time for that bi-yearly blog post.
a few months ago, someone I found very attractive was briefly showing interest in me. for probably many deep emotional reasons I don’t feel like over-analyzing, I had a hard time accepting their words of flirtation. not surprisingly, they found someone else in front of their face and left me to return to my normal life of no one attractive talking to me. I was comforted in the familiar feeling of not being “the one” for them. 2nd place, second string, bench warmer, temporary, fleeting, for now, a place holder. ah, rejection, nice to see you again. come on in, make yourself at home. this is my comfort zone, the spot at the empty table of my very own pity party. for some reason, I always imagine myself wearing a pointy polka-dotted birthday hat when I think of the words “pity party”.
filled with angst that I knew would fade shortly, I rushed through the motions and feigned heart break of losing the attention of a hot person so I could move on with my life. after that month long distraction I re-focused my precious time to more important things. not handsome korean men but plants.
I rest my fingertips lightly on my glowing keyboard. time to meticulously carve out a blog post. 「久しぶり」 I say to myself, one of the japanese words I have down pat because I say it constantly. if only I said all japanese words constantly, I would be fluent by now. my year 2.0 in japan is beginning, apparently. I haven’t seen much from my bedridden state. the 31st of december 2014, I came down with a debilitating flu, rendering my body heavy and unstable.
I’ve scrolled through my instagram feed with varied levels of envy as people snap photos of their firsts of the new year. first food, first trip, first memories of 2015. I know my year will begin soon, I’ll catch up. I lay on my side and pull the covers up to my nose and imagine what is in store for me in the coming months. 2015 will be great, if I could just get out of bed. my spirits are high, this isn’t the end. I’m not kicking myself for not washing my hands enough during cold and flu season, because kicking would require energy I don’t have. to feel so weak and useless is so frustrating. it only reminds me to motivate myself to keep active so I won’t feel like this again when I reach 80.
lying awake at 4am stiff and unable to sleep, I think back at 2014. what an emotionally juxtaposed year that was. from aimless depression to near enlightenment. 2014 was concurrently the lowest of lows and the happiest and most content I’ve ever been in my life.
I used to say “I’m not boy crazy, I’m romantic possibility obsessed”, as my clever defense against other’s mislabeling me “boy crazy”. their lack of understanding why I always be instant-crushin was a thorn in my side and a misunderstanding of my character. it’s true though, that I am on a constant crusade for a connection, a heart-skip moment, any eye-contact that results in sparks, an accidental brush of the hand that creates shivers, and excitable night conversations that go on for so long the morning light makes us realize we must stop exchanging words so our bodies can recharge since we’re not immortal (unfortunately).
So when I hone in on a cute boy across a crowd of disgruntled, sweaty sad faces, I am merely anxiously awaiting for the butterflies to hatch in my belly and flutter around, hoping our pinkies are tied with an invisible red string that only fate can tug at. there are many variations of romantic exchanges, from subtle secret moments to full-blown once-in-a-lifetime epic tales that are retold again and again in movies and supermarket pulp novels. I want to experience the whole spectrum.
I lost myself. where was I for 6 months. I remember being on top of that 12 story building, watching the first sun rise of 2014, resilient thoughts of hope, unwavering inspirational images flashing through my mind. “this is it, this is the year everything goes right” I told myself. everyone said similar thoughts aloud, and I believed them.
somewhere I lost myself. it’s half way through 2014 and 6 months I spent without a job, aimlessly floating, forgetting what I was doing hour to hour, day by day until it become month to month. a collection of empty days, lined up like dust-covered beanie babies. whats the point. I imagine sand running through my fingers as a clear representation of where my time went. what did I accomplish? my memory is shrouded. I went to Seoul, ok. I came back to Tokyo and waited. and waited. waited 6 months total to receive my visa I applied for in January. nothing could start, nothing could begin. not without the visa. I had to look through my instagram feed to double check if I did anything. apparently, I did some things. saw some people, ate some food. that’s a relief. why do I feel like I am sitting here with nothing to show? 6 months, I could have studied Japanese. I could have watched more movies. I could have gotten into shape. all that time, what did I do? all the things I want to do but was too listless to do it day to day. a collection of moldy, moth-eaten, polyester pointed-collar clothes from the 70s. worthless.
