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Progress on Sandy Cape: Prologue

As you may know, The Giant Trees of Tochigi Project is complete. Yes, there was a wee bit of speculation on my part that there may be more trees but then I up and moved to a completely different prefecture, so that’s out of the question now. There may be some Giant Trees of Kanagawa posts now and again, but now I’m rambling so 3 2 1 stop. 

From this Friday, August 16th at 7pm (GMT+9), my new writing project, Progress on Sandy Cape, will debut in this space. What you see below is a teaser, a prologue, a whathaveyou. I do hope you’ll come back on Friday and every Friday thereafter to enjoy the drivel I’ve written. I wrote it for you, after all. Yes, you. You, there. Yes.

You can’t see the headland of which I speak but it’s there, dagnabbit.

It is summer.

The holidays have begun and, despite the wretched, searing heat, I feel the need to be outdoors. With the ear-splitting mii mii mii of the cicadas all around me, I walk to the beach.

I am new here, and have not often been to the beach, but on a day such as this, the beach seems the perfect place to be. The walk isn’t long, and soon I can feel the sand between my toes. Tanned, toned guys try to surf on the pitifully small waves, and women in summer burqas hide under umbrellas so that they don’t get any colour at all. To be deathly white is to be beautiful, you know.

But I suddenly feel oppressed by the crowd of people around me, and I can feel panic setting in. This is not unusual — there is precedent for this — but I feel I have to get away gotta get away, and so I move away from the main beach and towards the headland.

In these parts, this place is called Sandy Cape. It’s not an original name. It’s very much a “say what you see” sort of name. I can criticize it, but at the end of the day, it’s perfectly valid, I suppose.

As I progress towards the tip of Sandy Cape, I notice a storm is quickly moving in. I won’t be able to get back to town before it comes, but if I remember correctly, there’s a cave near the point that I can shelter in for a while. No problem, I keep walking.

The storm breaks overhead and suddenly the wind is all around me and sand is flying in my eyes and I’m drenched to the bone and I can barely see and then I’m in the cave and catching my breath. What the devil is up with that storm, it’s unusually fierce and sudden, even for this time of year. At any rate, I lean against the cave wall and close my eyes and try to relax.

It’s then that I hear a voice. A woman. Singing. At first I think nothing of it, assuming it to be the wind, or that I’ve just dozed off a little bit and am having a day dream. But then something changes. I feel that I am not where I ought to be. I feel that the cave has gone or rather that I have left the cave. With trepidation, I open my eyes in a new world.

Toilet Rumination.

This fellow and this toilet and this washroom are not at all like me, my toilet and my washroom. THE PHOTO IS AN IMAGE.

I sit on the toilet, as one does. Don’t know what I ate, but it doesn’t agree with me. I’m wracked by another cramp.

As I try to catch my breath, I gaze into the wallpaper, captivated by its texture. The bumps, the gullies, the islands, the rivers. I follow them with my eye, like a tiny Livingstone exploring the Zambezi. Or the Nile?

I catch the reflection of my eyes in the towel rail. What am I doing?

Unbidden, I begin to cry.

As the tears flow, I struggle for a reason. Why am I crying?

The answer, I decide, is as simple as it is complex. Summed up in seven words, but with a lifetime of explanation necessary. A sob escapes my throat.

This is not the life I wanted.

This is not what my life was meant to be.

Sitting at home, alone, always alone, eating microwave dinner from packets and drinking cheap wine and weeping on the toilet. This isn’t what I signed up for.

Through the tears, I contemplate my hands. The light brings the lines in my hands into sharp relief; my hands are like unto young wood, grained and stretched, in this light. These hands… what a waste. They have no one to cook for. No other hand to hold. No one to to touch, to caress, to hug. These hands are wasted on me.

Don’t get me wrong, I never had any illusions about my life. I never expected to be rich, famous, well-loved by the masses and widely mourned when I’m gone. I never expected to live in a mansion with antique furniture and a cleaning lady and a personal assistant. I never expected any of these things. All I wanted was a nice home, with nice things, and friends to share it with. If the home had a nice view, well, that would be a bonus. My mind floats to the parking lot and my neighbours mangy yappy dogs — the only things I can see from my apartment.

I never even expected to be loved, not really. If my parents couldn’t love me, and I couldn’t love myself, how could I possibly expect anyone else to love me? But I did sort of expect that by this point I’d have at least someone, or someones, with whom I could share my life, share my joys and my defeats, someone I could care for in my own, crippled way.

But that can’t ever happen. If it could, it would have by now. It’s too late, I’m alone forever now.

I’m probably not capable of real love anyway, much less a relationship like that. I’m far too mercurial, as living the life of a hermit will make even the warmest and most open of people.

Where did it all go wrong? … is a stupid question to ask. What am I going to do, go back in time and fix it? Nothing works like that, so why even think that? Why even utter such a ridiculous query, even subvocally?

It doesn’t matter. This feeling will pass, and I’ll be content with my lot in life for a little while again. I always am. I never move ahead, I’m always like this. I haven’t changed since I was 16 other than to become more closed, more hard, more defeated.

Every day in every way, I suffer a thousand defeats and die a thousand little deaths.

What am I doing. The toilet is no place to cry. On the sofa, nursing a bottle of Chardonnay, that’s a place to cry. Get on with it.


With family, it wasn’t even that, I was just constantly shushed.

I’m invisible when I don’t want to be, and the center of attention when I don’t want to be. How does it always work out that way?

When I’m just going about my business, doing my own stuff, not bothering or even interacting with anyone, suddenly I’m the center of attention with people pointing and laughing and giggling and being cunts. But when I’m trying to get some attention, trying to get an answer, trying to give direction, trying to communicate, my words aren’t heard.

Continue reading Invisibility.