Ok, here’s a little disclaimer(?) that I’d really appreciate you to read if you’re going to make slightly rude comments. Sleep means sleep, nothing more. When you’re jetlagged and back from a trip you’re tired, especially past midnight. Which was both our case. Also I decided to share that because I love writing and this is relevant to this blog, which is about my personal life and travelling. But keep in mind that I like to keep some things for myself, and don’t feel like writing about them. I have memories that for many reasons cannot be shared.
He and I are still in touch, in good terms and that is all you should know.
I hope you enjoy reading this. 🙂
Words bang against the walls of my brain, my mouth is dry and my heart heavy, so heavy I find it hard to be sitting, my chest feels like it’s drawing me to the ground, and I’m not sure whether or not I’ll fall if I let go of the seatbelt. The taxi driver doesn’t say a word, probably because I’m a foreigner but I could be wrong. Maybe taxi drivers don’t chat like in Paris here. As I watch the city pass before my eyes through the window I think that this must be exactly how Cinderella would have felt if she were real. Every inch that the wheels devour is like an awful question mark punching me in the stomach, but I cannot clearly understand the question. All I know is that I want the world to stop, every car to stop and run back to this blue room behind those glass doors where everything felt perfect. But I stay still, and try to ignore the tears and the pain in my chest. My phone rings “Be safe on your way back. Good night..”
Those neon lights and bright katana I’ve always seen in movies and dreamt of make it all even more unreal, the silence in the car, the wide and empty roads, everything looks like a movie. I pinch myself to make sure that isn’t a dream. But it’s all real, I am in Tokyo, in a taxi driving through Shibuya and heading towards Akihabara. I breathe in my scarf and smell his cologne. It’s definitely all real.
I wander in my own mind, in a strange state of daze where the past three hours keep playing themselves again and again. At first I want to keep them away, but everything is so surreal that I need to go through it again and again, to make sure I don’t forget anything. I don’t want to let anything slip out of my memory. Every word, glance, touch, smile, scent, noise. Every little bit of him.
“What do you want to drink?”
“Well anything that isn’t alcoholic, I don’t drink alcohol”.
I am a bit reluctant as I say those words, that usually make people go oh why? oh really? But he smiles.
“That’s good. I don’t drink either when I have something big at work. I live like a monk actually then!”
“Oh really? I guess I am like a monk too, I don’t smoke, drink and I’m a vegetarian.”
“Vegan or vegetarian?”
He knows the difference. He’s interested. He’s interesting.
– Are we there soon? I ask the driver in a hesitant japanese.
– In 20minutes!
20minutes. We’ve been driving for already the same amount of time. 40minutes. That’s all there’s going to be beween us for the time I’m here in Tokyo.
-So you speak japanese?
-Yes a little bit! You know a little french right?
-I used to. I lived in France for a little while. I love it there. The culture is amazing. Do you speak any other language?
– German a little bit. and you?
-Oh chinese… I think I know how to introduce myself in chinese.
He bursts in laughter when I do.
-Your accent is lovely but …
He stops and his hand reaches for me.
-Do you like sports?
-Does yoga count?
-Haha, not really.
-Why did you get tattoos?
-I’m not sure… I used to think it would be nice when I’m dead to still be able to tell stories.
-It must make undertakers work more interesting and fun too!
Strange brain has talked again. But he smiles and touches the ink.
-Do you like spicy food?
-Probably not as much as you but yes!
-Ok, next time we really need to have dinner together then!
-It’s normal being scared of death. But you shouldn’t be.
-I suppose… but isn’t it so sad to think all of that, including us will be gone one day?
-It’s for new things to come.
– Still… It’s selfish, I know, but… you see, when I think that one day I won’t be able to feel nor the sun nor the wind, or eat delicious foods, or laugh with friends and look at the ocean … I feel extremely sad.
-You know in Japan we have the sakura right?
– They’re beautiful, that’s a fact. They don’t need to do or mean anything to be beautiful. But what makes them even more beautiful is that they’re not afraid to bloom to die a few days or weeks later. They stand in the now for now. And so should you.
I thought dates were nerve-wracking and ackward. But not once do I the need to pretend, conceal or explain myself. Words fly between us, and for the first time in my life I feel absolutely comfortable with someone. It falls perfectly into place. And I can see that this was how we both feel. Natural. As I stare at his head on my lap, I feel the weight of years and a wave of love overflowing me. It’s funny how our meetings always have something strangely aquatic.
The most cliché of all thoughts would describe it the best: heaven on earth. Past 2am, someone comes and wakes us up and then goes to call a taxi. I feel distress as I realise I am about to leave. He reaches for his wallet and hands me much more money than I need. We talk a little bit more, skins too and it’s time to wake up.
– It was really nice to meet you…
He winks at me. I’d like to tell him, it’s the second time you wink at me. Do you remember? But I don’t.
– …and I slept very well, thank you.
We laugh. He must sense the sadness in my eyes, I can see in his that he knows.
-Next time we’ll have dinner.
He hugs me one last time, a bit longer.
Two days later, I am sitting in the sand, in Kamakura. A short train ride from Tokyo. I pick up a strawberry and bring it to my mouth. The sound of waves takes me back to his place, the warmth of the sun reminds me of the softness of his hands. I never understood why people liked physical contacts, now I know. His hand was reassuring, calming, comforting. I exhale slowly. What’s next now?
-Are you alright?
-Yes I just bit my tongue!
Pain I guess. Paris and Tokyo are 6036miles away. We’re 19years away. I sigh. Those aren’t even that bad. The real problem is that we’re a world away. He does things I could never do, and the common things I do he cannot afford anymore. He probably doesn’t even know how important that night was to me. This night spent with him will always be a golden moment, a night that taught me that there will be times in your life, probably a few, that will make you think ” I was born to live this“. And those times make your world spin differently. My pocket vibrates. I turn my face to the bright sun before reading the text.
“How is your trip going?“