Sunday, October 28, 2012

Feeling So Bad about Writing This (Draft)


My brother was very strict with me. Already in his adolescence, he seemed to be living according to his own principle, of which I have no idea. Principally, he was sometimes exceedingly critical of my childish behavior. I was a child after all. My mother would complain to him about me, and then he would come to me to leave terse and harsh comments. I do not remember what made him say this but I do remember him saying to me on the train platform of Shichijo station, “You have no right to talk back to mother as far as she cooks for you and do laundry for you.” It does not matter when this event took place but it was either when my brother and I were on our way home after attending the funeral of our aunt (if so, I was 15 or 16, still in high school) or when we were on our way home after meeting our father (if so, it was during 1983 when I was studying to get into an art school, a traumatic experience). If it was the latter, she only added me to my brother for the visit as I guess she thought I would violently complain when I knew I had been excluded again. She would send me out alone twice more to see father to ask him to pay for my university entrance fee and to get the money. When I went to see him alone “for the first time,” I made a call from a payphone I found at Namba station and hesitated very much to explain to him who I was. For my third time, she sent me out saying, “This is a promise a man made to another man.” Saying that he had just received some money from his client, he made a cheque of 200,000 yen on the spot. With the cheque with me, I went to a Sumitomo Bank branch in Kyobashi or Tenmabashi to get the cash.
One reason why I was so unhappy with mother is that she was treating me only as someone who did not deserve much consideration and who was incapable of reasoning. She might be right to think this way as I am the youngest member of the family. To me, it was always her inability of talking straight. She would allude to her marital problem, which of course irreparably affected my personality, at any time in any way she liked, but it was always an allusion as if she had already explained the matter fully and convincingly. She never did. But I knew what was happening, and it greatly irritated me when she mentioned anything that was associated with her own marital problem and she never allowed any criticism from me accepting only agreement.
Even while a very young child, I had terrible fear about the situation which my family was in and frightened by realizing the fact of having the fear. I already knew the situation because of my mother’s careless but probably intentional remarks and my own intuition. In her stories, father was always the worst man imaginable in the whole world and on other occasions she would say. “You are just like your father even in the way you walk,” the worst comment I could get from anybody. Her sisters (my aunts) were in agreement with her, forcing me to be ashamed of myself. My feeling toward her was so rocky and unstable that I wanted to resist a hug from her when I was still in kindergarten. She was giving me a hug because this child was intolerably rebellious and she thought a hug would cure me.  I wanted to resist it with all my might but I did not because I knew it was something I was not supposed to do. In those very young days of mine, she would send me to run after father when he was leaving home for his office, on the second floor of a building with a coffee shop named “Hawks” downstairs located behind the Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium and near a big police station, to say to him, “Come back early tonight.” Already meters ahead of me walking along the canal, he would raise his hand and wave it without turning around. I think at least partly she was exploiting my innocence toward father for herself. I was not and am not for what father, an unrefined lowbrow, did to his family. But I, as a little boy, had sound affection toward him, and mother was consciously or not trying to destroy it.
So many years later in the spring of 1992, a ‘feeling of blood” came back to me when I received a call from a stranger who told me that father had got hospitalized. I was still staying with mother and she was asleep. The person was someone who was living in the same apartment complex as he and she found the phone number in a notebook or address book my father was keeping. I could not bring myself to tell mother about the call but I managed to call my brother, who was not living with us, to let him know about the call. I think he asked me who had got hospitalized because I could not be clear about “who.” I remember I was feeling very uncomfortable with great difficulty to utter the word “father.” I stayed awake and waited for the first train to visit the hospital. His condition was grim. After leaving the hospital, I was emotionally choked with a tight chest on the subway, thinking “This is the end of it.” Back home, I found my brother with mother. I reported what I saw at the hospital and said “I will take care of him because I feel close toward him.“ Mother said, “That’s what I thought,” disapproving me. Even after such an event, she continued the attitude she had been showing to me with allusions and suggestions about the past taking my tacit agreement for granted. More years later, this has been the same even after she created a Buddhist tablet for him. Deeply religious and still resentful. And about my brother, I do not know if he did what he did for mother out of his sense of obligation or firmly established moral principle. Or he may have been simply acting.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

