Lately, I’ve tried various changes to the light bulbs in my room. It started when the one in the entranceway blew and I neglected it for 2 months… because I thought it would be such a hassle. When I went to buy light bulbs, there were so many colors. Moreover, they were so cheap at 300 yen! Incidentally, the decision was to change the atmosphere in the bathroom, too. I made the bathroom blue. But then… from the beginning I realized the light bulb’s light was too weak and this blue was a subdued color, therefore dark and hard to use. So I tried changing it to red next. But that looked like a dark room for developing photographs. A dark room bath. That ended up being the more appealing option for me. Since my bedside light is red, it matched.
I was in such a good mood, and in the room with the washing machines, I put a rainbow-colored (!) light bulb. However, I couldn’t tell whether or not my clothes were dirty, so it was impractical! Rejected the rainbow before long. I wonder if I should try a green light this time? ……. Or I should find other things to do…… I’ll end up making the place look like a neon town, so I’ll stop.
Here’s a little supplement. You all know the Aomushi Drop bicycle mentioned in the previous corner. I’ve been using it often, but when I went shopping earlier, it suddenly came to a noisy stop. It looked like the chain had been disconnected. I’ve had two accidents like that recently, but I somehow fixed them myself. This one seemed really terrible though. I had stopped right in front of the fire station, but a man came out and kindly invited me inside the station. Furthermore, he restored the chain and let me wash my hands, too. It left an impression on me. I’m grateful to the fire department that helps with everything from the small to the big.
Congratulations. Thank you. The Aomushi Drop model (=bicycle) arrived at my house. First off, I decided to take it to my neighborhood’s supermarket to have it serviced. The bicycle department was on the 5th floor of the supermarket. I wish I had used the elevator, but against my better judgment, I took it up the escalator and it clattered the whole way up. I was scolded by the bicycle clerk. Nevertheless, I wonder how many years it has been since I last rode a bicycle? I haven’t forgotten the feeling though! I could do wheelies and stands without a problem (so that I wasn’t like all of the good kids). Since my day off was perfectly timed, I tried to ride around my neighborhood first. Then when I was comfortable with that, I was dead-set on traveling down the big national highway. Despite getting lost along the way, I finally managed to get to the edge of Tokyo prefecture. I was deeply moved when I came to the river at the prefectural border. It was just a Sunday, but a lot of people were gathering along the riverside. There were people doing a barbeque, people shooting fireworks, and a bunch of other people. It was my first time going to a natural place since moving to Tokyo. Since I could always experience that when I lived with my parents in Chiba…
I hung around the river beach until suddenly it was 8:30 PM. I went home in a rush. But the route home was so long! I didn’t realize it on the way there, but it was uphill and surprisingly took a lot of time. Moreover, I was still getting used to the gears, so since it was a hilly road, it took so long to pedal (sweat). But it was an interesting trip. I can go to many places with this. I seriously think bicycles are great. You don’t have to worry about parking or gasoline. And to the extent of your stamina, the power comes from yourself.
A typhoon came during the second half of August. It was thunderous outside. I’ve liked typhoons since I was a child, and on days like that, I just can’t stay in the house. Not just for typhoons, but during snowstorms, too. I want to see the way the various sceneries change outside. For example, during a huge typhoon, when I went to the park in my parents’ neighborhood, all of the trees were bent in the same direction and it was really interesting. I’ve been out to this famous spirit spot (a famous pond) during a storm at 3 AM, too. It was during the type of storm that smashes umbrellas and I have a powerful memory of the way the pond looked like an ocean. I’m naturally quite a coward, but on typhoon days, I conquer that with a lust to go outside. According to the band leader, America gives female names to the typhoons. It might be interesting if that happened in Japan, too. It would feel sort of good and bad saying “Yoshiko is now north of the archipelago.”
I’ve wanted to ride a bicycle lately, but I have absolutely no sense of direction. On the contrary, I feel like that’s a good thing. It seems fun to find unexpected places while thinking, “I wonder where I’ll go if I take this road?” As a matter of fact, the person in charge of editing this heard me talking and gave me a bicycle he didn’t need anymore. With this, my bicycle life begins! However, the terms were that I have to use this bike to collect new “Aomushi Drop” material (laugh). Well, with this bicycle, I’m sure I’ll be able to take a trip out on a typhoon day. Now I’ll be looking forward to typhoon season.
It happened one morning. When I woke up, the water had stopped. A water outage. At that time, I didn’t have any conception of what a water outage was, so I thought, “I must not have paid the water bill.” But thinking about it later, I realized that I had paid it…… Definitely a water outage. I didn’t really know much that day. That’s because I don’t usually check my post box everyday. It’s always overflowing with flyers that I don’t want, so I have to organize it. And there was a notification inside that said “[month and day], from 9~15, there will be a water outage,” so I didn’t know. If I communicated with my neighbors, it might have made a difference, but in this tough Tokyo desert, no one told me.