sitting inside our neighborhood all-night indian food restaurant that my roommate and I frequent, I watched the devastating blizzard wreak havoc on Metropolitan expressway no. 4. I was finished with my hot cassis and only had one thing on my mind: to film.
I watched through the window as the unforgiving winds continued to barrage endless amounts of snow in front of us. for a moment I imagined being out there in the shit. breaking (another) umbrella, getting pelted and stung in the face by ice crystals, my nose running, my feet wet and freezing, and not being able to feel my fingers. the thought was not welcoming.
I had my camera on me with my initial intentions staying clear. I really wanted to take a shot of a shrine I saw covered in snow on the other side of the highway. the thought of crossing the tundra of hell only faltered me with doubt for a second–I decided I hate regret more than I hate blizzards. I have reoccurring nightmares about regretting not documenting something that catches my eye. I’d rather be cold and uncomfortable to get the shot then at home, warm and lazy, without photo. this is how I’ve always lived my life and I should know myself by now.
recovering from a cold, I woke up late to a discouraging text. it was snowing outside. I had yet to see it with my own eyes due to the opaque windows of asia. with one eye open and only using enough energy to move my thumb, I tapped on the weather app of my iphone. yep, it’s snowing outside. I had to have a conversation with myself. I closed my eyes and saw 2 paths: I could stay laying facedown on the floor for another hour and not do much all day or–I could get up and meet maria in k-town to eat a sweet sweet sweet potato despite the advancing blizzard. last weekend our plans were foiled by the first snow, and damned if I wanted to let that happen again. I decided to go on a sweet potato adventure.
right now our room is dim and it’s hard to tell what time it is. the light attempting to push it’s way through the frosted glass is weak, as the cloudy skies pour a steady stream of rain on tokyo this afternoon. I can hear the faint sound of rain outside, but the aircon heater hum is drowning out the delicate sounds. sometimes a large gust of wind rattles our cardboard house.
I love listening to the rain. no sound makes me happier or warmer than listening to rain outside the window. it’s december but it feels like a brisk fall. I’m still in denial it’s the month of holiday christmas spirit, even though I’ve spotted numerous christmas trees set up in public places and restaurants play midi-covers of american christmas music. I’m still in denial that it’s winter, only cold because I’m layering what small amount of fall clothes I cling to. it’s time to give in to the giant heavy coats, the beanie hats to pull over the ears and get some thick wool socks.
saturday I rode my bike around, chasing shadows and light. I bundled up for late november but once I stepped outside, it wasn’t chilly out at all. in fact, it was a perfect day. it was like a late seattle summer, cold for californians and maybe too hot for pacific northwesterners. I was in 2 places at once. it reminded me of the home I left behind for the home I always held in my heart. I rode around my neighborhood searching for interesting shapes the sun created in the early afternoon. Sunday I was going to have my first test shoot with a japanese male model in training. my first test shoot since the moment I decided to deem/label myself a “photographer”.
the best week of my life and the second best week of my life both revolved around a bi-yearly event. fashion week in seoul. for 5 days I am whisked away to another plane of existence, a glimpse into what it would be like to be a sought-after celebrity.
there are two 6ams that reside in their own separate universes. these two worlds, although parallel, dissect each other at one point every day but cannot be experienced simultaneously. those who reside in opposite paths have nothing to do with one another, and can only pass each other by at this daily moment in time.
I have frequented the 6am that you approach from the back end, behind the scenes. I often wondered what it would be like to appear before a brand new 6am, to view it as a beginning instead of the encroachment of the end.