October 26, 2014
“A goal is a dream with a deadline.” I knew if I waited, I’ll lose the opportunity. The one thing I can’t afford right now is to lose that opportunity. I see there was a beautiful girl on the street, and she’s wearing a short skirt, where you can see the top of her stockings and the bare thigh before the dress trim. Some think that the most erotic woman is a naked one, but for me that one part of the leg being shown is truly the essence of eros. The sweet science is not a boxing match, but the sight of such desire as one roams the streets of Shinjuku looking for an inexpensive meal. And I can’t find the right restaurant, mostly due to my lack of Japanese, but clearly I can find my desire, because I will it to be done. I just have to keep in mind that “every adversity, every failure, every heartbreak, carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.” So I went up to her to strike up a conversation.
When I approached her, she was reading her cell phone. I said “excuse me, I’m not from here, and I am looking for a place to have dinner.” I said this in English, because one, I wanted to let her know that I’m of course a foreigner and was desperately looking for a place to eat, and two, not knowing if she speaks English or not, I would know right away by my direct question. She answered me directly “what kind of food do you like.” I told her anything Japanese, but also it was the one type of food I know nothing about. I suffer extreme shyness, but when I approach someone from another part of the world, or culture, I feel brave. “Hold a picture of yourself long and steadily enough in your mind’s eye, and you will be drawn toward it.” With that helpful quote in mind, I continued: “If you have the time, can you lead me to a place and help me with the menu.” She said yes. That was a surprise, and even though I first saw her as an object of my sexual needs, she suddenly became someone else. A nice person. A nice smiling person. One of the things I like about Japanese people is that they don’t smile, unless they feel like smiling. In the United States, especially Los Angeles, people smile at you all the time, even if they hate you. But here in Japan, they don’t smile automatically, so once you do get the smile on their faces, you know it's genuine.
She started walking and I followed. The streets were so crowded, and the neon was so bright, that the combination could make me lose her in the crowd. Nevertheless, being behind her, I focused my eyes on her thighs so not to lose her. I think of the Jean Cocteau film “Orpheus” where the poet follows death through a maze. It seemed that everyone was moving in slow motion, but she and I were moving in a regular fashion almost against the slow moving crowd. For a moment, I was scared. I didn’t know her, and she doesn’t know me. Yet here I’m following her to a destination knowing nothing of. “We refuse to believe that which we don’t understand. ”
“When you are able to maintain your own highest standards of integrity - regardless of what others may do - you are destined for greatness.” I just had to trust her, and think of her as a nice person, who by chance, also has lovely thighs. But yes, when I walk through this sleepy city, I need to be open to new things, new possibilities, and in the night, everything looks so pretty. I’m so tired to walk alone, and Shinjuku looks so pretty when you’re with someone. She turns left to an alley, and I follow her up to a small staircase…