Yesterday I did, in fact, accomplish a lot at work again. So much, [in fact] that I have the luxury of spending today and tomorrow doing what humans were intended to do– living practically. I often exhibit some sort of snowballing momentum when it comes to mindless chores. After getting home slightly past one, I read some email and got some disconcerting news, which came quite close to throwing a wet blanket over the wonderful feeling of satisfaction that had developed from my accomplishments. However, a little bit of luck kept me from getting out of control, and I started with what I do best, cleaning. The humidity in my apartment gets incredibly high towards the end of summer, so the bathroom quickly slides into a state of unnerving disarray and filth. I knew action had to be taken before things got any worse, so I spent a couple minutes working strong chemical cleaner into the synthetic tub walls with a brush. This of course led to more scrubbing, and more polishing and a rinsing of the floor, trash being collected, clothes picked up, etc. In the end despite the fact I “stopped” to watch another episode of Next Gen, I put away all the laundry, straightened the bed, and put away my camera supplies. Then it’s just after three and only lack of sleep could wrest me from the unrelenting single-mindedness with which I dispatched all of the minor details I can control in my life.
The point of all this mundanity, if you’ve bothered to read this far, is that you must understand that I’m really quite methodical when it comes to domestic affairs. I really can’t be stopped once I get started, and even intense physical seduction would at best have only an even money chance of getting me to stop. Things being orderly for me has become, like many other ticks in my life, something that both agitates and calms me. I cannot stand to have it undone, but the completion is a soothing font of absolution from which I draw a few precious drops of solace. In general, as people get older they tend to collect more and more things; things that are only partially, seldom, or never used at all. Having these things around, around contributing to the eternally degrading condition of my domicile’s cleanliness, is a constant and ever-widening needle in the back of my head. And so to futilely (but nobly) combat this unwinnable war of decaying consumer goods, I more and more often participate in free markets, yard sales, or what have you. I don’t even need money for these things, for if it was truly of any value than I’d be using it frequently, because that’s how I purchase things. Nothing of any consequence is bought on a whim or without deep deliberation as to how much it truly will be used in my life. I am my father, only twenty years ahead of schedule in all areas except marriage, parenting, and financial stability, the later of which is of very little importance to me until the other two come into play, which don’t seem to be for some time, judging by the incredible resonating growth of my ambitions.
The real purpose behind this blog was to talk about how I’ve woken up this week to realize that living in Japan has become trivial (in terms of effort, a la Dave Luebke) to me. I can read, speak, listen, and survive with a minimal amount of effort. I know where to buy what for how much, and all the important ratios and benchmarks of my tiny, insignificant life (like calories to yen, adjusted for vitamin content). Today, in three hours, I went to Office Max, Kinko’s, Horiuchi, Seikaido, lunch, and lastly the drug and liquor stores, procuring a wide range of information and consumer goods for an affordable price. Postcards may be printed at Kinko’s for about 63 yen a piece, from which I will sell them for 150-200. The color most certainly will not match exactly, since this isn’t Horiuchi, but these are acceptable discrepancies in light of how simple and cheap it will be to have them fabricated. Accordingly, I will select images which do not rely on shadow or subtle color differences, as translation of the gamma of my monitor to the tone of their laser printer is sure to be quite incongruous. Horiuchi has almost all of the prints prepared to my satisfaction. A large shot of west Shinjuku must once more be redone as a direct, manual enlargement, and dust spots need to be removed from the corner of an image of an apartment building in Nakano Shimbashi.
I bought a carrying case for my humble products, but was dismayed to find that the classic brown cardboard-style portfolio, which I toted in and out of Brooks Hall so frequently at Virginia, is no longer vogue. Now I have a more durable, less campy, black plastic B3 wallet to take my shots to and from the printer. Drafting tape was also procured, at the advice of Mari-san, for attaching my delicate gems to the fiberboard walls. I realize now that I forgot screw-in hooks to mount the walls with, but I’ll look at plain old nails tonight and see if that will suffice.
I made off with a bevy of household cleaners, toiletries, and paper products for about the price of three days’ food, and since these will all last at least two months, I am pleased. So pleased, in fact, that I treated myself to a bottle of (marked) organic Chateau La Mau Bastit Bordeaux, with which to inspire me throughout this writing, and the music experimentation with which I will soon follow.
Life is my ocean, and how I cross it reflects the tension and slack I fumble through each day, like the sails on an old, wooden ship– with the rise and fall of the sea I flutter and fall empty, then billow in the wind and cut through sweat-moistened evenings of salt and contentment by the eternal arc of the sun.