As I arrived at Kichijōji station, I couldn’t help but notice little gnomes, faceless ghosts and other “magical” creatures walking around. They all seemed busy and preoccupied.
And although I gave them the best of my smiles, they were not kind because they didn’t stop to help me when I asked them for directions. They just ignored me.
And neither the scarecrow that so kindly helped Sophie in the moving howl’s castle seemed to be carrying out good deeds this morning.
I knew the Ghibli museum was close to Kichijoji station, but all those “magical” creatures were taking the whole station for themselves. The volume of their voices was growing louder and louder. And they didn’t seem to be going anywhere but rather waiting.
But waiting for who, I wondered.
And just after few minutes, my question would be answered.
Because just before me, Mr. Miyazaki himself appeared at the ticket gate. And those magical creatures, his creatures, jumped to attention.
He was wearing a wool checked jacket along with a hat of the same print. He, all of him, was just as colorful, enchanted and fascinating as the characters he creates. And they all followed him on to the next train like obedient and lovingly children. And without him, the Kichijõchi station became gloomy and silent.
I am glad I let my friend Francesca set me up with this guy, I mean the guy is gorgeous, he looks like a model from one of those expensive magazines. He is just sitting in front of me. And I think I just forgot my name.
Did I take a shower before coming here? Yes, I think I did. God..! Just looking at him makes my head spin.
I can do this. Yes, I will seduce him with my charismatic personality. I am giving him my best smile when I hear an annoying pitchy voice.
“Stop fooling yourself, honey” the annoying pitchy voice is saying.
When I look down at my plate, I realize, to my horror, that a small round meatball has just spoken to me.
I need to lay down. I think I’m having a breakdown.
“You are not having a breakdown” repeats another meatball.
“Elizabeth….are you ok?” asks my gorgeous date.
I reply the best I can, and I start rolling the spaghetti onto my fork.
“You know?….I wasn’t so sure about this date, but I am glad I agreed to it” he says with a killing smile, I freeze but I try to reply with coherence.
And the spaghetti takes the opportunity to jump back into the plate.
“It is cold,” it (the spaghetti) says when I was about to tell it off. But as I am too dazzled by my date, I decide not to pay much attention to the cheeky fugitive spaghetti.
I’ll get it later, though.
He (my date) reaches for my hand, lifting it to his lips, and my heart skips a beat.
I think I am in love.
“Elizabeth….” He says my name
“Yes…” I reply making plans for our wedding already.
“I hope you don’t mind….” he says
“Yes..” I reply again encouragingly
“I hope you don’t mind….but I forgot my wallet..” He says sheepishly.
Needless to say that I heard laughter coming not only from my plate but from all over the restaurant.
“Told you, honey,” says the small round meatball laughing at me.
I take my fork, and I stab it (the meatball) so hard that I almost brake the plate.
“Ahhh…..” the meatball screams.
And I eat it in one mouthful.
That’ll show them. I might be having a rubbish date, but the food won’t be showing me up.
Walking along the gray streets, sometimes, I wonder how I survived all this time without you.
You said goodbye one morning, and although it was not up to you to stay, or to leave. The fact is that you left, and your farewell changed my life. For better or worse nothing was the same.
I was never the same.
And although, I know, deep down in my heart, that you never wanted to leave me, yet again you did.
Ironically, none of us had a say in what happened, but it still hurts, even today. In every step I walk, in every moment I live, in every dream, I still hope to find you.
And I want to think that you remember me as well. I want to believe that this post will reach you. And, that you will read it, and we will be together in some parallel universe. In one way or another.
Somehow trying to explain the emptiness you left in me, I had come up with the crazy idea that when you left, you took a piece of my heart to later hide it somewhere in the world. And that’s why I have lived like a gypsy looking for that missing part of me. Like a cursed soul, whose only hope to survive is to follow the memory of you in this world.
I guess what I mean to say so inadequately in these lines is that I will always love you and that nothing could ever erase nor replace you, ojii-chan (ojii-chan means grandpa in Japanese)
Late at night, fairies visit me whispering stories and old tales. Some speak familiar languages, some talk in dialects I have never heard. Nonetheless, they all come to share their stories and their secrets. They fly around me, tickle me, pull my hair softly until I wake up and agree to play with them.
When my husband is awake, they hide and wait for him to fall asleep to come out of their hiding place. Once he is asleep, they pour magic dust on him, so he doesn’t wake up. And when they are sure, he won’t wake up some kiss him on the cheeks, and some lie on his chest looking at him with goggly eyes. They like to flirt those little ones. Those cheeky little fairies.
But the fairy queen sets them straight “there is no time to play” she says “there is so much to do and so little time.” They take me out of my room. And I write, what they share with me.
While the world sleeps, the fairies tangle their stories around my fingers, whispering their stories in my ears, and laughing at my mistakes. I write until dawn when they must go back to spread morning dew, so nature wakes up. But I know they will come back. As they do every night.