Japanese Commuter Diaries

Intro here.

On the train. Between my terminal stations, there are multiple stops on my train ride. The “rapid” version has about five stops. The regular, more.

Three of the stops are fairly big country stations. Two are for towns. The other is for an onsen resort village. Onsen are Japanese hot spring spas. Basically gender segregated, communal (sometimes private) hot spring baths that people soak in. The hotels attached to the spas are usually pretty big, and a popular holiday destination for Japanese folk of all ages.

As my train passed through the onsen village this morning, I happened to be staring out the window at one of the bigger hotels. It’s wide, with at least fifteen stories overlooking the whitewater river. Big and nice.

Most of the room windows had their blinds drawn. My eye was drawn to a window about halfway up.

A man was standing sideways at the window. A woman was seated in a chair right in front of him, clearly giving him a blowjob. Her head bobbing away. Him leaning back in a lower back stretch, watching the train go by underneath.

Predictably, I suppose, the man was wearing a track suit.

The Judged

You can judge me all you want. That’s fine. But it doesn’t stop me from understanding you.

I think I am a troublesome rascal for you, and this is why you pester me so. You have constructed your notions of the world through the prisms of your philosophy, requiring everything be made to fit into stark categories. All this in aid of your Cause. Black and white. Right and Wrong. Those who are evil and must be judged, versus those who fight the good fight alongside you.

Now if I was simply evil to you, I think you would not trouble to assail me. It would be sufficient to stick me with some standardized label of dismissal. But something in my mere existence angers you. I do nothing but quietly live my life in a way slightly different than yours, but still you attack me as though I was the worst of those you fight. Yet I think even you must admit that in your spectrum of evil, I barely occupy the mildest edge.

This is the trouble with stark absolutes. You look at me and see mostly white; yet a white stained with stripes of black. You would decontaminate me of those stains: purify me through an immersion in your philosophy; a baptism into your Cause. What you fail to perceive is that there is no clear division of my parts. Grey is not a dirty white, it is its own entity. And I am nothing if not a spectrum of greys.

“But there is black there,” you may scream, “and I cannot abide it, for I have sworn myself its bitter enemy.”

Well, if I cannot be grey to you, then I must be black, and you must despise me as you do your worst enemy. But I am not your worst enemy, am I? Nowhere near it. And this is why you are so angry with me: for in me you see your Cause’s ultimate failure.

Why I am able to anger you so, simply by asking a question?

Because you have no answer that doesn’t paint me as evil. Your absolutism requires that you convict me based on thoughts you suspect I have. For in your philosophy, thoughts themselves become crimes. Your entire philosophy depends upon this, and without your philosophy, your Cause is mere noise.

You seek a revolution, yet paint those you would have fight for you with the same brush you swipe at your enemy.

So I say again: you can judge me all you want, and I am more than happy to leave you to it. I simply ask that in future you keep your judgements of me to yourself. You are no longer of any more interest to me than a puzzle solved. Until you can speak to me from within the beauty of a spectrum of greys, I have no more use for you.

Good day to you.