All posts by picasan1998

No smoking hotel -Season7-

-26-

Ken, when we met several years ago, having retired Tokyo Mercantile Marine College, worked for a coast institution in Yokosuka.

“Heey …disappeared like smoke, brother.”
He seemed to get drunk and told me the same story over and over.

In Yokosuka at that time, there were always fights by military men of the U.S. and the peace-keeping gangsters.

When Ken and I were in Yokosuka in those days, we didn’t go out at night, so this is the story I’ve heard of…
There were many ruffian guys among the workers involved in loading at the coast, and when a weekend night comes, they’d go out for Dobuita street.

“Want me to find somebody to fight? You kidding. You really want me to find a girl, don’t you?
The U.S. military men took away the girls, and the men left, to show off their strength, are going to pick a quarrel with them …is that wrong?”

“You’re the man I expect. You have a keen insight.”
He seemed to admire my pointing out. I’m not in so a bad mood.

“So, there is a thing I want to ask you”

I have watched a documentary of frenzy time when toilet papers were out of stock because of the oil crisis happened in 1973.

Now we’re in that time.
Ken was attempting to make a large amount of money at once, using the connection between the loading work and the military men of the U.S.

“Okazaki will manage it concerning yakuza standing back for the loading worker of the coast.
I want you brother to negotiate with the military men. You speak English, right?”

“What makes you think so?”

“An elegant man like you bro and those who are so keen can always speak English. My intuition can never be wrong.”

I wonder what on earth makes him so confident. Anyway, I can’t do anything right with someone not confident.

But as you know, most of the confident people are the quite naive dreamers.
I need to know what gives him the confidence. The thing has to be done after that.

“By the way, are you going to stay here till the morning? Your girlfriend is alone in the flat, isn’t she?”

“There is a girl in the flat indeed. But I have also other girlfriends.”

What is he talking about? This guy with black glasses.

“Wow, master,” the girl with her loudly make-up called me so.

I turned back and recognized Keiko. I remember she was a singer in cabaret “London.”

“So it was true that the great master was a Ken’s friend.”

I don’t care at all but this soft-soaping, calling me “the great master,”really makes me feel disgusting.

“I wanted to sing, too, your Nineteen.”

-27-

The more I listen, the more it becomes mysterious.

It is sure that I wrote a song “Nineteen.” However, it’s a song in future, which is supposed to be released in 2015.

“I remember that was Nineteen. To love someone seemed so easy.”

She was humming it undoubtedly, in her beautiful voice.

It is me who want to ask you to sing.
Yours is more excellent than my husky voice.

They said that last year, “Nineteen” was sung by a female singer, Sayaka, and it was a big hit.

“Now that you’ve received the Record Award, master. It’s an amazing success of you.”

I almost burst into laugh. The Record Award? Is there still such a thing like that?

No, wait. Now I’m in the time when pop tunes flourished most…
My grandma said that in those days, it was the dream of all singers in Japan to receive the Japan Record Award.

“Well… what are you doing now? Still singing?”

“You know about Taoka and me. He’s changed to Sayaka.”

I don’t know the actual situation, but I can imagine it.
I know it’s a bad expression, but, a female singer is no more than that.

“Sayaka leans to Taoka completely, and even her brother exchanged cups of sake.”

So the whore Sayaka’s brother has become a member of yakuza. Doesn’t matter at all.

“After that, I heard that you’ve gone away and I was worrying that they might have thrown you into Tokyo Bay.

Oh, I see. Stop worrying while grinning at me.

Ken left his seat.
It seemed that he’s got tired of Keiko’s unstopping chattering.

Broke up with Taoka, leaving Tokyo, Keiko settled down in the suburban area of Yokosuka.
There she sang in front of the military men and workers of the coast.

I think she met Ken there.

“I’ll tell you this between you and me. Ken might think I’m a convenient girl for him, but also for me, he is the convenient one.”

Going back to each flat, they have each boyfriend or girlfriend waiting for them, but here they can be lovers.
By the way, the two is so alike;
They are also like-minded couple, who pursue new way of living in which they acquire freedom by showing different faces in and out.

