The Kimochi Warui Diary
I called an emergency meeting. Everyone in the hostel lobby was required to attend. Except Jotaro—he was asleep upstairs.
Then, I explained the details:
“I lost my journal. It’s a blue Campus notebook, I’ve been writing in it since last week, it’s in a white grocery bag. I gotta find it.”
“Did you check the last place you left it?”
“Yeah, but I’m way too drunk to remember.”
Now that the alert was out, I went back to retracing my steps.
First, I checked the alleyway where I smoked cigarettes with the Japanese man.
There was plenty of trash on the ground, but none of it resembled my journal. Or perhaps it had dropped behind the vending machine, or…?
Hold on a second… He was holding a white grocery bag, too! Had he done the switcheroo and swiped my journal?
No, no, that’s ridiculous… I definitely would have seen him do it if he tried.
Then how about the karaoke bar? I could envision how it happened:
I’d gotten in and drunkenly taken a seat. The cute Chinese girl then bewitched me with her good looks and persuaded me to sing by handing me the microphone.
I would have had no choice but to put the grocery bag down, at which point… YOINK!
The Japanese guy must have swiped it right from underneath me! What was that guy’s deal, anyways? He was asking me a hundred questions. Was his interrogation all part of a plan to distract me? They’d been working together!
I burst into the karaoke bar. There were a few less patrons than before, so it was quieter, but sure enough, the Chinese girl and the Japanese man were still there! And if they weren’t willing to talk, then I’d have to kick everyone’s asses.
“Hey, uhm… Hi,” I said. “Was there a white bag here? Did I leave a white bag here?”
“Oh… I remember you. I remember bag!”
“You remember the bag?” Thank Kami-sama! “Great! Is it here?”
“Hmm… No, I’m sorry, I don’t see bag now…”
It seemed like they were telling the truth. But that meant there was no more time to waste! I stumbled out of the bar and back onto the streets.
The next place on the list was…
Well, that was it. There was nowhere else I’d been after the 7-Eleven. From the time I bought the magazine and got back to the hostel, I’d gone to a total of two locations, both within a couple hundred feet of the hostel. The conundrum was made all the more confusing by the sheer simplicity of it. Where the fuck else could it have gone!?
I went back to the alleyway. Nothing. Then, I went back to the karaoke bar.
“いらっしゃいませ—Oh, you again? … No, sorry, no bag here.”
So the karaoke bar definitely didn’t have it. I relinquished my search purely to outside.
I searched every dirty square foot of ground between the bar and the hostel, even in spaces where I hadn’t actually walked. I couldn’t be too sure—who knows if maybe it had fallen out, bounced across the sidewalk, and ended up in some corner? Or maybe it fell out and someone accidentally kicked it into a weird space?
But there was nothing anywhere! My search was useless, useless, useless!!
Several minutes later, I was back in the alleyway, crouched in the space between the cigarette and beer vending machines. My arms were wrapped around my knees, and I held them tightly against myself.
I was starting to sober up.
How had things gotten so out of hand? Where the hell was my journal? What was I going to do without my memories of the trip?
Sure, I would remember some stuff if I started writing it all down right now, but… The whole point was to record more than you thought you needed to during the moment. I wouldn’t be able to get back any of those small details!
I need another ciggy.
In truth, this kind of thing happens to writers all the time. Their essays get deleted because they forgot to save… Their answers in an online text box get wiped away because they accidentally hit the back button…
When a writer loses a chunk of writing, it can be devastating.
…But in truth, sometimes the rewrite is even better than the initial writing.
Yeah! That’s right!
It’s the writer’s responsibility to accept this truth and to move on, no matter what! If a writer can’t do a simple rewrite, then what the hell kind of writer is he in the first place!? You’re better off not being a writer at all if you don’t believe your next draft will be even better than the first one!
With a new surge of energy, I got back on my feet, clenched my fists, and marched back to the hostel.
So, it was settled:
Campus notebooks can be found anywhere in Japan. I could buy a new one first thing tomorrow and immediately get back to writing again.
However, there was one thing that I absolutely could not reproduce on my own.
No… No matter how good my memory, no matter how much hope I had, there was one thing I couldn’t do without. In this area, my imagination had failed me several times—I needed the real deal.
Fortunately, it was easily replaceable.
Knowing what had to be done, I made my way back to the 7-Eleven.