On Tuesdays & Fridays in front of Kosoku Nagata station there’s a man who sings about God, and I wonder if he thinks Jesus rides Hanshin cause that’d be the only person listening. We pass by him like he is noise pollution, like we ignore so much here, though he tries harder than the election vans with their huge black megaphones, all so noisily screaming their pleasantries, as though the phrase “please be kind to me” is really so effective when piped robotically through speakers at a hundred decibels while I’m just fucking trying to sleep in on a weekend. No, this man is after something more, or less. He brings his own little speaker, all worn out like I should be finding next to a couch in 1976, and instead of a guitar hooked up to the input it is a rubber, coiled wire, some of the coating flaking off, connected to a square mike all Orson Welles or some shit. It is covered in a hand-crocheted little cozy, though I cannot determine if the man crochets or if this was made for him by someone, and who? Who would make it? I imagine him in the shower, imagine what he’s thinking about. Gotta get moving out to the station this morning. Got some new things to say cooked up. Gotta make sure my speaker battery is charged up. Does he eat fish for breakfast? Does he ride his bike to work or walk? What does he do when he is finished? When is enough enough? What can anyone hope to accomplish, assembling together their personal thoughts and shouting them to the abyss, to all who pass by? Ah ha ha.
The teachers in this school have over the course of the last three hours completely disassembled an old printer with screwdrivers in an effort to remove the ink cartridges, now that we’ve received a shiny new printer. I assume they know how to change the ink cartridges the normal human way, which raises two possibilities. One, they are doing something to the inside of the old printer I cannot possibly comprehend, the result of which seems to involve them removing the ink cartridges and putting them into the new printer. Two, they are wasting time to seem busy. There are three of them there, and one of them just removed about twenty screws. He seems to now be putting them back in, having done nothing apparent. They are chuckling.
Starting Saturday I will have–thanks to weekends, two national holidays, and three nicely timed uses of paid vacation–nine consecutive days with which to not go to work. Jessy and I have “made plans” to “go” “somewhere,” which means we have done literally nothing regarding the planning of this time off. Will we go to the north, where we have already been? The south, where it is 190 degrees? Somewhere close and affordable? Somewhere impossibly far and expensive? Will airplane tickets magically appear in our hands, or will we actually have to take action in order to execute this trip? Get back to me on Saturday, as we have a huge argument around 2 P.M. about how terrible we both are and how it is not [my] fault that we never planned anything about this trip four months ago, before making plans definitely to “do something” “this week.”
Lately I wonder more acutely than ever what kind of person I am. Common wisdom from “the wise” suggests that it’s never too late to change the kind of person you are, never too late to learn, always time to grow and get wise and shit! But I’m thinking, what if I’ve already got it figured out? Is it okay to be happy with myself, flawed as I am? I figure I’ve probably got some behavioral flaws, some mental flaws. What if I feel like I’ve tried all the alternatives and I like this way better? Maybe the people who are wise aren’t really so wise. Maybe in being what the wise people think is unwise, I will attain true wisdom! In the words of the famous real human Popeye, “I am what I am and that’s all that I am.” In the words of fictional rock band Arctic Monkeys, “Whatever people say I am, that’s what I’m not.” In the words of American President Frank Zappa, “You are what you is.” As stated elegantly by idiots, “You are what you eat.” Obviously these thaumaturgical ideologists have it all figured out. But, knowing that only I am truly in control of myself and must look inside, not outside for influence and inspiration, will I be able to completely judge what my personality is and exactly what I need to do to become and remain happy? Perhaps I will look to the words of a notably successful human. In the words of groundbreaking visionary slash average student Dan Quayle, “I have made good judgments in the past. I have made good judgments in the future.” If only I can aspire to such potential greatness.
– The yen is sinking in value against the dollar. This is good for the paying of my loans, since I make more money when I send yen home to convert to dollars. It is bad when I go to buy grapes, since I make the currency conversion in my head and realize I am spending ten dollars on a bag of them.
– They seem to have installed speakers on my escalator. Through them a recorded woman shouts some announcement that nobody listens to or cares about.
– There is a new Prime Minister now, whose name is Noda, and who it only took eight days to become mired in scandal. On the plus side, the scandal this time did not involve his crazy wife, unlike ex-ex-PM Hatoyama, whose crazy wife claimed to gain power by eating the sun.
– There is a “world cup” of rugby going on right now, which Japan is “competing” in, and by competing I mean getting beat. Rugby is like American Football without any rules and a totally different ball on a field of a completely different size with no passing and with most of the strategy removed in favor of coordinated man-dances.
Tonight’s class will have a new “WORD OF THE WEEK,” which this time is “welcome back,” despite that phrase being two words. I will attempt to say it without adding “mistah Kott-aiuhhh” to the end.