All right. Though it’s really interesting, nothing matters to me.

-28-

Siberia, Russia 1920’s

The ground of Russia was covered with chaos caused by the revolution.

Against the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, aiming to interrupt the expansion of communism, great nations like the U.S. and UK interfered with it.

Japan, who was aspiring to the rights and benefits in Manchuria, also sent her troops to Siberia, taking advantage of the chance.
They say they’re engaged in international contribution, but in fact, it means so.

As a lieutenant of Japanese Army, My, Hikaru Nekota’s great grandfather Kumakichi was on duty of keeping public peace in Irkutsk.

“I can’t stand anymore. Like this boring war. I wanna be back home soon.”

Kumakichi scratched a lot his arm where a striped mosquito bit.

It’s hot in summer in Siberia.

After the snow which was covered the ground during the winter melt, now a huge outbreak of mosquitoes has come.
He washed his body in the river instead of taking a shower. Then, more mosquitoes came to attack him.

Sergei, lying beside him, coughed and made a fart.

“What a fuck doing!, you bastard!”

Sergei released another fart toward Kumakichi. This time it hit straight his face.

“So bad smelling fart. What the heck did you eat?”

At that time, in Omsk, which was in the middle between Irkutsk and Moscow,
the Revolutionary Army(Soviet Army) and Czechoslovakian Army was at an intense fight.

Czechoslovakian Army had been resistance, which aimed at her independence from the Austria-Hungarian Empire.

When World War I started, the Russian Empire, who was standing against the House of Habsburg, welcomed them in.
However, in the Russian Revolution during that war,
Nicholas II and his family were shot to death, and the 300 years of history of the House of Romanov came to an end.

Soviet Union who established the first communist nation in the world, concluding peace with Germany and Austria-Hungary, left the war.

Czechoslovakian Army was left by Russia and in the state of pending.

Soviet Union regarded Czechoslovakian Army, which was welcomed by the Russian Empire, as the enemy of the revolution, and began attack.

Czechoslovakian Army, which was considered as the anti-Establishment power by its own country,
betting everything on its survival, was preparing for Guerilla warfare.

And at the same time, servicemen for the former Empire gathered in Omsk, getting the assistance by UK, launched a military dictatorship.
Naturally, Soviet Union denied the dictatorship in Omsk and the troops began advancing.

Taking advantage of this chaotic situation, Czechoslovakian Army attacked the branch of Central Bank of Russia in Kazakhstan.
They robbed gold nuggets and left for Omsk.

On their way the two encountered, and there was an intense battle.

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時間旅行の世紀 第七章

(26)

ケンは、数年前に出会った時に在籍していた東京商船大学を中退して、横須賀の港湾施設で働いていたそうだ。

「兄さん、煙のようにいなくなっちまってよお」 酔いが廻ってきたのか、何度も同じ話を繰り返す。

当時の横須賀は、米兵や愚連隊による喧嘩が絶えず、ひどく治安が悪かったらしい。

僕がケンとその時代の横須賀にいた時は、夜間に外出しなかったから、あくまで聞いた話ではあるが・・・
港湾荷役の労働者には荒くれ者が多く、週末の夜になると喧嘩相手を探して、どぶ板通りに繰り出したとのこと。

