Wednesday, February 28

Delusions of a Caffeine Addict

"No, you're right. I'm not a caffeine addict.

Still, somewhere between the numerous coffees I've consumed in the past several days, someone would surely have had that thought cross their mind, as they passed by that one comfortable seat in the corner of the Roppongi branch of Tully's at around 2.30pm and noticed me seated with a book and a table littered with empty paper cups.
...or at least they would have if I were not in Tokyo, where the masses of people are buried in their expensive coats, hiding away behind their passive faces.
Watching these people hurrying to catch their next train or bus which brings them all closer to a nervous breakdown had become daily routine as of late.
The suited monkeys bustling around the concrete jungle around me would keep me amused for a shortwhile when my eyes would tire of the reading.

Daniel left for England 2 days ago, and since then each day I've been burying myself in books in various cafés around Tokyo. It's odd how you can enjoy something so much yet know you'll never do it again out of sheer sloth. Or maybe I'm just exceptionally lazy.
This was one of those times, and although I feel the hours spent wading through these 4 books were well spent, I doubt I'll create the time for it when I return.

Watching the world outside the window on the 2nd floor picking at my Irish Mug Cream, I felt strangely at home in a place that couldn't be further from.
To my left would be an interview of a supposed famous writer. That much I had picked up from their latté driven interrogation of the strange looking old man with large square glasses. The rest of the tables were occupied by sweet scented young ladies, briefcase wielding businessmen and the elderly women in the opposite corner. Leafing through the pages of my book seemed to equate to turning a giant wheel which continually drove people in and out of the coffee shop, replacing a red scarf with a green one, a face plastered in make up to a face plastered in more make up, and all the time simultaneously pulling the sun behind the towering buildings outside.

My thoughts drifted to Takayama; how many of those odd people I came to call my friends would remember me when I make my promised visit in three and a half years time? That aside, how many of them would remember me if I returned in three and a half months? I felt a quiet envy for the next volunteers who would quite literally be taking our place in every sense of the word.
Would the people at the hospital still be there; would Marika still be working or would she have pursued her dream in Osaka?
Irrelevant things, I said to myself, as I bit into my spicy pepperoni and cream cheese sandwich.

I had absolutely no intention of returning.

A bad habit of mine was losing myself in my music, wandering through the crowded streets as though I was stepping over an endless photo reel of people carpetting an empty corridor. Perhaps this lead to the illusion I wasn't lonely; a problem shared by most if not all lone travellers who find themselves in a foreign country.
Not even sure if I was homesick, where I was homesick for, or whether I simply enjoyed this freedom; either way I knew when it ended I'd be losing something. This trip would be something I'd miss greatly, even before the rose tinted glasses slid into place in my mind.

With my flight in little over a day, I'm surprised at myself for not making better use of my time. Then again, as I doubt I'll ever be reading again anytime soon, maybe there's nothing better I could possibly be doing.

A waft of wind drifted up from upstairs, upsetting the receipt I had left on the table, sweeping it off the table. After watching it drift to the floor, I sat back, enjoying the jazz music in the background.
Casting my eyes down again, I turned the page to the next chapter."

Photos of Japan on flickr.

For the love of god will people stop asking me what I was sniffing when I wrote this. I mean, it was obviously the coffee beans.