The Kimochi Warui Diary
The porno magazine hit the counter with a slap.
Using my best Jotaro-face, I tried to make myself look completely unreadable.
The 7-Eleven girl furrowed her eyebrow in confusion—I could see that even behind her face mask.
“But… I see you before… You already bought?”
I tried to maintain my stoic demeanor, but it was going to take more than just a few words to clear this up. I broke down and told her everything:
The journal. The porno magazine. The grocery bag. The search through the karaoke bar, the alleyway, and everywhere in between. The fact no one knows who Shugo Tokumaru is. That my memories of Japan will have all vanished with the disappearance of the notebook, and this porno magazine being just one artifact confirming that the trip happened at all. That thinking in 2D is a habit one must break if one wishes to re-enter the realm of reality. That loneliness can be an addicting feeling. The bit of body fat that gets pinched by the bikini string.
I told her everything.
“It’s gone. I lost it. That’s why I’m buying another one. Here.” I handed her the money.
The 7-Eleven girl said nothing. She looked down at my money. She looked back up at me. Then, she put the money back in my hand.
She held the magazine out to me—the magazine containing the Japanese airbrushed titty girls and the neatly trimmed muffs.
“I see you before! You take it.”
“I… I couldn’t possibly…”
“No charge,” she insisted. “I remember you.”
I walked out of the 7-Eleven with a new magazine in hand. The street signs and the lights were ablur, but not because I was drunk.
It’s a terrible day for rain…
I flung open the door of the hostel.
Everyone from before was still in the lobby.
It was time to deliver the good news:
“The search is over.”
“Ohhh. You found it? The diary?”
“It was a journal, but no, I didn’t find it. It’s okay, though. I’m just going to start rewriting from the beginning.”
“Seriously? That sucks.”
I looked off into the distance. And then I calmly said:
“The experiences I’ve had can never be replaced. They’ll always be in my memories.”
Damn… I can’t believe I really thought up something so cool and mature.
“That’s true. Hey, do you want a drink?”
Some minutes after taking shots of fruity alcohol, Tomonori came down the stairs.
“Hi, is this someone bag? I find in bathroom.”
In his hands?
A white grocery bag.
And through the translucent plastic, I could see it:
The outline of my blue Campus notebook.
Had the Japanese gods rewarded me for taking the higher ground? For rejecting my material obsession with the journal, had I then proved my worth and been rewarded for it?
I stood up.
Everyone was watching now as the scene unfolded.
I lifted my hand out to him:
“Yes! That is my bag!”
The room was frozen for the moment.
And then Tomonori said, “Wait, this yours too?”
And from the bag he pulled it out:
The porno magazine, with the vanilla-skinned, half-naked, air-brushed, Japanese adult video star on the cover.