I haven’t written about the trip to Japan until now because I still feel that a lot of what it was about is still way beyond me. It’s not just the place, Japan is Japan, it will always be Japan and anyone who’s been there can ruminate on what makes it what it is. But what really got to me was the sensation of being completely alone. I was standing on the intersection of several busy streets in Aoyama, waiting ‘til it was okay to cross and realizing how impossible it was for anyone I loved to reach me. I had been loaned a phone, but all that meant was that severing ties with everything my life had come to at that point was as simple as pressing a button.
I still cannot completely articulate how liberating—and at the same time how selfish—that is and how I can’t wait to do that again, and again, and again. (And thanking my mom for doing what she does so that we may live the way we live, not just that i have wanderlust but that I have the luxury of choice to indulge it.) For a few hours, aimlessly wandering around a new city where you can’t understand the language but don’t look foreign enough to attract the attention and sympathy of the locals, you can completely disappear. When you’re surrounded by strangers, because you are the stranger, you realize how huge the world is and how much of it you still haven’t seen.
Now I have no phone, save for this blog my electronic tie to the rest of you has been temporarily cut. But it was the relief and not the anxiety that hit me first. I have no phone for the first time in half a decade. A lot can happen in half a decade and, if it means anything, I’ve changed numbers three times for three different reasons since I first got a phone.
I got a phone for reasons that are different from the reasons for why I kept it. I got that phone from a good friend (in exchange for 2 prepaid cards) because I had a crush that I rarely ever saw, wanted to invite him to my birthday, and didn’t know how else to. I really kept it because in the time since I got it, texting became the easiest way to present a more interesting, more articulate version of myself. When I don’t have the luxury of editing myself in writing, I babble, I spew expletives; over the phone, I could at least be more pleasant even if it meant compromising a certain degree of authenticity (not the say the pleasantness was completely inauthentic).
Now that I don’t have a phone, I’m just a name and a face that vomits words, and disappears and resurfaces without the convenience of a number by which I can be tracked down. And as much as I’ll miss hearing from a lot of you (because honestly some people out there are just completely inane little cuntrags), I know I’m really going to enjoy this. At least while it lasts, and trust me it’s not going to last.
Besides, one less bill to pay is usually a good thing.