Sunday, October 28, 2012

Hidemi’s Rambling No.439

My great-grand mother was a geisha. She grew up in a remote village surrounded by the mountains and left home for a big city to become a geisha. She had a daughter by a patron and died right after she gave birth. The daughter was my grandmother on my mother’s side. She didn’t remember her mother at all and didn’t know her father, either. No one still knows who her father is, except that he was a rich and powerful name. She was taken in and raised by her mother’s parents at their home in the mountains, but for various reasons, she was soon handed over to one relative to another. She lived in countless different homes of her relatives and changed her school for innumerable times in her childhood. At every school she attended, she was the smartest honor student and had never dropped to second. One of her relative’s homes where she lived for a while was my grandfather’s. Years after she left, he told his parents that he wanted to marry her. She got married with him at the age of sixteen and moved in his house again as his wife. She settled down and got her family at long last. But only five years later, my grand father was drafted for World War II and she was left with her two daughters, one of which is my mother, and her in-laws. A former prodigy with no home and no parents found herself working hard as a farmer everyday in the fields with her in-laws…

50 Big Ones: Greatest Hits / The Beach Boys

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Hidemi’s Rambling No.438

The other day, I went to a supermarket that was five stations away by train from my home for the first time. I’d wanted to shop there for some time, as I heard about its low prices. The store was spacious and clean with a wide assortment of low-priced merchandise. It had a deli food section and a bakery too. What excited me most was its small cafe space. There were a few tables and chairs near the entrance with a machine that let customers draw two different kinds of Japanese tea and water, both iced and hot, for free! In addition to free tea, customers were allowed to eat or drink whatever they purchased at the store except for alcohol. It was a perfect place for me to eat lunch by saving money. I strolled around the store in rapture selecting what to eat for lunch at the cafe space. I was thinking I would go with deli foods or freshly baked bread when I noticed my partner’s somber face. He wanted a better place for lunch and suggested just having a snack here before looking for a restaurant. I agreed and started to hunt for a snack. I found a croquette at 30 cents each and bananas at half price because they went bad a little, and declared my findings to my partner triumphantly when he was choosing an expensive pastry from the bakery and a pack of cafe au lait. Questions poured out of my mouth one after another, such as “Do you pay for a drink even though there are free drinks waiting for us?” and “Do you dare pay much more money for a pastry than these bananas, which are 50 cents for four?”, and eventually, he gave in. We had 30-cent croquettes and half-spoiled bananas over free tea at the cafe and he looked unhappy while I enjoyed so much. We had lunch at a burger restaurant nearby later. The place had a cool atmosphere but the burger cost about three times as much as McDonald’s although it was a fast food restaurant itself. The lunch didn’t sit well with me, but my partner looked so happy…

Friday, October 12, 2012

Hidemi’s Rambling No.437

I was a fan of a local country band called Bugs Bunny when I was in junior high school and they were going to give a performance at an open-air municipal auditorium. Their performance was one of the series of the local traditional musical event. It would start at 6:30 p.m. while my curfew was 7:00 p.m., which meant I needed an exceptional permission from my parents. My father readily gave it, telling me that he used to go to the event himself when he was young. He guaranteed it would be so much fun. I was changing my clothes before leaving home on that day when my mother asked what I was doing. I told her about the event, and she said madly, “ Are you out of your mind? Your curfew is seven o’clock!” I explained that my father had allowed me to go, but she kept saying, “No way! You can’t go!” I called out to my father for help and she demanded angrily, “Did you allow this? Did you, really?” He said yes in a faint voice and got under her fiery anger. I begged him to persuade her, but her definite noes drowned out his “It’s rather an educational event.” At last, he said to me, “You can’t go because your mother says so.” That was the last straw. I screamed at him, “You wimp! You can’t decide anything by yourself! I hate you!” I called my friend crying, to tell her that I couldn’t make it because my father was my mother’s servant, and stopped speaking to him. On the next evening, he came into my room hesitantly. As I ignored, he put a bag on my desk and said “Sorry.” After he left, I opened the bag and inside was a book of poems, which I had wanted for some time. I had talked about it casually at dinner and he remembered. He gave me a gift instead of confronting my mother. A few years later though, his character changed completely for an unexpected reason. It happened when I decided to be a musician after high school. Until then, he was a gentle father who liked music so much that he recorded my singing for practice when I was little and bought me records, a stereo and a guitar. But since I chose music as my career, he has been mean and spiteful to me and been opposed to my decision to date. Who would think one career choice reverses someone’s personality?…

Long Wave / Jeff Lynne

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Hidemi’s Rambling No.436

That my mother wouldn’t want my father to do a nice thing to me meant that he constantly did what she didn’t like. The junior high school and the high school I attended were far from home and it took me an hour and a half to get there by bus. My parents were farmers and they left home at dawn in summer. But the wintertime was the low season and they didn’t have to leave so early in the morning. My father sometimes drove me to school so that I could have breakfast for which I often didn’t have time and had to skip on a busy winter morning. My mother would keep nagging and saying, “You’re being spoiled!” all the while I enjoyed my breakfast. And to my father, “You’re spoiling her! She will come to no good!” until we got into the car. One morning, my father and I found quite a few bags of bean sprouts scattered on the road on our way to my school by his car. It was too early in the morning for other cars to run, and the bags seemed to have just fallen from a delivery truck. We got out of the car and picked up the fresh bean sprouts. We were so happy to get them for free. But it made my mother furious. When I came home from school, she was still in a bad temper and yelled at my father repeatedly all day long, “What should we do with so many bean sprouts? They will go bad quickly! Do we eat them for each meal everyday? Everything goes wrong when you drive her to school!” My father was so obedient to my grandfather and my mother, and basically did whatever they told him to do. What he did spontaneously for a change aroused their anger. He was a pushover for them and I’d never seen him decide anything by himself. When I saw ‘The Simpsons’ for the first time, Smithers looked awfully familiar to me. My father was exactly like him. I spent my childhood with Smithers in my house…