Well, having noticed the water outage that day, I wondered how to pass the time…… Unfortunately, it happened to be my off day, so I hadn’t made any plans to go outside. It was hot and I thought “how unlucky!” but as I thought about it, I realized that only the water was stopped. For drink, I had somewhat of a stock of tea, and even though I couldn’t wash my face, I didn’t have to meet with anyone. It would seem that the story would end with this, but even when I knew that the water wasn’t plugged, I strangely felt no need to use the water. How strange. Anyway, I really feel the civilization-like life in the summer is wonderful. If I had been born in the Edo period, I think I’d stay in the river all summer long. Without the air conditioning, things like water outages would be miserable, so I’d just stay in the river. Surely I’d be mistaken for a kappa. Recently, days like today make me want to go to the mountains and the rivers. Ah, if I mention it here, I’ll go swimming (I don’t think so).
A little earlier, I went to the Asakusa festival with Yasu kun. When it comes to festivals, I usually go at night, but this time we tried to attend starting at noon. The midday festival was new for me. At any rate, we visited many stalls. A SuperBall scoop, a goldfish scoop, Smart Ball, etcetera, etcetera. It made me especially happy that I could get this transparent ball that I had really wanted from the SuperBall scoop. I chose something and stuck with it and it paid off in the end. However, a middle school girl took the ball next to me and when the old man said, “what a strange one you chose!” he said it like an insinuating remark to me. But having gotten the one that I wanted, I was satisfied. I often wonder what its like to be on good speaking terms with the shop and stall owners like that. I was able to listen to the conditions of the important stalls from the turtle scoop guy. Generally, not even restaurant owners say much to me when I go in.
After we drank for a little while at a stand, we took a walk along the Sumida River. We got an excellent view of hundreds of jellyfish floating in the river. They were just like SuperBalls. I wondered where they had come from, and as I peered into the river, someone called, “It’s dangerous walking there!” It was a homeless man. When he asked, “do you want a jellyfish?,” he expressly scooped us up some jellyfish and other small fish. We talked with that old man for a while. He told us that sometimes dead bodies float down the river. And when you see a dead body, you must thank the spirit (even if only its feet) and talk to it about very interesting things. On the way home, while I was playing with the ball, I took the road to my home. “Today I got many transparent things,” I thought.
I spend a lot of time in my room when making songs, so I resolved on trying to really reorganize my room. That was easier said than done. I started with cleaning up my books. I sent the books I wouldn’t read or didn’t need to my parents’ house, and I tried to neatly line up the books I wanted to keep with some bookends. I did the same with my CDs and sent the ones I didn’t listen to to my parents’ house and stored the ones I wanted to keep or didn’t listen to often under my bed. Thanks to that, I restored the table that I had been using as a storage space for a lot of things to a work desk. And I hung up a light that I could use as a central light. I felt that I’d be able to get a lot of work done with it. Furthermore, I’ll buy an organizer. And I organized and put away my incense, bath salts, CDs and MDs, and pocket tissues. I added another shelf, too (even though I didn’t have anything to put on it). I’m sure that will only last a week. In the end, it was like the place had gone back to its empty state like when I moved in. I’ve grown to like that room.
Much to my surprise, I found a bunch of old MDs that we had recorded in the studio. When I listened to them, I thought things like, “ahh, this was the first arrangement for ‘Tsumetai Hikari’,” and as I remembered those things, it made me nostalgic.
Well, I skipped cleaning my room this time and the main of that is… It’s a rule that I created for my room, and I always follow it! Until this. If something disrupts this one rule, it’s the same as society crumbling. That being said, society = my room which I grow to hate. At any rate, I’m the only one who has and follows this rule. I try to keep balance from crumbling.
I was recently allowed a period of time to recharge myself. Since they’re such troubles when I’m busy, I’ve been doing the things I couldn’t do until now. For example, shopping, receiving things, renting movies, reading the books I still haven’t read, writing songs to play on guitar……A lot of things that I can do in my house. To avoid cooking though, food was a little bit of a problem.
That being said, I also went out. Wandering around town, going to proper movie theaters, etc.
Out of the ones I saw, “Enemy at the Gates” was interesting. I hadn’t spent time doing things like that in a while. It’s somehow impressive to think that those events were personal experiences. I probably wouldn’t be able to do things like that. Well, since it won’t be long before I go back to being busy, and since I don’t often get this opportunity, I think I’ll spend my time well.
On another note, during this period of abundant free time, I tried discussing with Yasu kun (a friend), who’s keeping a cat, about the best way to tame the cat (I had mentioned it before) that was living at the dump. I took the opportunity while it was out of the garbage to give it food, but it wouldn’t eat at all from my hand. Incidentally, it had grown used to the landlord. So he encouraged me to use a cat toy. There are all sorts now. It seemed that I’d only have one chance. Immediately on the way home, I bought a mouse toy with a long string attached. I set the mouse down at the dump, and from my hiding place, I tried to control the mouse with the string. I thought the cat was definitely playing with it, but then suddenly it disappeared and in its place was only the mouse by itself. The mouse’s face looked so lonely.
