Fried

Fried does not begin to describe how baked I am. Although I got to Fusamoto station at five ’til eleven, I ended up not catching a train until nearly one. Ultimately it was a comedy of erros. I left my glasses at the cap site and had to trek back all the way from the station to retrieve them. Fortunately, the only thing I lost in the process was a lot of sweat and aoog quart of energy.

I hiked a toatl of four times to get up and down route 297 from Mimata to Fureai, but ti was still a total of four miles up and down the off ramp to the station. I got to meet some nice people in the process, though.

This was the first time I’ve hitched from the side of the road. Previously I’d always started from an interstate parking area which is a lot easier. People have time to size you up on the way into the food court and mull it over for a few minutes before they decide to take you or not. On the side of the road all you have are the five seconds or so from when your thumb becomes visible until they pass you. I didn’t even have a sign saying where I was heading or if I could speak Japanese. Just a big, forced toothy grin doing its best to offset the week of beard and obvious exhaustion on my face.

The first ride I got ws from a middle-aged woman in a BMW M5. She was awefully nice, and not only helped me find the campsite but also drove me up to the driveway. The rides out of the camp site were easier, there was a fairly steady stream of people heading north up 297 towards Ishihara. The second tiem down the road was tougher than the first. My lack of an oversized backpack may have hurt me (I’d left it at the station so I could run). But what that left me was a bandana and a stained undershirt. I was smart enough to take off my sunglasses, eye contact is crucial for this sort of thing.

After running virtually the whoel way back from Mimata, I just made the 1253 train (I only had a window to go home every two hours or so due to the lack of trains in the sticks). Transfers were tight, so I couldn’t get a drink and I’m hurting now from dehydration, but it’s better than waiting another hour to get home. As soon as I get off it’s going to be a huge bottle of water and a cold shower.

Onryoku

なんと力だ?!音力。

You may remember, Indeo, of the first tiem you attened a party; the sights and the sounds, the air moist and thick with pungent odors… how the children sparkled, how touched you were with their openness. So close to so many hearts, the distances between smiles collapsing to an inch, then shooting away, like minnows in a pool.

Different production groups attract different fans, but there still remains a very high degree of familiarity in each circle, people who go to party X generally know the organizers and other fans of party X. And those fans are close-knit similiar groups of people socially. The parties I met Jun-Masa ring of people in are very much the flower side ravers. They are the people that dress in robes and colorful clothes with many affectations around the hair and arms. Today’s Open Air Psychology is more towards the mainstream (if you can really say that) side, but not a complete garu event. the girls all wear jeans or tiny jeanshorts and the boys t-shirts with short-cropped hair. Really everyone is very drunk now; fall down slightly rowdy drunk, which is a different direction that the flower parties. People drink there, but they’re more likely to be feeling good because of something else.

Twilight

What is it that calls to me, that simmers through my heart? Is it the bass? Or the treble? Or the smiles on young faces and the flare in every eye? Trucks, tents, and incense; grass, rock, and sky. The sweat between cotton fibres and under tousled hair. A light unseen, in a wider spectrum than any machine dreams of. The beat. The anticipation. The flow. Shake and froth, the filter sweeping while it cuts. Dusk melts pastel candied skies, my skin crawls through sound check testing 1..2..3..

Abandon your manmade shells and slide into the twilight– naked, alive as you were first born and radiant as the gods intended.

Welcome the softly loving night.

Rally roll wonder fix and fly

Does something tribal call inside of you? Not as men and women but as boys and girls and something deeper than that. Like the fire that keeps you transfixed with drunken awe, some sort of primal power sits on your eyelids and jerks at your knees. Colors fall and repeat, noise rattles off of aluminum and quakes through mud. So stop and start relaizing those emotions rooted deep under the topsoil of your soul. This is the time to break free the soft flesh of youth inside of the yesterday you.

Lantern slep fall my heart,
skin splits open and breaks apart.
From inside another you,
moving back to whence it grew.

私は私の中にあります。どうやら一人に居る?
何を探してるを思いつかない。

Four crickets

Cosmos and stars aligned in curves my heart at peace. Would I feel so at peace in another world? Or would the lack of my suffering remvoe meaning from such a soothing balm? The Tao says without the lost there would be no way, so is the altruistic ideal only so gracious because of the voracious world? Is nature clean because the city is dirty? Do lovers love because haters hate? How alone must I feel for another to belong?