This Terrifying Feeling of Being Stuck



I have this terrifying feeling that I’m absolutely stuck here while others are swimming ahead almost effortlessly. What triggered the feeling is my talk with the doctor on the 19th, who made me realize how aged I am now. And this was exacerbated by reading Graham Greene’s history of depression and suicide attempts. I ask myself whether I have missed things that should be essential for anyone’s life while trying to convince myself that everyone has limitations and vantages of his environment, many of which are set at his birth. Effort and luck, or lack thereof, may or may not influence one’s course of life either way. But at this moment I’m not sure what sort of effort is necessary to turn my feeling toward the positive direction.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Recurring Dreams + More about Disgusting Japanese



その夢の「画面」は左右に分かれていた。それぞれに何が映し出されていたのかよくわからないが、どちらかを選択せよというようだった。ただ、次の瞬間、画面はひとつになり、映っていたのは一本道が左右に分かれるところ。左側斜めに続く道は「以前、進んだことがある」と判断して、右に進むことにした。進んで何が起こったのかはわからない。

そんな「夢を見ながら、思い出していた」のは、確かずいぶん前に見た夢のいくつかで、これらの夢は何度かまた別の夢の中で現われたり、現実に思い出したりしている。

そのひとつは、街の中心からほんのわずかに西側にある川で、位置的にも京都市内の中心を流れる鴨川から堤防を挟んで西にある狭い川や高瀬川を想像させる。ただし幅は鴨川ほどではないがもっと広い。京都と同じく、北から南に流れていて、自分はその静かな流れの川を自転車かクルマで遡上しようとしている。浅い川でもあり、北へと移動していくが、途中で人工的に作られた段差が何カ所かにあって、いよいよ障害となりそれ以上進めない。周囲の環境は、この川の流れように静かではなく、道路が縦横に走る交通量の多い都市の様子だった。夢の中で自分はこの風景を京都市内と解釈していた。

もうひとつの夢は、京都市内から滋賀県へと、今度はクルマかバイクで移動するもの。峠越えだが、京都から滋賀へ入ろうとする場所からは、琵琶湖らしき湖が見え、かなりの絶景だ。道路はその景色を楽しませるように曲がりながら伸びており、また天気もよく清清しい。

さらに進むと、丘の斜面に造られたような古い墓地で、辺りは薄暗い。新しい墓石はなく、どれもあちこちが黒く汚れている。湖の見える景色とは異なって、これは白黒の風景だった。石段を登りきると、広く平坦な土地が出現し、そこには金箔を使ったようなかなり派手で、また大きな寺院があった。

このふたつの夢、本当は一夜で見たのかもしれない。

***

昨夜の「醜い日本人」についてもう少し書くと、「(一生記憶されるべきほどの発言でも)言葉は軽く、知識は浅く、そして態度はでかく」が特徴。物事を学ぼうとする姿勢は、受験生のそれであって、「ウィキペディア」以上でなく、また「マンガで学ぶ……」といった即席ラーメンのレベルで、深みも奥行きも感じられない。

Japan Enthusiasts Degrading Japan


「日本!日本!」と言うやつに限って日本男児らしくないのはなぜなのか?まったく情けない。きょう、きのう起こったことで言っているわけではないが、この思いが消えない。この地やその周辺国の人たちを辱めるような振る舞いをしてもどうやら平気らしい。清廉潔白とは無縁。以前にも同じようなことを書いたが、東南アジアから「どうぞさっさと撤退してください」と言いたい。

Monday, October 22, 2012

Dreamy Celebral Logic


This early morning, I was seeing a series of dreams and explaining perhaps coherently to myself what they mean and why I was seeing them. This has happened to me several times before. What is certain to me is that I was not awake, yet some capability of logic was functioning in my brain. Analysis of dreams should have resulted from my reading passages in The Life of Graham Greene, Volume I by Norman Sherry where the young Greene was talking about the dreams he saw with his psychiatrist named Kenneth Richmond.