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Night of the swirling guitars. Night is when dreams shine, young one. And your girlfriend introduces you to the music of Mikami Kan through a CD she checks out from Tsutaya. Up the hill, past the Shinto shrine and the discount supermarket. Cross the train tracks and there it lies. Through the weeds.
Those days you drove to your work. You had a small purple Japanese car and lived in a small brown Japanese apartment. When your license expired, you kept driving. No one noticed. It was a good fifteen to twenty minute drive to work down narrow passages. You took the back way. Every morning, every night you took advantage of the teeny car’s CD player, rolled down the windows, and zipped across the Japanese countryside blaring music as if you were in church. As if you were unstoppable. Those sounds were your God. And, of course, you found a friend in Mikami Kan’s madness, his sloppy precision (his precise sloppiness). And this old enka song that he covers in the video, have you ever heard a man who has passed over into whatever emotion Mikami-san has already passed over into? It’s a whirling void of regret and lifeways and dying and pain.
You used to drink with friends in a small town. “Meet me at the Maruetsu supermarket at midnight,” one of them said. The werewolf. Later her got laid out in the middle of the road by a fist to the face. You used to drink at a place called “The Purple Heart.” We talked about the world. The master-san always overcharged you, but those conversations were worth more than all the money you could hand over to that good man. Plus the beer was fresh. And the smile of his assistant, the smile of his wife. You grew multitudes in that bar, in that town, on your knees, arms outstretched, and with music. In those days, music was a living beast you sucked into your lungs and felt it expand like a second heart within you. I think distance does that. Distance creates tentacles to the heart.
Where’s your night, now? Where’s the touch of a chest? Where is the wine? Where are the fireworks? Where’s the drunk passenger? How does it feel to be smacked in the face by a memory? How does it feel when the world spins and you’re somewhere on an island in the Pacific? And those drives. You used to pick X up at a station way out in the folds of Chiba. You’d pass hotel upon hotel. You’d pass a park and you’d park at a family restaurant, watch the train roll in, creak to the hum of the cicadas. It was always night when X came. Those were the days of young joy, magnitude. Those were the nights of shimmering dreams.