world nine years ago – I met Gerardo, Ramon, and Jorgito during the first world odyssey. After nine years of friendship, they are the ones, who are willing to succor me to become who I truly am and relentlessly encourage me to get started on my mission as a writer. When I think about it, I cannot help myself but smile at life.

In all my life, a great deal of people admires our friendship and ask me how we have epitomized the secret harmony of friendship. Many people say, “It is difficult to find a good friend nowadays and our friendship is miracle.” I venture to say that we are destined to be friends, since our friendship has not required any efforts to build up; our friendship has naturally developed as though it were written by invisible ink. Above all, we have trusted each other with all our hearts from the beginning. This sort of candid trust does not happen randomly unless it is predestined. And I hereby acknowledge triumphantly that I am proud to have Gerardo, Ramon, and Jorgito as my best friends. I thank God every day for sending them into my life.    

I thought that I must liberate myself from where I do not want to belong and what I do not want to become all by myself. I thought that nobody could help me to become liberated, and nobody could help me to become who I truly am, because I thought that it was my own fight and thought that I must overcome my weakness by myself. I have to confess that I underestimated my friends and could not know that my friends have the power to change my life. I had struggled in vain for writing for over nine years, since I was too blind to be able to see the truth: I was obsessed with writing. When I realized that the process of liberation from my doubts needed the final touch, sharing my mission with my friends, everything became crystal clear to me, and I have become a writer. I have learned from them that I do not have to be alone to fight for my life. Now I have the invincible alliances to fight for my life, and I am glad to have them along to the road as I follow my destiny.

I am approaching the end of my story and am feeling that my inevitable departure from Mexico will be coming soon. When I complete the book, I should start embarking upon a new odyssey because my new life has just begun. I want to meet the fellow seekers who seek the meaning of life like me and talk to them to my heart’s content. I believe that my fellow seekers are waiting for me to share their experiences of their struggles, enthusiasms for their dreams, and curiosity about life itself with me all over the world. Where do I want to go next? I want to go to Jamaica, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Panama, Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, Brazil, Bolivia, Argentina, Uruguay, Chili, Paraguay, Africa, India, Russia, Estonia, Belarus, Ukraine, Romania, Greece, Poland, Italy, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, France, Spain, England, Ireland, etc. I want to go everywhere. Before embarking upon a new odyssey, I must pay a visit to Playa Del Carmen to see Ramon again in order to give the manuscript to him. I am wondering what he will say when he reads it.

I am so excited about the future and am looking forward to embarking upon the new chapter of my life. I want to say thanks to Gerardo, Ramon, and Jorgito, who have given me this prodigious opportunity and have backed up my mission with their friendship. Thank you very much, my friends! I am now ready to follow my destiny with the impregnable armor: my friends. My heart is intact.

Please Don’t Stop Writing

“Anyway, Shogo, I totally agree with everything you said. I really want to read your book. I hope you’ll complete your book very soon. I just want you to know that I have no doubt that you are writing a great book, and I’ll do my best to find a publisher in Mexico for you. However, it might take quite a while for you to find a publisher. Please don’t stop writing. Even if you can’t find a publisher soon, you must continue writing book after book, because I really believe your book will give a lot of hope to the world. Besides, you are born to do it, okay?”

“Thanks, my friend. I’ll do my best. I want you to know that without your help, I’d have still been suffering in Japan, ha-ha-ha. I owe you everything on this account. Remember, next time will be my turn. When you need some help, you are always very welcome to mine.”

“Ha-ha-ha, of course, man! Next time will be in Vancouver. We should go there again. I’ll sleep at your future apartment in Vancouver, and I won’t pay anything! And I’ll have my own mattress as well.”

“What? You want to have your own mattress? I can offer you sleeping space at an entrance of my future apartment. That is my final offer, man! Ha-ha-ha.”

“Ungrateful son of bitch! Do you want to sleep on the street tonight?” he was laughing.

He drank the bottle of water to cool down his throat, “I’ve started understanding what you always tell me, and I really think you are right,” he said sincerely, “you always say money isn’t important; the important thing is that one has to do what his heart desires every day. I envy you, because you become happier and happier each day despite the fact that you haven’t earned any money. Take Jorge, too. He doesn’t earn money as he used to do, but he definitely looks happier than when he was a slave. I’m earning more money than both of you together, but I am dissatisfied with my life. I have no enthusiasm for what I’m doing, but only dreary feelings for my job every morning. I am colorless in my heart. Look at you, Shogo, you have nothing. You don’t have any resources, but you are the happiest man alive, who I’ve ever seen under the sun. I really think the reason for your happiness is that you’re doing what your heart desires every single day. I hope someday that I can find what I want do for the rest of my life with the same zeal as you.”

Pause.

“You know, I truly think the most essential thing in one’s life is having real friends. I believe it from the bottom of heart, my friend. Because of Ramon, Jorgito, and you, I am liberated.”

“It’s true, it’s so true, my friend.”