The end of the year always finds me more introspective than is probably healthy, not the kind that brings answers but mostly more questions or unresolved issues to the surface.
I lie on the hard, wooden loft listening to Kevin Shields, Squarepusher, Rei Harakami, and Kururi, soft brooding again centered around the loss of my Japan, perhaps the loss of my youth with it.
Tomorrow I go to close my cellphone account, with it an unbroken string of clandestine packet networks and email addresses ending with “jp”. My fingers fumble over the neck of my Telecaster absentmindedly and the quiet of shitamachi brings the uncomfortable ringing of silence into my ears.
How can I tell all the people I’ve met how important they are, how every distanced word and courteous nod was one more piece in my guarded puzzle? All of the syllables and pauses are footnotes in this story.
2012 started with a soft slept dream of thrilled anticipation, and it closes with a restless night of vexing uncertainty.
Last night I was fortunate enough to be able to DJ publicly for the first time. A friend of mine in town was organizing a Christmas party and charity event in Daikanyama, and the two of us covered music responsibilities for the night. I purchased an audio controller and a copy of Traktor earlier this year, and to finally be able to use them beyond just playing around at home was rewarding. The event was mainly for socializing, so without the emphasis on music I was relaxed and able to experiment with both technique and dynamic song selection. I couldn’t ask for a better opportunity to ease into the next phase of my musical evolution. I hope to have a chance to play again soon.
In the meantime I will refine my trance mix while practicing with Ableton Live and hope to get it up on MixCloud before the new year.
After a month of travelling in the States, I have finally come back to Tokyo for the indefinite future. For now, no more trips, no more adventure, I should just settle. Yet I am uneasy. My future remains unclear, and the uncertainty of what is to come makes me restless. My being without a fixed address makes matters worse. Come Friday I will move into a temporary dwelling, but for four weeks it will be all mine, albeit with a skeleton attachment of belongings. No furniture, no warmth, just my notebook, a couple backpacks, and my camera.
I thought it would be relieving to be back in Tokyo, my home for the last ten years. But it doesn’t feel like home. Perhaps in my heart I know I won’t be here long, and everything I see and experience now is like a dream, a flashback to an old lover. It feels hollow and muted. The gingko leaves carpet the sidewalks, the plazas and alleyways are respectfully quiet, and the sun falls quickly behind the shellacked tile apartments that I love so much.
But there is a distance between me and the city, one I have never known. For so long I relished the fantasy, that the exotic metropolis was mine to call home, but now all of the romance is gilded in loss. The lights twinkle on and the media still smiles, but to me it might as well be on a movie screen.