352. Getting Writing Done Despite

Went back to our apartment in the City to work because for once I had many webshop clients on the same day, but although it was a relief to get relative peace (minus the renovation of the next floor apartment), I still felt a little bad about leaving Char with Jay. As the afternoon wore on …

So I cut it a little shorter than I had planned, the workday, but I still got the stuff done that was important and it felt good to have clients although I am not year yet some kind of break even average income compared to my standard expenses (mostly food, transport and paying off credit card debt and loans). But I don’t want to talk about that because it gets tiring and it doesn’t help – only work and patience and improving helps.

And remembering the balance … which means I have to take time out to do the creative projects I have laid down – finally – to be those I really want to do, even if in bits and pieces over many years.

One of them is a new novella-series to replace Shade of the Morning Sun as my preferred format for expressing … well, whatever I feel about daily life, in a fictional setting, and with a few twists and some role play (ingredients in all good fiction, I believe).

I don’t have a setting totally worked out yet, nor main characters, except that I know that I will try something different – like making it obviously Japanese, although I know next to nothing about Japan. But I have some inspirations that I find intriguing and ready to explore.

So why not continue with a bit here …

Aomori Blues (segment ii)

I was thinking about rootlessness …

I keep returning home, although I live in Tokyo – more so after the divorce, even if it’s been almost 3 years. But I keep going home, although I no longer live here, much less belong.


This is supposed to be an extended weekend with my daughter and my mother, so I should damn enjoy it. I should get some relaxation.


I walk down the pier and sit down at its edge on a small bench and look at the sailing boats again. They look similar as before, only closer. I can see some of the people there, on the decks, and I wonder where they are going and if they are absolutely sure it is the right course they are taking.

The sky darkens out east, in the direction of the Pacific, and it strikes me that sometimes it would be nice just to look up in the sky to determine where and when to go. There would be the signs and that’s all you had to take into account.

But life has a tendency to give you a lot of invisible signs that you have to decode in order to steer it.

I remember the dinner conversation I had with Yukio before we flew up here. I tried to steer that, too, but somehow it was Yukio who always got to turn the conclusions in her direction.

As if everything in life was only valid if she had somehow had the last word and framed the conclusion. I used to love that – that she had a way of seeing things and saying things that wasn’t bullshit. Or so it seemed.

Now …


We sit in our favorite spot, at the favorite cafe, gazing at favorite crowds. Tokyo has many delights for crowd-gazers and we revel in them.

Commenting is not off-limits either.

But in time, and as the coffee grows more luke-warm, comments become more about the crowd of two that is us. It is that time again …

“So are you seeing someone recently?” she asks just out of the blue, looking like she already has an answer she wants to give for me.

I shake my head and sip the coffee and feel just how luke-warm it has become – that and the milk.

“Look – you know I’m not,” I say and smile.

“Just asking … ”

“Are you?”

“Well, Hiro, of course, but … ”

“But what?”

“It’s not that serious.”

Yukio is that breed of 30-something Japanese woman who has at least one divorce under her belt, like me. I wonder if we are modern – ahead of our times. It is not that often that I can think of my own culture – men and women – and then think: ‘Yeah, that’s where we divorce after 10 years and then get a new one – it is normal!’

But never divorcing is not my fancy either. What would it have been like to have married in my grandparents’ time? Could you ever get un-married back then? Only with great difficulty, maybe never.

So yeah, we are modern, aren’t we? Good for us …

“Wouldn’t you like to?” she prods again.

“Of course!”

“Well, are you doing anything about it?”

“There’s work … ”

“You want to see someone at work?”

“No, I mean, I’ve been too busy …”

“Arh – Midori … ” she sighs and leaves it at that, for now.

But I think we will come back to it. The spell of the crowd has been broken. Now it is about us.

And that’s it for this time. Only a few hundred words, but each one feels like a small candle in winter.