「何が喧嘩相手を探してだよ? 女を探しての間違いだろ?
女を米兵に奪われて、あぶれた男達がテメエの力を誇示するために喧嘩を吹っかけてるってことじゃねえのか?」

僕の指摘にケンは「さすがは兄さん、読みが深い」と感心した様子。僕も悪い気分じゃない。

「そこで兄さんに相談なんだが・・・」

1973年に起こったオイル・ショックで、トイレットペーパーが不足する狂乱のドキュメンタリーをヒストリー・チャンネルで観たことがある。

今がその時、ケンは、米兵と港湾荷役のコネクションを使って、トイレットペーパーで一儲けすることを企んでいた。

「港湾荷役のバックのヤクザ者は岡崎が何とかする。兄さんは米兵と交渉してくれ。英語しゃべれるんだろ?」

「何で、そう思うんだよ?」

「兄さんみたいな垢抜けた人で、頭の回転も速い奴は決まって英語が話せる。ワシの勘に狂いはない」

何だか自信満々だな、コイツ。もっとも、自信のない奴と組んで何かをすることは出来ない。

ただ、多くの自信家は、世間知らずのドリーマーだ。
コイツの自信の裏付けが何なのか、知っておく必要がある。話はそれからだ。

「ところで、朝までいるつもりか? アパートに彼女、一人なんだろ?」

「アパートにいる彼女は一人。だが、ワシの彼女は他にもおるねん」

何、言ってやがるんだ? この黒縁メガネは。

「あら、先生」 化粧の濃い女が、僕を先生と呼んだ。

見るとケイコだった。たしか、キャバレー「ロンドン」で歌い手をしていた圭子だ。

「大先生がケンちゃんのお友達だったって本当だったのね」

どうでもいいけど、大先生だとか、ヨイショされるのが気持ち悪いんだけど・・・

「私も歌いたかったな。先生の Nineteen」

(27)

聞けば聞くほどミステリーだ。

確かに僕は “Nineteen” という曲を作った。だが、それは 2015年に発表する予定の未来の曲だ。

「あれは確か、十九歳だったね。愛することは、とても簡単に思えた」

彼女の美声は、確かにその曲をくちずさんでいた。
こちらこそ、貴方に歌って頂きたい。僕のかすれた声より、はるかに素晴らしい。

“Nineteen” は昨年、彩夏(さやか)とかいう女性シンガーが歌って大ヒットしたらしい。

「今やレコード大賞だもんね。先生、すごい出世よね」

吹き出しそうになった。レコード大賞? んなモン、まだ、あったのか?

いや、待てよ。

今、僕がいる時代は歌謡曲が華やかしかり頃で・・・
当時はレコード大賞を獲得することが日本中の歌手の夢だったって、おばあちゃんが言ってたな。

「で・・・君は、どうしてるんだい?歌は続けてるのか?」

「知ってるでしょ。田岡とのこと。彩夏に乗りかえたのよ、アイツ」

実際には知らないが、想像はつく。
もともと僕がいた業界の話だから、リアルに聞こえる。

言い方は悪いけど、女性シンガーなんて、そんなものだ。

「彩夏は田岡にベッタリで、弟まで杯を交わしたそうよ」

彩夏って売春婦の弟が暴力団員になったってことか。どうでもいいや。

「その後、先生が失踪したって聞いたから、東京湾に沈められたかもって心配してたのよ」

そうかい。ニヤニヤしながら、心配するなよ。

ケンが席を立った。

圭子のおしゃべりが止まらないことに退屈した様子だ。

田岡と別れた後、東京を離れ、横須賀の場末に落ち着いた圭子は、米兵や港湾労働者を相手に歌を続けていたそうだ。

ケンとは、そこで知り合ったのだろう。

「ここだけの話。ケンは、私を都合のいい女と思ってるんだろうけど、私にとってもアイツは都合がいいの」

互いのアパートに帰れば、それぞれにボーイフレンドやガールフレンドが待ってるけど、ここでは恋人同士でいられる。

二人は、そもそも似たもの同士で、内と外で違う顔を持つことで自由を得る、新しいタイプの生き方を模索する同志でもあるのだという。

そうかい。興味深いけど、俺には関係のない話だ。

(28)

1920年代、シベリア(ロシア)