So much of beasts make us human.

Soundcheck

What is it that calls to me, that simmers through my heart? Is it the bass? Or the treble? or the smiles on young faces and the flare in every eye? Trucks, tents, and incense; grass, rock, and sky. The sweat between cotton fibres and under tousled hair. A light unseen, in a wider spectrum than any machine dreams of. The beat. The anticipation. The flow. Shake and simmer, the filter sweeping while it cuts. Dusk melts pastel candied skies, my skin crawls through soundcheck testing 1..2..3…

Abandon your manmade shell and slide into the twilight, naked, alive as you were first born as radiant as the gods intended.

Welcome the softly loving night.

Chiba Minato

Once you change trains at Soga, it’s not so bad. The Sotobo Line is about as classic JR as you can get: the curved headlight mounts and compartment seating. Inner Chiba feels close to country; the rice fields and roadside bars, the waiting at stations and leisurely lumbering pace.

The dirge of Chiba

It’s not polite to say so really, but there is an overpowering atmosphere that causes me to label Chiba as depressing. It’s virtually always overcast or hazy, endless flat tracks of land strung togetehr by giant warehouses, outlet centers and parking lots. The entire infrastructure is drab and tasteless, not in a charmingly classic way, but old in a “lost future oh I could have been something” kind of way.

The trains and stations are just as depressing, stations just far enough apart that it seems you should get somewhere for all the time, but no, it never changes. The same faded, pastel people at every station, the same deflated expressions. They live in Chiba, they know they’re trapped by family or cheap real estate or a lost promise of tomorrow. The lost dreams of the once righteous now quiet Chiba, acquiescence drains its residents daily like it does me just riding this train. The endless hours they spend waiting in traffic for the most mundane of errands weigh upon every eyelid in the prefecture.

Kanagawa is infinitely more interesting and Chiba knows it.

Happiness Is Overrated

So I’m currently riding on the haggard and glum JR Keiyo Line, a mundaneity normally reserved for trips to Disneyland or the Tokyo Game Show (which ironically I’ll be doing again Friday). But today’s adventures extends well beyond Maihama, and even overblown Makuhari. Today I ride to the end of the line, to the fabled Soga, onyl to change lines twice more, following the Sotobo Line to the eastern tup of Chiba and the Pacific Ocean. From there lays the much anticipated private Isumi Tetsudo Line into th eheart of the Boso Peninsula, for a rave in Kachiura. Solstice, a promoter whose events I haven’t had interaction with in at least five years! This is classic raving, back in time to the days when I would set ou into the wilderness alone, with only a hand drawn map and my sense of direction to guide me. I very nearly missed my route, sleeping late dreaming of God knows what half satisfying fantasy. But I kicked me ass in gear, doing dishes, laundry, trash and just enough vacuuming to get my affairs in order. Actually, through partial laziness I’ve had a bag packed since Nature Wind, my complete camping gear set just by the front door.

I caught the exact train all the way across the board, grabbed a mostly meaningless shower, fed and watered the cat, and arrived sweaty and heaving on the Hibiya Subway Line to rearrange my effects. Less that suave but effective. I have all the envergy bars, beer, and film I require in a highly optimized Ferrino hiking pack for adventure. Passing Maihama TATE cries that “Happiness is Overrated” and iodine burns through the scrapes left in the wake of my destruction with Ai.

And speaking of
Little Miss Catherine
I feel swell, oh well
Because losing you
Was something I always…

Did so well
I guess I just can’t tell anymore
And the feeling I get when I see your clothes
Spread out on my floor
Oh, I’m such a bore, I’m such a bore
I don’t do anything anymore
I just count these ceiling tiles falling through my floor

Sorry, I really lost my head
I’m sorry, I really lost my head
But you know those words that you said
They get stuck here in my head
And this feeling I dread, it makes me wish I was dead
Or just alone instead, I’ll be alone instead
I don’t need anyone in my bed
Just these ceiling tiles falling through my head

Sorry, I really lost my head
Oh, I’m so sorry, I really lost my head
Oh, those words you said

-The Airborne Toxic Event

Knowing love like Chet Baker

Soft lights tender in my room. I lay on the sofa, half-earnestly trying to read a book on wisdom. So many dreams I should be chasing, but instead I stir the idle pot of tidiness to pass the time. Folded shirts and swept tatami, the rare evenings alone in both heart and body; the times I think about you thinking about me, or not…and how I’m only defined by my flaws and not finesse.

