February 10, 2019

Exotic Kyoto


Somewhere in the swollen downtown region of exotic Kyoto it doesn’t matter where—I’m just sayin’—a fallen man tries to drown his sorrows in a bottle of sake--not being aware that sorrows are good at swimming and do not drown...the neon light flashes through the window and into his brain...I know from experience...they might disappear under the tides for a bit, but they soon resurface...there’s never a riptide to pull them under and drown those bastards and make them disappear forever...they’re always wearing bright orange life preservers...the man who gets to the airport two to three hours early and then boards a plane to Paris to get away from his troubles finds his troubles there to greet him...sitting in one of those nice comfy fancy red leather-like chairs they got at Charles de Gaulle airport or maybe he tries to trick them and goes to Orly airport instead...waiting for him...they’re standing there holding a sign with his name on it like the hired drivers do...as he deplanes...those troubles follow us around like a shadow wearing a trenchcoat on a sunny day, they turn up like a bad penny; always there when it is least convenient, if there ever is a time for problems to be convenient...there’s gotta be a way...so off we go to Japan to join millions of our closest friends, all of us full of aspirations and dreams or something--high ideas and sure to succeed...now it is a couple of years later, and we are running a sparsely visited, dirty, cheap noodle shop which is located right across from the motorcycle repair shop...you know the one...barely able to keep our head above water, and living in a crumbling paper walled apartment where the cold comes right through and grabs you by the decaying bones and where the klank klank klank klank noise, the rhythmic pounding from the neighboring factories and the ring-a-ding-ding sounds emanating from the pachinko parlors prevent anything resembling a good night’s sleep...but our pork cutlets are good...sorta good...even the bugs got more class and know better than to be caught dead in there...or alive...drinking away our nights trying to forget our days...drinking away the days to forget the nights...what happened?...why did we fail?...it isn’t what we signed up for...we were so sure of ourselves...now we wanna go AWOL...if it makes you feel any better, maybe we didn’t fail, we are just fulfilling our destiny according to the stars...yeah, that’s it...you gotta blame something right?...even though we can make our own choices, we are still at the mercy of fate...kind of a dichotomy, don’t you think?...we got the di part down...we can’t be what we aren’t nor what we weren’t meant to be...so what’s to do?...I walk the streets rueing my fate with a few yen in my pocket and staring at signs that I don’t understand...thank god for the Coca-Cola and Sony ones...then I look forward to a good bottle or two of sake from the industrial size bottle...the first glass is the appetizer...the second glass is the main course, and the third one is the dessert...from then on, it’s binge ‘eating’...the problems and worries stop elbowing me in the ribs for the time...I sit back on the barstool and hum old college fight songs to myself...I just want to be dead to the world...in the morning, our problems are back in town and knocking on the front door..nothing’s changed...shampoo, rinse, repeat.