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.
as I walked home drunk, I was already conjuring up the exact sentences I wanted to type on my glowing keyboard. my brain began to predict what I wanted to say 20 minutes before I reached the ability to present my thoughts to the internet. I narrated my present for the future, but now I forget what was so great about it at the time.
I live a new life where drinking is the norm nearly every night. This happens because I befriended cute bartenders, japanese acquaintances, go clubbing, stay out all night, have access to cheap convenience store alcohol and live with a writer/ex-tokyo socialite who’s somewhat source of inspiration and socialization is whiskey. it’s also our part-time side job to get paid to drink. I have never drank so much in my life. I’m writing this drunk, although I feel of sound and mind (because I like to think I built up a tolerance) and have no idea when I have actually drank too much anymore until someone tells me the following day that I was really loud the previous night (excited, probably) and I discover mysterious bruises on body parts I don’t recall coming into contact with hard objects.
my eyes sting. lack of sleep, the awful fluorescent light or maybe the A/C blasting–a combination of all 3 probably. I spent most of the day a bit dizzy until I drank more alcohol at a gathering for a 3rd-tier k-pop star in a KBBQ oasis.
I feel like I am in a constant state of looking forward. I can’t remember where I have been because all I can concentrate on is worrying where I am going. It’s as if I fell asleep for a moment during a movie and I am trying to piece together everything else I missed. am I really in Tokyo? Wasn’t I just living in Seattle? no, I was in Seoul. it was cold there, what was I doing there. how did I survive with no money and no real job? How am I suddenly drenched in sweat in Tokyo when I recall being frozen every night in my basement apartment, awake at 4am drinking chicken broth and eating too much dark chocolate?
I had a dream that cockroaches were actually smarter than we thought, and had human emotions. earlier in the week I killed several cockroaches and I began to mull over my own existence after I sprayed them with death gas. I would watch as they rolled around on their backs and twitched their legs furiously in agony, until they slowed to a stop. then I leave the carcass there as a warning to the others. it reminds me of a joke on TV I couldn’t relate to at the time, having never seen a cockroach. but now I get the joke.
Echoing outside my open sliding glass door (with closed screen door) is the sound of video game selection screen sound effects. I can hear faint midi music and sudden bursts of laughter coming from young japanese men. they have a certain laugh, I can tell. Or I am in Japan, so it’s safe to assume they are Japanese.
Since I arrived in Japan, weird occurrences have been happening wildly. Now I can’t help but try to search for clues. when will the next bizarre coincidence happen? what is the universe trying to tell me? I am on the hunt for hints. ear to the ground, eye to the sky. maybe these things happen all the time anyway and no one takes the time to connect the dots. paying attention to the details makes a big difference day to day.
Six months in Seoul: a somewhat brief summary reflection
The overall goal had always been Tokyo. I took an opportunity to join some friends in Seoul, hoping to make mad monies from modeling. I had some trouble getting on my feet right away, got screwed out of my initial plans and spent 5 of 6 months trying not to freeze(/starve) to death and eventually grew to love a city I originally only knew k-pop dance moves about.
When I arrived to Tokyo 2 weeks ago, I found myself really missing Seoul. Although the buildings and skyline are terribly ugly, there were a lot of charming qualities about Seoul I missed right away. cheap transportation, amazing food and a close-knit community of friends I had made. They helped show me things about Korea I would have not known or explored on my own. the mix of personalities together was a perfect puzzle of wonderful (and crazy) people.
that’s the trouble with travel–leaving behind people and places. for exchange of experience and memories, your list of “longing” grows larger. holes begin to form in the heart and you can only attempt to fill it with new people, places and things in the next destination. it won’t be the same but that could be a good thing.
I went to Thailand with only the knowledge that a lot of people like to visit Thailand. What I also did not know was the “rules to traveling guide” (made up by some guy I met while traveling) lists “do not fall in love” as rule #1 (and also again as rule #3). as far as rules go, I am not one to follow any (not even my own). and as other sayings by other people who don’t like rules (or authority or being told how to live their lives) goes: break rules. wait, no, it’s like “rules are made to be broken” so, who cares about rules.