Night Walk

I’ve come out of the sentō and the prospect of going back to the apartment doesn’t seem like the right choice.

It’s my last night. My mind needs to decompress.

I don’t want to pack, think about going back at this point.

I walk in the opposite direction of the apartment and into the labyrinth of streets on this cool and calm night.

Left?

Right?

Cross that bridge?

Wherever my feet take me.

If I walked where others told me to walk then would it feel as relaxing? No. That’s why I walk my own path.

So that means that it’s time to start listening to myself more and less about what might worry others.

Sometimes we’re all a bit rude, usually we’re nice. Not surprisingly, we notice when others are rude and not so much when we ourselves are being rude.

Little plants in pots in front of houses. The hydrangeas haven’t started blooming yet.

No cars parked on the street.

One day at the start of the trip, my friend and I were walking down a smaller street just off Cat Street and this kid and his mother were buying some fruit. The kid, probably no older than five years old turns to the old man running the shop and said, “What happens to the shop when you die? Where will we buy our fruit?” The old man laughed as the mother bowed and apologised profusely.

I’ve reached a park and despite being empty and dark, does not feel unsafe.

Something about looking at flowers under the moonlight that really calms me. The colours are slightly different and they appear to take on a different form.

I’m thinking about rapid changes in behaviour. People going from hot to cold and how much I used to care about it. Now I just try my best to let them be.

A little way after the park, there’s a Family Mart down on the corner. It’s surprisingly small and doesn’t have the same kind of stock and range as the others, in particular that honey butter French toast I really like isn’t stocked. I walk out and keep going.

What lies ahead when I return?

How will it be when we cross paths again?

I think I know the answer but I’ll need to wait and find out.

I stop in the middle of the road and decide it’s time to go home. I turn around and start the journey home.