On Gaien Higashi Dori
Thursday, October 23
How to Make a Toad Disappear
The Autumn sun came bearing gifts to Tokyo today, making the city feel all happy and new, and I took the opportunity to do some good old-fashioned skiving off work. Of which I am very proud.
As I was making my daily trip to my little spot in my little office, I found myself thinking of the first two lines of a poem that has been in my head for many years now, by the English poet Philip Larkin:
"Why should I let the toad work
Squat on my life"
Taking the great man's sentiment to heart, I made up an excuse Tony Blair would have been proud of and escaped the confines of my toady computer, lolling off into the afternoon sun of a shiny, bright and relatively underpopulated Shinjuku, shopping for books, taking photos on my phone, and generally having one of those "good to be alive" days. I felt like a kid who had just got the last sticker needed to fill the old Panini World Cup sticker book. I don't think I've had that much unassuming euphoria just walking around a city since my Edinburgh days.
Just when you think Lady Tokyo has nothing left for you, she surprises you, luring you back easily into her power.