The host of this challenge, Travel with Intent, has a gallery of haunting photographs on this week’s theme. Check them out!
Morning Sky, 2 January 2023
Parking Garage, Berkeley
This scene takes place in the washroom of the police station in Setagaya. Yuichiro Goda has just been publicly humiliated by a superior, after the latest police attempt to apprehend the Lady Joker gang has turned out to be nothing but a wild goose chase.
Goda knew that from this day on there was nothing but the relentless search for evidence. There would be no time to sleep; no longer blessed with the stamina he’d had in his twenties, he found his joints were wincing in pain. Goda washed his face at the sink and, seeing his face reflected in the mirror, he immediately averted his eyes from the unwelcome sight. A voice inside of him whispered — You are an aberration, a perversion beyond a normal loss of self. In order to shush the voice away, he took off his socks and, raising one foot at a time to the sink, he washed them thoroughly. Outsid the small window facing Sangyo Road, he heard the scurrying footsteps of the media corps — Kota Sasaki must have been released — cascading over the burst of camera shutters, the lively scene seeming to belong to another world.— Lady Joker, volume two, p. 236
Self tries to compare Lady Joker to those bleak Scandinavian novels she used to love, decades ago, the ones she read after Smilla’s Sense of Snow. There is the same sense of spiritual anomie, and in this story it does seem to rain quite a bit. Interesting, both Goda and the President of the Hinode Beer corporation are Christian. At least, they attend mass. But everything else about them is very Japanese.
Loving the narrators in this collection — so far, all young women at loose ends, unsure of themselves and mostly just going with the flow.
This narrator lives in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn. Not too sure what she does for a living, but she makes enough to pay a very cheap rent, and to watch movies by herself. She meets a young man named Paul, and he invites her to a party at his place.
The next night I was in Fort Greene. It was less than two miles from Williamsburg, but I had to take the train to Manhattan and back to get there. Paul’s apartment was in the basement — cavernous with almost no light.
His roommate Ralph answered the door: “Oh hey, come on in. Paul told us all about you. Hey Paul,” he yelled, “she’s here.” It was the kind of party I hadn’t been to since high school in Portland: eight people sitting around with beer, listening to loud music. They even wore the same clothes: concert t-shirts and black pants, flannel shirts and Levis. The music playing was punk from the late 70s: the Jam, the Clash, the Buzzcocks. The friends — all guys and one loud brashy girl — were all jovial and trashed. “You want a beer?” one guy Mickey said.— Safe Places: Stories, p. 35