This conversation took place with a friend at a cafe in Yokohama
Friend: So, what’s the deal?
Friend: You haven’t been writing much lately. Too busy?
Me: Not especially…
Friend: You still high from your trip, aren’t you?!
Me: What do you mean?
Friend: Before you left you were all stressed out and ranting all over the place. I thought you were gonna hurt somebody.
Me: I wasn’t that bad…
Friend: Sheeeeeet! Read back over some of the stuff you wrote and tell me that again.
Me: If you say so…
Friend: Then you come back and you’re hardly recognizable…more cheese than one of these school girls. (Laughs raucously)
Friend: I’m serious! I saw that interview of yours! It was almost obscene. The scariest part is it was you, through and through. You were the very picture of happiness, joy personified. Maybe mofos that don’t know you can’t see the aberration, but you know I know!
Me: Stop exaggerating…and I’ve only known your ass for two years.
Me: (after a moment of silence) Maybe I am still a little high…whatever. Can’t a brother just be happy?
Friend: I ain’t hatin’! I’m just saying, I’ve noticed when you’re happy, you do less writing, is all.
Me: That’s not true!
Me: (pause, think) Nah…that ain’t true…It can’t be true.
Me: I write all the time. By your rationale that would mean I’m generally a pretty unhappy person. I don’t see myself that way…I just haven’t felt much like writing this past week or so, that’s all. Forgive me! I got a lotta shit on my mind…like this book I’m writing, among other things. Blogging ain’t my goddamn life you know!
Friend: I don’t mean it that way. All I’m saying is happiness dulls the edge…
Friend: That’s all I’m saying…
Friend: Don’t get mad at me, Yo! I’m your biggest fucking fan! I’m just giving you my humble opinion…I didn’t make shit the way it is…it just is the way it is. You know what I’m sayin?
Me: Nah, actually, I don’t! What the fuck are you saying!?
Friend: See! That’s what I’m talking about! That’s the edge you usually write with. That right there! Not too happy. Not too pissed. You keep that shit just beneath the surface, ready to spring into action at any moment! Shit, right now, my prognosis: you’re just too damn happy to write. But, don’t panic. It won’t last. (He laughed hard) I know you and I know these Japanese cats. Trust me, it won’t last.
Me: … (I took a look around the cafe) You know why I got vexed? I actually had a similar thought on the train yesterday.
Friend: I ain’t surprised.
Me: Some Japanese cat was doing the same bull shit they always do, acting all like I’m diseased, carving a buffer zone between us with the edge of his briefcase and shit, all while battling with other passengers to turn his back on me. But, you know, since I’ve been back from NY I’ve just ignored all these type mofos. I mean, it hadn’t even taken much of an effort. But, I couldn’t ignore this asshole yesterday. That’s when I realized… after I accidentally elbowed him in the kidneys on my way off the train, that is. Yep, that’s about the time I fully realized I was back in Japan.
But, for three weeks, three glorious weeks, Japan had that feeling it had had back when I first came here in 2003. When I was care-free and didn’t give a fuck what these people thought or did. Remember that feeling?
Friend: Shit, I still don’t give a fuck about them!
Me: (LOL) Anyway, thanks, bruh. Guess I’ll be getting back to writing soon.
Friend: Welcome back
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