By Tom H. Brooks 3
In the soon-to-be-following Street Journals, I will have moved to Japan and we will come closer to the present day. You will read many rantings and ravings, complaints, grievances and the like. You may think that I absolutely hate it here. But this is simply NOT true. There is so much more to the story. I would have to write all day, every day to explain my roller coaster of emotions that I live through every single day of my life. And who has time for that?
I want you to understand, reader, that these journals reflect the feelings of a foreigner, a born and bred California boy who grew up at the BEACH, that these stories and tales reflect the frustrations of an outsider who has been thrown into a different world and a different culture and who is more alone than ever. I have always been a loner, so this is nothing new. I have many acquaintances and some really good friends that I love in America, but I have always been a drifter, a man who is ultimately in his own world, physically and mentally. My mind wanders on the fringes and my head is in the clouds. You may read things that seem angry, cruel or just downright ridiculous. You may read generalizations that could in no way possibly encompass everyone or everything. You may think I am closed-minded or ignorant. You may think that I don`t like Japanese people. Do NOT think this. I observe everything. I am learning more every minute of everyday. I have met many kind and wonderful Japanese people since I have been here. I have found many amazing places. And there is so much more to be discovered. An entire new world has been revealed to me. What you will see in the forthcoming Street Journals is the emergence of a new man and a new world of discovery. It is an adjustment period for an immensely stubborn independent thinker and man of leisure who has been thrust into a different culture that he doesn`t understand.
I like it here now. Sure, I miss my beautiful Venice Beach, my Hollywood Hills, the crazy, halcyon days of my mad youth. But you can never go back. Time moves forward inexorably and life changes for all of us.
Since I`ve moved here, I`ve learned to calm down a little, to stop drinking so ridiculously much. Instead of spending all my time getting high and wasted and delirious, I spend my time writing and creating art and taking photographs. I use my time wisely to do things I should have done years ago. I am working on a novel. I am thinking with perfect clarity. Everything is going according to purpose. I am motivated to create, that which I was born to do. And I will never stop till the day I die. I have amazing adventures biking and skateboarding around Tokyo. I take trains all over Japan and see amazing things unlike anything I have seen before in my life. Japan is beautiful. IT IS A TOTALLY DIFFERENT WORLD. It is as if I have fallen off the edge of the earth. I have met many nice people. I miss my friends in America and I miss good, philosophical conversations with my crazy fellow Americans. I miss good old American rudeness. So many people are SO polite here that it makes my head spin. But things could be worse. There are a lot of formalities here that we lack in America. But I like the lack of crime. I don`t have to worry about getting hit by a random bullet in the streets while I skateboard through some ghetto in LA or NYC (not that I worried much when I was doing it!) And last, but definitely NOT least, I have my beautiful wife, Chiharu. She is one of a kind, and when I look into those lovely, bright eyes of hers, it just all seems worth it.
Life goes on for all of us. This is the nature of things….CHANGE. Accept it, don`t fight it. This is where I am now. Sure, sometimes I will complain. Sometimes I will leap with joy in my heart. That is life. There is no paradise. Happiness is inside us all….somewhere. We just have to find it in our hearts and let it out. My future is in the rising sun. And I thank the universe each day for giving me my fascinating life. We should all do the same.
Come along with me now, won`t you? Let me tell you some tales of sorrow and woe, of beauty and happiness and all the other things that make up this amazing thing we call LIFE.
And so it begins…