I have two coloured pens I bought in Muji. Depending on my mood I choose one colour or another thanks to I have six different options to choose plus a pencil to underline interesting things in Dazai Osamu´s books. Today I am in a murasaki (violet) colour state. It could be red feeling like when the revolutionary snake visits me. But violet is made with red and blue so I feel like that. I am in a typical japanese cafe style, near Yotsuya Station, only 100 meters from Cervantes Institute in Tokyo. I have been there talking about the Matsuo Basho´s Documentary and other projects and visiting the building, the biggest after the one in Madrid. And now I am here celebrating my coffee time. It is the second time I am delighted with a cup of coffee in Tokyo. The smell, the soft flavour... It reminds me those days in Bogota and Cali more than 6 years ago when a beautiful lady offered me a cup of colombian coffee and I couldn´t say no, in spite I was not driking coffee since 1996. Sounds like tastes like smells make you travel in space and time with a kind of magic that is part of our brain nature. Memories. So I am celebrating different moments at the same time in a place that could be anywhere. In this case it is a lovely and a cozy illuminated cafe with small silver spoons, steel and cooper pots, and shinning cups covering the dark sakura (cherry tree) wood. In front of me 15 plates with drawing images of snowing paradises, some Christmas trees and those Russian trinoes to move in Siberia. Sparkling cristal glasses, gliterring crokery, old french ashtrais and cigarettes consuming near the shinning water into the silvery sink. Some media class businessmen are chatting in their japanese language while the young waiter dressed in a red, brown and white checked shirt is washing the blue flowery french cups. It´s 4:20 local time in Tokyo. I drink coffee with enjoyment. Outside the sun has gonne to other country and the lights of the city give this discreet feeling that we are saved. My expensive bill waits for me: 630 yens for a sweet, hot and delicate coffee, aromatic and tender. The same that helps me travelling. (I am on a lonely road and I am travelling. Travelling, travelling, travelling. Looking for something what can it be...). It is not cheap enough for a long distance trip? I am thinking in having another one: this one took me to Colombia, Russia and Dakar. Maybe next surprises me more. Coffee places are a man´s land. You see this Tanizaki Junichiro essay of 1933 about light and shadow in japanese culture, this amazing book that Eiras gave me long time ago known as In Praise of Shadows? This is exactly the same feeling I have inside the place. Old wood, brilliant shadows... I can´t explain the feeling I have serving the small spoons of white sugar -I am not a big fun of sugar anyway- but I love the vapor going out of the hot coffee, here and there, expanding in the local air to finally disappear, just as human conscience. I drink and smoke. Next to me a gaikokujin (foreigner) alone, thinking and ordering to the waiter. I realized he is affected by my writting so he decides to take out of his bag his old and big notebook. Enough difference between him and me: he is drinking a biru (beer) so he is not going to be able to travel as much as I do. Same cigarette in left hand, only his pencil moving very slowly over the white squared paper. Definitely it is not the same. Oh, what can I say about writting! This nothing and all experience we can have through it. Nothing and all at the same time. The perfect lyric concentrated in the tongue, going beyond the flesh and defining just a momentary feeling we have. No wonder why writting can substitute psicologists, alcohol sometimes, drugs some others...
After broken and disipating my blue side I begin to write in red colour. Here she is: the revolutionary and woman in love I am. I would like to deal with it, broken the magic and be as critical as I used to. But what can I say when Dazai Osamu is next to me, his soft and hard book I am reading: The Setting Sun talking about the red love and red revolution. I had underlined with my pencil a few lines I would like to share with you:
"Twelve years have passed and I have yet to progress a step beyond the Sarashina Diary stage. What in the world have I been doing all this time? I have never felt myself drawn toward revolution, and I have not even known love. The older and wisher heads of the world have always described revolution and love to just as the two most foolish and loathsome of human activities. Before the war, even during the war, we were convinced of it. Since the defeat, however, we no longer trust the older and wiser heads and have come to feel that the opposite of whatever they say is the real truth about life. Revolution and love are in fact the best, most pleasurable things in the world, and we realize it is precesily because they are so good that the older and wiser heads have spitefully fobbed off on us their sour grapes of a lie. This I want to believe implicitily: Man was born for love and revolution." The times goes by in a smooth level. Still my second cup of coffee in my right side. Coffee seeds as well looking at me and travelling all around Japan: Niigata, Sendai, Nikko, Kyoto, Matsushima, Kobe, Osaka, Nara, Hiroshima, Kouchi... The Sea of Japan, the crystal water breathing over my feet, licking my face. So then I don´t want to move our of here, my mum´s utero. No travels are allowed except for chatting and sharing about different cultures with the Turkish man sitting next to me, the same that was trying to write but couldn´t do it, the same who is working in an Italian restaurant, whom I am speaking in English and listening French music with: 20´s and 30's jazz. A beautiful melody dancing in the corners of the shadows of the wood. You know, I am so in love of coffee.
4th January, 2009. Coffee´s Dairy
1st cup of coffee: 17th of December 2008. Tokyo.
2nd cup of coffee: 18th of December 2008. Tokyo.
3rd cup of coffee: 18th of December 2008. Tokyo.
4th cup of coffee: 24th of December 2008. Kouchi.
5th cup of coffee: 25th of December 2008. Kouchi.
6th cup of coffee: 25th of December 2008. Kouchi.
7th cup of coffee: 26th of December 2008. Kouchi.
8th cup of coffee: 27th of December 2008. Kouchi.
9th cup of coffee: 27th of December 2008. Kouchi.
10th cup of coffee: 28th of December 2008. Kouchi.
10th cup of coffee: 28th of December 2008. Kouchi.
11th cup of coffee: 29th of December 2008. Kouchi.
12th cup of coffee: 30th of December 2008. Kouchi.
13th cup of coffee: 30th of December 2008. Kouchi.
I've stopped smoking: 31st of December. Kouchi.
14th cup of coffee: 2nd of January 2009. Tokyo.
15th cup of coffee: 2nd of January 2009. Tokyo.
16th cup of coffee: 3rd of January 2009. Tokyo.
17th cup of coffee: 4th of January 2009. Tokyo.
18th cup of coffee: 4th of January 2009. Tokyo.
19th cup of coffee. 4th of January 2009. Kamakura.