The small beach sat behind the seaside park absent from our view, but its salty air could be smelt filtering through the winter trees. With hands tightly clenched together and hearts blazing like school children, we skipped along the park past a dozen frozen smiles and beyond a small hill. A narrow path formed by lost stones and fallen twigs rested before us. On either side of the path were trees conversing and braving the chill with shimmering spiky dark green watchful fingers. The sun hiding from us bathed at the end of the path with its amber glow. We slowly walked the path out onto the grey beach. Seashells that once ebbed and flowed with the tide had claimed residence on the higher banks of the sand. We glanced up at the dancing kites that were painting the sky in a silhouette of arrowed colours. I turned to catch a glimpse of her smile.
“This is perfect”, she whispered. The nimble wind gently stroked her short tanned hair. She only recently got extensions, restoring her hair to its natural black shine. She did it because she knew I liked long hair. Her spongy lips closed together to form a smile that hid no lie, a smile that thawed my frozen heart. It was then that I could hear it, nature’s melody in sync with the flapping kites, the waves, the dog barking and children giggling. The air by the seaside always carried with it extra blankets of sounds, messages from a grand voyage at sea. Her creamy skin was free from make-up and she wore glasses instead of her contact lenses – its black plastic frame resting on her petite ears giving her an academic aura. The sky was not filled with an azure coating, but it was clear enough.
We had crossed borders, oceans and seas, learnt a foreign language and then, and only then were we afforded such luck to meet within this labyrinth of plastic and metal, bowing and counterfeit smiles. I refer to this island giving it the title PPR; Pillows, Perverts, and Robots. Pillows because only in Japan could you get away with getting a good snooze at the expense of someone else’s shoulder. I conclude that this is possible because unconsciously they all want to be held. Perverts because only in Japan could you grope a high school girl and get away with only paying a fine. Only in Japan could you blatantly arch your head in true west-end theatre style to see whether or not a female is wearing silk or cotton knickers, and only in Japan could you whip out a porn magazine to read during rush hour. Robots because the majority stick to the rules, bow to authority, work tirelessly without complaint and churn out working soldiers for the future that dare not have any sense of individualism. Yes, every writer should come to Japan if they are in search for a story. However, one will find peace and balance in its nature, history and food.
I had found her, but the search continues for others, and some never find that special one. Being that my lucky number is six, I firmly believe that we have five soul mates scattered across the globe, one north, east, south, west and central. The sixth person is someone we create, someone who over time we develop and nurture into our soul mate and is perhaps the most precious one of all the six. She had been lover of maths from a young age and I found a recent interest in physics, and so I began to wonder what the probability and equation would be for finding a soul mate.
Time = T Travel = Tt Time and Travel = TTt
Luck = L Spiritual awakening (studying, independence, etc…) = S
She = A Me = B Searching but not looking = X
Being found = Yab
Yes, admittedly, I never was any good at equations and probabilities.
She pulled me out of my thoughts with a kiss. We had often kissed passionately, but it felt extra special during that moment, much deeper. I wrapped her ample body into my chest and softly bit her right ear.
“So, you want to go to the seaside…” I began to sing. The enormous sun carried with it a changed sleepy golden eye as it began to descend. Its extended arm lit up the sea with a single path that hugged the water and angled into use like an obtuse triangle. It was as if a road out to sea piloting into the sky had been formed just for the two of us, a gateway to another world perhaps. My mind was calm and the moment was perfect, we were resonating.
On that day she wore converse trainers, a black jacket with faces of people neither of us knew, a black flat top hat, black shirt and black trousers. It was apparent that she loves black, but she also likes dark red and yellow, I made sure to enquire. As usual she wore a thin sheet of makeup, just enough to give her that added glow, but not so much so as to revive the dead. Her lips are like a cotton peach finely knitted with wool. My fingers glided across her white chocolate strawberry-filled rayon blanket skin sending shivers through our bodies. A good way to describe her attitude is that she is both natural and cool and walks with a purpose. Her seductive eyes are sharp and watchful, brown and affectionate, but it is in her smile that I find the most comfort every time I look at her. When she smiles I wake up, when she smiles I grow in strength, when she smiles I am free and when she smiles I feel the world stop around me.
The look in her eyes as she again peered out at the sea took me back even further to the first time we said goodbye to each other. It was at that meeting something inside the both of us had been awakened. We had met at a gathering amongst friends, a gathering I add that I was initially a bit reluctant to go to, but considering I had a previous appointment within the same Shinjuku area that day, I thought to myself ‘why not’. It was beyond the contact lenses and puffs of smoke that I saw something deep and calm resting in her eyes, something spiritual that spoke to me. No, it was not love at first sight, nor was there a sexual attraction, but as that evening progressed amid soft drinks and delicious Korean food, we had found ourselves levitating in conversation from the rest of the group, we found that we had so much in common that it seemed unreal, but yet so amazingly great. As we said our goodbyes, we shook hands and the glare into each other’s eyes went deeper than the very core of our retinae and tissues.
“Let’s meet again, contact me,” I said.
“I will,” she replied. I had given her my card earlier that evening. I knew she would contact me, I knew we would meet again. I could feel it. What then followed between us were hours of telephone conversations, the labelling of our soul mate-ship, a few dates, poems by me, drawings by her, small Christmas gifts, magnificent sex and a waterfall of emotions. Everything was right, everything was perfect, but it was on New Year’s Eve that our emotions propelled into a new force. We had met to have dinner and a scream of karaoke in central Tokyo with a friend of mine before heading off to Meiji Jingu Shrine in Yoyogi Park for a traditional and spiritual New Year’s countdown. After which we then went to a late night café and stayed up to meet the rising sun and the songs of birds whilst listening to Ray Charles, dancing and talking. Moving into the new year with an old friend of some years and a new friend of years to come while being surrounded in a zone of spiritualism made for the most fitting and perfect transition. However, it was only on this day that we went to the seaside and while previously having lunch at a Spanish restaurant that we had officially sealed the beginning of a relationship.
By B. L. Crisp