Archive for the 'Bilingualism' Category

Amazing Dumbness of Youth

May 24, 2006

Moving is necessarily preceded by packing, but it’s still a royal pain. I hate myself for retaining so many books — unread books. 10 boxfuls already, just counting fiction. Shelves in bookcases are buckling under the weight of overripe knowledge.

It’s an exquisite pain to pack everything up and carry them to my Vita Nova, but the option of not taking them with me is absolutely unthinkable.

Then there is that other (rather masochistic) pain of going through one’s old journals and diary entries, some dating back to high school — quite horrid, actually. Before I toss this particular diary into the fire, allow me to quote the amazing dumbness of my youth.

Diary entry
Wednesday 11/11/1993

At 3, everyone met in lobby then went to Tamabochi-eki; boarded on train, went to Mitaka to change to 快速; rode it all the way to Tokyo. Had 30 minutes to buy stuff/hang around station (buy お弁当, 飲み物, etc.) then got on the 東北新幹線 <やまびこ 53号>. At first I absolutely didn’t know noone. [Cringe Point #1]. Then I sort of got to know A, B, C, & D. I rode the shinkansen w/後者2名. 新幹線は盛岡行き。 Took about 5:00 から 8:30.

I mostly slept all the way. I ate my お弁当, which was おにぎり×3とかきとやきとりの缶 (which I didn’t eat), と coffee. Then we got on a 貸切り観光バス。 Took 1 1/2 hours. The town is dead; not many people, no trafic. NOT lively. [Duh!!] Sky is covered by black (dark) clouds, the moon (full) is みえかくれしてる。 When the bus got into the mountains, the sky cleared up a little, and then black edifices and outlines of [some major manga doodling here] trees can be seen outside. The moon glows overhead; the air is cold and crisp. It is quiet on the bus (since most people are sleeping). Far out in the distance, little dots [dots!?] of lights are seen (houses?). Overall a totally different — almost sacred/holy world apart from the bustling streets of Tokyo. I wonder what I’ll see tomorrow in day light?

I remember this trip quite well. I was miserable. Not just because I didn’t know anyone else who went with me, but because I couldn’t make new friends. In a word, I was a reject, the total loner of the pack. I was perpetually filling the pages of my stupid notebook with vapid descriptions or hollow joys, precisely because no one much cared for my company. Except maybe the chaperon who seemed to afford me special attention because of my weak social standing, for which I hated him all the more. I was fat then. And ugly, quite a pathetic young thing — the kind you see on public transportation and quietly feel sorry for.

The writing tells it all, and it’s all so very painful — next to my endless manga scribbles are desperate resolutions such as, “I’m going to get prettier!” and “I am going on a diet — lose 10 pounds.”

Even if you offer me a gadzillion dollars, I would never, ever, ever want to go back to being my old, weak, sulky self.