Back in Tokyo it rains every day, sometimes for ten minutes, sometimes all day long. Today is the first day that I have seen blue sky drifting behind the storm clouds. The sun came out to say hello for a short time and the family I am staying with departed, leaving the sounds of the trees rustling in the backyard casting shadows around my bedroom’s tatami floor. I had a scare a immigration for the first time which I will describe with more detail in my next entry– but basically I was interrogated in a little room for an hour and told that I should not come back to Japan until I have a visa, or until January of next year. In my short few days here I have already taken this into account and begun to appreciate every day that I am allowed to stay in this beautiful country.
I’m staying at Jimmy’s house. He lives on Thompson and Houston on the sixth floor of an old walk-up building. You can’t forget anything when you head downstairs, or else you’re faced with up, and it’s far too much up to be forgetting things. In the kitchen the floors are checkered black and white and they seem to slant off into the right wall giving a circus illusion. Old buildings start caving in after a while, they’ve seen enough pet cats die and loves lost. They begin to sag and droop and give up just like the rest of us.
When I originally moved to New York I wanted to quit modeling. After a couple of years on the road which were interspersed with awkward trips back to my parents house in Omaha I decided it was in my best interest to change my base and stop flittering around the world aimlessly, you know, really get things done with my life. I hadn’t had a normal job in years, and I also didn’t save any money modeling because I was never one of those girls who went to Tokyo and saved forty thousand dollars, it was more like a working vacation, which I had no complaints with, because I was in the city that I loved. I ended up moving into a room with no window with graffiti on the walls in Greenpoint, I later lost my virginity there to my boyfriend who I kept for three years. I often walk past my old street with friends saying, “That’s where I lost my virginity!” in the same way that Chevy Chase repeatedly babbles, “Big Ben!” and “Parliament!”
Korea is a frozen cold wasteland of cat cafes and Korean barbecue restaurants. If I didn’t love it so much I’d hate it. Hate the ice, hate wearing ten layers of clothes to protect myself from the chilled air, hate throwing my used toilet paper in the fucking shit bins. It feels so very second world, going outside and ’round the corner to a basement that smells of sewage to sit on a freezing toilet or squat over a hole in the ground, only to throw that damn used toilet paper covered in one, two, or three (three comes just once a month) into a plastic bin filled with other bits of one two and three. The smell can be overwhelmingly vile during the summer, the air thick and moist with excrement.