October 11, 2006

strangers in the night

I had a full weekend. Karaoke in Kashima that cost way too much. Festival in Nagasaki. Visiting a lonely park in the mountains that had lots of playground equipment but no children to speak off. Attending to a small mountain shrine whilst dodging fallen bamboo trees that didn't weather the last typhoon. Providing the battery to start a stranger's motor cycle in the middle of nowhere. But for most of the events I was kicking myself for being shy in a land of shy people.
Then last night I walked along the cement barrier that keeps the sea at bay. I was startled to find a woman there. I said "good evening" and went a bit off. The moonlight reflecting on the water was like a dream. I wished someone was there to share it. I guess the woman shared it, though she was some fifty feet distant. As I left, I felt sudden panic. What if that woman was committing suicide? I mean I'm weird, so I do things like go look at the sea at night. But do Japanese people do that too?
So I debated with myself over whether I should go back. I pondered what to say in Japanese. すみませんちょっと変な質問けど。。。たしかにあなたは自殺つもりですか something like that...

In the end, a groundskeeper started to ask what I was doing, and I told him that there was a woman by the sea. He grumbled and walked in her direction. I walked the other way.