No smoking hotel -Season4-

-14-

Asking the master of the pension to tell him goodbye,
I got on the inbound train of the Yokosuka Line.

After getting back in Tokyo, I headed for Asakusa where the place was in which I was at the start of this period.
But because I just followed after him on the Christmas, I didn’t remember well from where I went up to the ground.

“Wow, aren’t you the bro I met before?”

A boy I didn’t know called me. I turned around and said, “are you Okazaki?” ,at the next moment.

“Oh, you know me name.”
The boy was the Okazaki he was talking about as I had expected.
However, I still don’t know HIS name.

Ho! I remember… Maybe he said just “Ken”

Okazaki looked more decent than I had imagined.
He told me he wanted to be a painter, but seemed to look better in a business suit.

So it was hard to believe by his looks that Okazaki had his relationship with gangsters.
He said it grew as he worked at a movie theater.
Now he is studying to enter a college for art after graduating from high school.

To avoid a long talk, I asked him to show me the way to “you-know-where”.
Then, he said, “is that OK?”, and he took me to a cabaret “London.”
I recognized that place;where I choked when I had an unfamiliar cigarette “Cherry.”

By the way, after quit the job at a movie theater,
Okazaki began to take part-time job as a waiter and tout.

So, this story is to end at…
me catched by Okazaki and join the rich old men play at the cabaret.

I hesitated for a moment, but there was no other way.
It was the last hope to go back to No smoking hotel I had been in before.
Well, it doesn’t have to be No smoking hotel, if I would be able to be back to the world of 2011.

-15-

Cabaret “London”

So likely for a name.
What to say… isn’t it rude to the capital of the U.K?
Of course, there is no English people here.

Looking around the gaudy inside with the smoke of cigarettes, it crowded so much.

The garish lights and the standard jazz of live performance.
Well, it is real in some way.

Okazaki came as a waiter in charge of my seat.
When I ordered a bottle of Hennessy,
he said by my ear “I’ll bring you the best girl here,” and left.

After some time, Keiko, a girl, sat next to me.

“Oh, it’s a rare cigarette. Foreign one?”
My loving Mevius didn’t exist in this period, so it was natural.

Troublesome to explain, I was looking for the door from which I came in while talking a little.
The door I opened hearing jingle bells on Christmas.

But it was difficult to find, for there was so crowded inside the cabaret in business.

When I said “I’ll go to the restroom,” the girl Keiko took me there.

While having wash, I remembered that it was… probably the back door of the kitchen.
That’s right. At that time, I assumed it to be a restaurant in underground…

I checked that the kitchen was on the right of the restroom.
The problem is how to get through the kitchen and go out from the door.

As for now, leave it till I’m back to my seat.

In the time like this, a hostess is disturbing who is by my side even I didn’t ask.
Of course Keiko is not bad, but it is painful to have an unintentional conversation.

Did Okazaki realize I was being bored…
He said, “would I change the girl?”

“No thanks. By the way, can you show me to the kitchen?”

“…after here is closed.”

“Then, tell the master that I’m your friend and want to study the work of cook.”
I made up a fake suggestion.

“Okay…”
He said reluctantly, and left saying “please be careful.”

-16-

10 minutes later, Okazaki came again.

He said he’d change my hostess because someone had called Keiko.
“That’s OK. I feel like drinking alone.”

I feel other customers are sneering me for drinking alone at a cabaret.
They may want to say, “it’s not a bar here.”
Strange indeed…though it doesn’t matter for the one who is going to vanish from this period soon.

But, from forward, I felt the other eyes different from simple sneering. At least, they aren’t kind.

I gazed back straight to the eyes without looking away. “They are calling you there.”

Okazaki took me to the table where the group was that gave me keen eyes.

“Please take a seat.”
A man past middle-age served me a seat gently, and the tough looking men surrounding me stood up at once.

It forced me to drink inside the circle of the guys who obviously seemed to belong to a gangsters’ organization.

Sitting to the over middle-age man’s left and lighting up my cigarette, I noticed I was excited a bit with this situation.

In the case, I’ll struggle fiercely and get out of here from the door of the kitchen unknowingly during the confusion.
Thinking so, I felt easier than pondering a lot while I drink alone.

I recognized that Keiko was sitting to the man’s right closely.
Well… it became more interesting.

“You, what is the reason you called me?”
When I ask, the tough-looking men stood up at once.

The man stopped them and gave me his card.
Taoka as “Executive of Kobe show business”… He is…wait, but who are you on earth? Yea… he doesn’t seem to scout me…

“You know, this is a good singer.”
Keiko will make her debut as a singer belongs to Kobe show business before long.

Then why is she working here?
I mumbled in my mind, but that isn’t concerned with me.

“You look sophisticated. Seem to be familiar with music, but do you compose music?”
Taoka took his interest in me looking my long hair and the strange suit.

“This girl said she had been with a customer who brought about something odd before.”
Ho! Will I make my debut in the world of Showa popular song? Oh! My FUCK… No way.

-17-

Keiko said, after graduating from middle school, she came to Tokyo as one in the work finding group and was working for a fabric factory.

She somehow joined a man there who was playing the guitar around bars, and began to sing in bars out of the downtown.
Then, her singing was recognized at cabaret “London”, and now she is preparing for her debut.

When I was listening to that story with doubtful thought, Taoka started his talk in serious-looking.

“I want you to send me a demo tape of your original tune, or give it to Okazaki.”
I’m not interested in at all though…

They said they’re looking for someone to write music and lyrics for Keiko’s debut.
In my opinion, writers themselves would offer if it is an official company…

“Errr…can I do that while being a cock?”

“…Are you interested in cooking?”
Taoka said dubiously, looking at my long hair.

“Yes…well, music is kind of a hobby for me.”

To tell the truth, I just wannna open the bottom door in the kitchen.

Taoka called Okazaki and told him to take me to the kitchen.
Later I recognized Taoka was the general manager of “London”, which was the higher position than a shop manager.

At any rate, pretending to be showed the way to the kitchen, I found the bottom door.

Not to mention, I didn’t listen to the head cheaf’s talk.

Well…let’s go.

Okazaki understood my plan without speaking, and I went out from the door.
And there was the stairs as I had expected.

This is it. Go up here, and I can go back to No smoking hotel in 2011.
Now I don’t care the rats creeping around.

Waving at Okazaki briefly, I went up the stairs which lead to the 21st century.

-18-

After the 15 minutes’ up on the long and long stairs, the large hole on the wall began to show up.
Yes, it’s the hole on the wall I made.

I intruded through the hole on tiptoe.

Now I feel like I’ve become a thief.
No, people will actually see me as a thief.

Fortunately, no one is in this room.

But, my baggage have already been taken away.

It’s not surprising. The check out day has already passed.
Probably, the front desk of No smoking hotel has been keeping.

After getting out of the room, I boarded on the elevator, prepared for the compensation for the hole on the wall in mind.
I pushed the button of 2F where the front was.
The door closed, and the elevator gradually went down.

But 5 min is too long, even from the top.

Is it out of order?

It happens sometimes here but…can’t bear if I’m locked up.

I was worrying about that, but deep in my heart, another anxiety was growing.

“I don’t want to believe but…”

Now I won’t be surprised any more…
But only one thing upset my expectation.

Where the elevator led me was…not the old time Tokyo.

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