March was our nationwide tour. We didn’t go to a lot of towns for this tour, but it still turned out to be a really fun trip. Before going out on this trip, I saw “influenza outbreak” on the television news. I took it seriously. It’s just like a vocalist to catch a cold! With that, I made sure to really take care of my health for this tour. I tried to do several things like not drinking or smoking, and keeping my hotel room constantly at tropical forest conditions. And while I was in the car and in the dressing room, I always wore a mask. Of course, it helped to protect my throat from things like cigarette smoke and the cold virus. Somehow this mask suited me. Speaking of masks, from middle school until high school, a lot of people wore masks for some reason even when there weren’t any colds going around. I did it, too. But why? I wonder if I thought I was cool back then? When I think about it now, I laugh. Well, thanks to that mask, I added to the fun of the trip. In the dressing room as a joke, I played around and wrote “bad” on the mask.
By the way, people often come to wait for us at the live venue. I was really appreciative of the people who came to wait outside even though it was a cold season, but in realty, I couldn’t say things like “thank you” directly to them there. So I felt like I had become the neighborhood nuisance. Isn’t there some other way to convey our feelings to those fans? Thinking that way, I wondered, “If I wrote words on this mask, could they convey something?” I really wanted to shake everyone’s hands, but I figured it would be amusing if I could express something with the characters written on the mask. At once, I tried to write my feelings as “beat” (as a result of playing the punching machine at the game center) and “separate” (meaning it’s difficult to say goodbye). Very amusing. While there were some people who enjoyed seeing it, there were others who didn’t really care. I wonder whether I should write words on a mask at each venue, or should I make an “Aomushi drop mask” for a raffle for everyone who guessed. Talk about what you want…… Well then.
We usually come home from work after midnight, and since the sky is generally brightening by that time, I feel like I’m living like Dracula. A week ago, as I was in bed one early morning, around 9 AM, I suddenly heard a “chui~n, do do do!” sound from my neighbor’s room. I was so startled that my heart stopped! Since my bed is against the wall of my room, I sleep with my head against it. So I thought that a drill was going gyui~n against my head. Like having a lobotomy. I woke in a daze and said “please be quiet” as I beat, ba~n, on the wall with the palm of my hand. Since I thought I would break the wall down if I hit it with my fist, I calmly beat on it with the palm of my hand————so I had intended, but I left a distinct handprint on the wall! However, that wasn’t enough to make the noise stop. When I talked to the landlord, as expected, he said it would be remolded after I moved. It was like he was telling me, “since it was don during the day, I guess it can’t be helped.” That made me think about getting earplugs. I would be freed from the noise, but I’d fall into a deep sleep and not hear the manager’s wake-up call. I wonder how people decided to wake up in the mornings and sleep at night? As a nocturnal animal, I don’t think I can say that’s correct. Not this time today.
• Ryuutarou san’s hair is very pretty, but what shampoo do you use?
Now I use Vidal Sassoon shampoo that I bought during the tour. I use Super Mild conditioner which I also bought on tour. I usually use whatever is leftover from tours.
•Ryuutarou san, is there anything in your house that’s surprising based on your image?
Incidentally, I don’t have any stuffed pandas in my house. I have things like a Zack (=Gundam) plastic model and several other boyish things.
It’s the graduation season. But I don’t really have any impressive graduation memories. I’ll start with my primary school graduation school ceremony……I don’t really think I had been able to attend. At the time, we were moving houses a lot, so I guess it was during one of those times. Everyone in my class had organized a “Goodbye Ryuutarou kun party,” but I might have been a little cold. Because I knew they were partly doing it as a formality. Even though there were kids who said “I’ll write letters, okay?” I thought “they probably won’t write anyway,” and they really didn’t……Well, I didn’t write either.
Thinking about my middle school graduation ceremony, I remember that the cherry blossoms were pretty. Then on the way home, while I was walking with my friends, I guess we were considering things like “Ahh, I’m going to high school.” I really don’t remember. It didn’t leave much of an impression.
After that, the high school I entered was such a huge, strict school that I ended up not liking it too much. Because on the day of the entrance ceremonies, the teacher grabbed me by the hair. By my third year, I hardly ever attended. I also had a job at night. But somehow I graduated. I thought “graduation won’t happen…”
The truth is, among my friends, even though we said “I’ll do music,” a few did quit high school to do it. But even though people say that, a lot of them say “guys!” and stop before getting anywhere. Of course, I’m sure there are some people who aren’t like that. There were just a lot of people like that around me. I guess maybe I didn’t want to end up like that. So for my graduation ceremony, I felt like it all seemed strangely clear. I said “congratulations” to myself. I was honestly happy. I didn’t have much of an attachment though so I threw away my graduation album at the high school. If I had any attachment, it would be to the cafeteria’s tonkatsu meal (300 yen back then) that I can’t eat anymore. It was truly great that I could graduate. Nonetheless, I was a complete drifter afterwards. But I think that those experiences have made me who I am now.