Sunday, January 01, 2012

THIRTY YEARS IN ONE MORNING

The first morning of the first day of a new year, dark and brisk, my body alive and fresh, and I hear, as I run, the voice of a man on a phone, his tone angry and sad. I can't understand everything he's saying, but these are those familiar tones that insist what language obscures. You know the ones I mean. High-pitched, abrupt, with strange shifts downwards, almost diagonally; you didn't know voices could do that sort of thing, shift ranges so fast. As I ran I glanced to my left, and noticed that the man, physically, did not look to be perturbed, or, to be more accurate, pissed off. He looked like a hundred other middle-aged Japanese men look like on mornings such as this -- small and intent, his exercise an authentic expression of a casual, yet steady discipline imposed from within. His strides were precise and fluid. Nothing random at work. He was headed somewhere. A hat on to combat the cold. If not for that voice, I wouldn't have even spared him my glance.

Yet that voice! Here I am, at least trying to pretend that I'm feeling good as this fresh year commences, and here he is, enraged and so sad. I can barely make out him saying something about 'thirty years'. That's all I can catch -- 'thirty years'. Is it a lover who finally gave him the boot last night over beers? An employee whose own self-regard has made his old boss useless and passe? A childhood friend, I thought. Japanese often cling to their old friends. (In what other country do people in their mid-fifties regulary attend elementary-school reunions?) Somebody close, of course. You don't wield a brittle voice such as his against a convenience store clerk.

I stayed moving on the path that led straight towards the big bridge, while he took the lower route, the one that wound smoothly through trees and led down somewhere dark. I heard his faint voice ranting, but it soon drifted, then died. Some small part of me wanted to go back and help. Tell him that it was New Year's Day. Life was moving forward. The phone call was already over. But what if he was drunk? Mentally ill? Worse, what if all that rage was still valid? 'Thirty years' was all I had heard him say, and thirty years is a long time. Thirty years ago I was six. His harsh night was already heading towards the first small hint of day, but I knew that those three decades of his would not soon rise out of his ditch.

4 comments:

oakleyses said...

louis vuitton, louboutin pas cher, nike roshe, nike air max, oakley sunglasses, nike free, ray ban sunglasses, ray ban sunglasses, prada outlet, polo outlet, oakley sunglasses, air max, prada handbags, christian louboutin shoes, ugg boots, longchamp outlet, jordan pas cher, oakley sunglasses wholesale, christian louboutin, nike free run, polo ralph lauren outlet online, michael kors pas cher, polo ralph lauren, louis vuitton outlet, tiffany jewelry, ray ban sunglasses, ugg boots, longchamp pas cher, christian louboutin uk, cheap oakley sunglasses, burberry pas cher, kate spade outlet, longchamp outlet, sac longchamp pas cher, replica watches, christian louboutin outlet, louis vuitton outlet, nike outlet, oakley sunglasses, tory burch outlet, louis vuitton, replica watches, louis vuitton outlet, gucci handbags, tiffany and co, uggs on sale, longchamp outlet, chanel handbags, nike air max

oakleyses said...

coach outlet store online, burberry handbags, sac hermes, converse pas cher, hollister pas cher, hollister uk, uggs outlet, nike roshe run uk, nike air max uk, true religion outlet, coach purses, abercrombie and fitch uk, oakley pas cher, michael kors outlet, michael kors, true religion outlet, replica handbags, mulberry uk, nike blazer pas cher, guess pas cher, michael kors outlet online, north face uk, ray ban uk, burberry outlet, michael kors outlet, michael kors outlet online, hogan outlet, michael kors outlet online, nike air force, ray ban pas cher, new balance, coach outlet, true religion jeans, michael kors outlet, lululemon canada, polo lacoste, nike air max, sac vanessa bruno, nike free uk, michael kors outlet online, nike tn, michael kors, uggs outlet, kate spade, nike air max uk, timberland pas cher, ralph lauren uk, north face, true religion outlet

oakleyses said...

celine handbags, ferragamo shoes, nike trainers uk, lancel, nike huaraches, ray ban, longchamp uk, iphone cases, hollister, wedding dresses, gucci, ghd hair, vans, mac cosmetics, nike roshe run, oakley, hermes belt, baseball bats, mont blanc pens, herve leger, soccer shoes, nike air max, nfl jerseys, vans outlet, louboutin, lululemon, insanity workout, mcm handbags, jimmy choo outlet, p90x workout, beats by dre, instyler, abercrombie and fitch, valentino shoes, hollister, converse, north face outlet, asics running shoes, babyliss, converse outlet, nike air max, ralph lauren, hollister clothing, timberland boots, bottega veneta, north face outlet, new balance shoes, reebok outlet, chi flat iron, soccer jerseys

oakleyses said...

moncler, moncler uk, coach outlet, moncler outlet, louis vuitton, ugg uk, links of london, moncler outlet, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, pandora uk, louis vuitton, ugg pas cher, juicy couture outlet, hollister, louis vuitton, canada goose, pandora jewelry, moncler, ugg, louis vuitton, louis vuitton, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, supra shoes, montre pas cher, canada goose outlet, juicy couture outlet, canada goose outlet, canada goose jackets, replica watches, wedding dresses, swarovski crystal, pandora jewelry, doudoune moncler, thomas sabo, moncler, toms shoes, canada goose outlet, swarovski, canada goose, canada goose uk, pandora charms, marc jacobs, moncler, karen millen uk, canada goose