A cold glass with bourbon. Feathered tired hair and incense. Thankful for the time to think of us, for the chance to be thankful of thinking. Thankful for the chance to be flawed.

I get along without you very well
Of course, I do
Except when soft rains fall
And drip from leaves
Then I recall
The thrill of being sheltered in your arms
Of course, I do
But I get along without you very well

I’ve forgotten you just like I should
Of course, I have
Except to hear your name
Or someones laugh that is the same
But I’ve forgotten you just like I should

What a guy
What a fool am I
To think my breaking heart
Could kid the moon
What’s in store
Should I fall once more
No, it’s best that I stick to my tune

I get along without you very well
Of course, I do
Except perhaps in spring
But I should never think of spring
For that would surely break my heart in two

–Hoagy Carmichael

The way things go

I’ve talked a number of times of my love for the films of Wes Anderson. The village video down the street has a little corner that caught my eye so recently I’ve been playing catch up hitting the titles I missed, namely Bottle Rocket and The Darjeeling Limited.

Although not a darling of many critics, The Life Aquatic is still my favorite although Darjeeling has moved into a close second. The Indian landscape paired with fantastic production design makes for a very appealing case for visiting the country’s beautiful north. The film has also had the amusing side effecty of introducing me to a new realm of music along with the films of Satyajit Ray and Merchant-Ivory.

Koyodai

The last time I came to the Fuji Lakes it was late 2007, just after my birthday– the last weekend of the year that Koyodai Camp Site was open. I got the entire campground to myself. Fifty-two bungalows and four bathrooms all to myself, so that I may read The Dharma Bums and enjoy the rich reds of Yamanashi in autumn. This year I’m a little early, but there’s already a brisk chill in the air. Last time I visited Asian Kung-fu Generation, this time it’s the soundtracks of Merchant-Ivory and the Kinks. Riding the stuttering Retro Bus to Saiko, the wilted buildings interspersed with renovated roadhouses zip by. The bus stops in the middle of a school trip. Dozens of students clog the streets laughing, pushing, and carrying on.

A trailers buried in weeds rests comfortably in front of a wind-surfing shop, wetsuit gently twisting in the breeze.

Bits and pieces

So August has ended with Nature Wind (which I’m in the process of scanning, so please wait a moment), and now we are already a third the way through September. Have I been working overtime? No, not since August. Have I been spending a lot of my non-working time drinking in September? Yes; for better or worse, yes.

I ventured to CEDEC last week and took a rare trip to Chinatown in Yokohama. I got to hook-up with dear friend Hirota-san again. Saturday I went to the park with a friend and played guitar in between cranberries and sips of wine. Then Saturday night I went to Hirano’s Venetian dinner party. It was a bit of steep investment in terms of money (sixty dollar entrance fee), and time (an unbelievable five hours), but somehow my sanity didn’t degrade noticeably and I ended up scraping by with a terrible headache and rolling in bed Sunday.

This week I’ve been out drinking three nights in a row, and honestly considering I’m leaving for Vietnam tomorrow morning, I think I’m just going to call it an early night (which isn’t to say I won’t be meeting someone for drinks… it’ll just start at seven-thirty as opposed to ten).

September is the month of aki-aji beer in crimson and gold cans, of the Dara Dara Matsuri (ginger festival); of lying in the cool morning sun and eating kaki (crisp persimmons). September is a number of vacation days, of cat-sitting for my best friend while longing for another dazzling rave.

September is the last full month of my glorious and storied twenties.

Missing the War

Missing the War

All is quiet, his tired eyes
See figures jotted down
And clothes all strewn around the bedroom floor
Now nothing’s adding up
And nothing’s making sense
She’s sleeping like a baby
She doesn’t know he wasn’t meant for this
I’m missing the war
I’m missing the war, all night
Missing the war
I’m missing the war

He drove home again
Pissed and beaten
It’s really no big deal
It happens all the time
It’s no big deal
I’m missing the war
I’m missing the war, all night
Missing the war
I’m missing the war

Time may fly
And dreams may die
The shaking voice that tells him go
Still thinks he might
He knows he won’t
I’m missing the war
I’m missing the war, all night
Missing the war
I’m missing the war
Till beads of sunlight hit me in the morning
And I forget

So much time so little to say
-Ben Folds