Saturday, June 06, 2009

A double sin

Garigarikun is an ice cream bar brand popular in Japan. A few days ago, after the usual rounds of jogging in the park, I felt like eating one. I usually don't do such a thing, but it was a very warm day. Since I was going to misbehave like a kid anyway, I decided to devour the thing in the bath.
I took a copy of Anne of Windy Willows from the toilet, where I have been keeping the book for some days. I have been reading the childhood favorite little by little in the cozy comfort. Toilets are such private and relaxing spaces, and I really love to read books in them, especially, but not limited to, while I am at home.
I put myself in the bath, turned the pages of Anne of Windy Willows, and nibbled at the ice cream bar. It was a perfect setting for sweet little delinquencies. When I was a child my mother used to tell me that I should not read books in the bath. I was always doing just that, and I somehow managed to avoid learning from her well meaning advice since.
So there I was, with a book and an ice cream bar in my hands, soaked in warm water up to the shoulder. I was happy. It was perfect. All was going well until, as I was finishing the ice cream bar, the last remaining piece dropped to water. For a moment I thought of a rescue, but needless to say it was too late. I witnessed the juicy chunk melt and dissolve into nothingness. A brand new experiment in bath additives.
A few days later, I think that was actually a very delicately delivered punishment for my misbehaviors. You should never read a book in the bath, and eat an ice cream bar. That would be a double sin.

Thursday, June 04, 2009


In an artistic piece of sublime joy, you can sometimes discern a hint of pain. Take J.S. Bach's Air on the G string for example. The music is sweet, and yet in the midst of its rapturous melody you can certainly sense a taint of pain approaching from the midair.
Sanshiro is one of Soseki Natsume's early masterpieces. Sanshiro, a country boy, goes to Tokyo to enter the University. There he meets Mineko, a girl of beautiful enigma. Sanshiro finds that he can decipher the pain in the heart of Mineko's voluptuous existence. The pain in a sense foretells the eventual catastrophe of the love affair, but also is an essential accompaniment to anything of blissful beauty.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Cup noodles in the van seat

Despite the ups and downs, I have kept my habit of going for a run in the park forest near my house. A few months ago, I sprained my right ankle, and could not walk briskly for a while. The ankle has been recovering since, and I have started to exercise in earnest again.
This morning, I was returning from my run. I usually take a banknote with me, tucked away in my pocket, and drop by at a convenience store, to buy some drinks.
As I strolled into the car park beside the convenience store this morning, I noticed a van. In the driver's seat a man sat, sipping from his cup noodle. Evidently, it was his breakfast. Probably he did not have time to take one at home, and just dashed off to work, and had only the time to purchase a cup noodle and ask for hot water from the store clerk.
It is when I take a glimpse of these hard working people that I straighten up in my spirit. The profile of the man remained in my memory for a while. The world as we know it is made of runs in the park and men eating cup noodles in the van seat.
It looks like raining today.