Still Pending…

Dear Virtual Diary,

To Stay or Not to Stay.

I have been giving a lot of thought lately to how long I will stay in Japan for. With this particular job and living situation, I have a maximum of 5 years. Currently, I am not sure how long I want to be here for. Gary Snyder stayed for 10 years…

Instead of thinking of reasons of why I should stay, I have been thinking of reasons of why I should go.

Believe me I know that I am jumping the gun, but when you are out on an island with 6,000 people you tend to do a lot of thinking.

Other than seeing family and friends, I have repeatedly come to the same reason over and over again.

My age.

Being 32 (Another birthday passes by) now and staying 5 years would mean that I would be returning home at 37 years old. Age is one of the last insecurities I have, I think. While writing this down I got butterflies in my stomach when just typing I’d be 37 years old (more butterflies).

I can’t help but thinking about “what will I have to show at 37 years old?”. If I stay here, nothing. Contradictory, I ask myself “if I was 37 and had a home I would still be unhappy”. Truthfully, I could have done that if I wanted. I had an ideal job for that life. But I quit.


My biggest challenge lies in [thinking ahead]. I do not have the ability to see what I will evolve into. Whether it be the work I am writing, the Japanese I am studying, the music I am creating or the evolution of ideas that I simply jot down from time to time. I cannot see the final results of what they will amalgamate to. This unforeseen foresight is where I have my challenges. Maybe if I could see the results of who and what I’d become my decision for staying longer would be that much easier.

Time Paradox.

But then if I knew the future would I still work as hard? If someone told me that my Japanese will be native level by next year, I’d probably stop studying so hard on account of knowing that everything would be alright. But this would change the future no? Ceasing my studies would result in me not speaking very good Japanese in the following year.

“We don’t give a flyin’ 747 fuck though” – Nas.

In hip hop I always hear the lyrics “scared money, don’t make no money”, which simply translates to “with no risk, there is no reward”. I guess my risk is all in my age and risking the potential feeling of being almost 40 with nothing to show. I should also not that this would be in the measure of materials only. I have some respect for my self worth.

I also realize that this is all really superficial. I don’t necessarily care about people who are 40 who don’t own a house or have many things to their name, so why do I care so much? Maybe I care because all of my life I have been told to care. I wonder if it just comes down to wanting to be desirable, respect or both.

Writing about it or drowning my thoughts with hip hop music usually quells my worries. *Cues Dom Kennedy’s After School”

Small but Impactful

Quick updates I wanted to share…

  1. In one of my 9th graders we were reviewing the Martin Luther King Jr. speech and the teacher asked me “Dwayne what fountain would Japanese people drink from? Whites or coloured?”. I thought that was pretty funny. I had no idea what to answer but considering most of the Japanese people went or were sent home after World War II I answered “the coloured one”.
  2. On an island of 6 thousand people a 14 year old Japanese boy stood up and applauded the MLK I have a Dream speech, before being told to sit down by his classmates. It was entirely sweet, funny and awkward.

No Sleep in Nipponbashi

December 5, 2016

Dear Virtual Diary

Location: Singh’s Kitchen (Nipponbashi Area)

I exit the subway and come up to the area of Nipponbashi. The bustling crowd buzzing with the electricity of Osaka-Life on a Saturday, and I become utterly lost amongst its magnificence. After traversing the streets, sometimes in circles, I finally find Singh’s Kitchen, a small Indian restaurant. I am confused though, “I am supposed to be performing here?”, I ponder. I hear someone say “Do—way—n-san” behind me, it’s Ken and he is carrying a large carrying case, probably for his DJ equipment. We exchange pleasantries before he leads me to a narrow hall behind the Indian restaurant. He opens the door and I step into what seems to be a small little venue for live events. The venue reminds me of some of the ones down around Queen and Bathurst in Toronto.

We set up and then go have dinner…I had the butter chicken. It was really good.

By 10pm people start to showing up. The music is loud, the alcohol is flowing, the guys are drunk, the girls are dressed for a fashion show and I sit quiet and anxiously anticipate my set time. Ken kept saying that I was way too serious. Which led to him feeding me drinks and me becoming so drunk that I began to worry if I’d remember my lines or not.

There were a bunch of other really good sets before me. One group, totally forgot their names, but there was a DJ, bass player and a vocalist. The DJ would play a drum loop and the bass player would play accordingly to it. Then the DJ would scratch the record while the bass player played off the flow of the tuen. Never seen anything like it before and they were really vibing out.

It seems my earlier concern for forgetting the lyrics were not needed as the alcohol truly assisted in a pretty good performance. For me, performing is an euphoric sensation, very similar to any hard drug. The moment you are done you can’t help but think “when’s the next time?”. I felt light throughout my entire set; This probably due to the alcohol. It was as if I was going to just lift off and float to the ceiling. I remember every minute and thanks to a couple friends taking videos I was able to see most of the performance and I am happy with how it all turned out.

Osaka is probably the lightest place in all of Japan.