革命による混乱がロシアの大地を覆っていた。

ソビエト社会主義共和国連邦に対し、共産主義の拡大を阻止すべく、米英などの大国が干渉していた。

満州での権益を狙う日本も、それに便乗する形でシベリアに軍を派遣していた。国際貢献なんて言ってるけど、実際、そんなことだろう。

僕、猫田光(Hikaru Nekota)の曽祖父にあたる熊吉(Kumakichi)も日本軍の中尉として、イルクーツクの治安維持にあたっていた。

「もう嫌だ。こんな退屈な戦争。早く国に帰りたい」

熊吉は、やぶ蚊に刺された腕をかきむしった。

シベリアの夏は暑い。

冬の間、大地を覆っていた雪が溶けると、今度は蚊が大量発生する。
シャワーの代わりに川で身体を洗う。すると、よけいに蚊の集団が襲ってくる。

隣で寝ているセルゲイが咳き込みながら屁をこいた。

「何さらすんじゃ、貴様!」

セルゲイは追加でもう一発、熊吉に向けて屁を放った。今度は顔面に直撃だ。

「臭い屁じゃのう。キサマ、いったい何を食っとるんじゃ?」

その頃、イルクーツクとモスクワの中間地点にあたるオムスクでは、革命軍(ソ連軍)とチェコ・スロバキア軍との間で激しい戦闘が行われていた。

チェコ・スロバキア軍は、もともと、オーストリア・ハンガリー帝国からの独立を目指すレジスタンスであった。

第一次世界大戦が始まるとハプスブルグ家と敵対する帝政ロシアは、彼らを国内に迎え入れた。
ところが、大戦の最中に起こったロシア革命で、皇帝・ニコライ2世とその家族が銃殺され、300年続いたロマノフ朝の歴史に幕が下ろされた。

世界初の共産主義国家を樹立したソ連は、ドイツやオーストリア・ハンガリーと講和し、戦線を離脱。

チェコ・スロバキア軍は、ロシアに残されたまま宙に浮いた存在になっていた。

ソ連は、帝政ロシアが迎え入れたチェコ・スロバキア軍を革命の敵と見なし、攻撃を仕掛けてきた。
本国からも反体制勢力と見なされていたチェコ・スロバキア軍は生き残りを賭け、ゲリラ戦の準備をしていた。

同じ頃、オムスクに旧帝政派の軍人が集結し、イギリスの支援を得て、軍事政権を打ち立てた。

もちろん、ソ連がオムスク政権を認めるわけはなく、進軍を開始。

混乱に乗じたチェコ・スロバキア軍は、ロシア中央銀行カザフ支店を襲い、金塊を強奪して、オムスクへ向かった。

その途上で両者が遭遇し、激しい戦闘が行われたのだった。

No smoking hotel -Season6-

-23-

“Our revolution will never end without banishment of Bourgeoisie people”
“To make it happen, we’d be forced to bring an armed uprising”

The November Revolution which was carried out with Lenin’s agitation resulted in the birth of a country titled Soviet.

Maria’s family, which was from the so-called Bourgeoisie, to protect itself, decided to move to a distant place, Siberia.

In time,
there came the artists for the anti-Establishment which Soviet denied,
and the lonely village in the suburb of Irkutsk turned into an artists village.

A short night of summer was about to be over in the artist village.

Anastasia doesn’t have the full control of her legs, but she’s still 26. It’s too early for her to abandon her life as a woman.

Speaking of which, her husband Sergei has been captured by Japanese Army in Irkutsk.

Japanese Army? At this time,
the Siberian intervention was conducted by Japanese Army under the pretext of international contribution to set up right the public peace which the civil war after the revolution disturbed.

Japan, as the result of the triumph at the Russo-Japanese war, has assured its rights and the benefits in Korea(South Korea and North Korea at present).

In those days, when the ex-prime minister Hirobumi Ito visited Harbin, Manchuria(the northeast of China at present), which was under control of Russia,
he was assassinated by a young Korean man at a train station.

Moreover, during World War I,
after they invaded Qindao, which had been German colony, they also were going to expand their power over Siberia in addition to Manchuria.

Of course, that Sergei would get angry…
He might get crazy, if he’d know that a foreigner is here while he’s out, his child took to the man easily, and he spent a night with his wife…

Thinking at his position, the reality is so ruthless.

But, also I was under the miserable fate. Perhaps mine was more than that.

Different from a prisoner of war, I don’t have any place to go back even when the war ends.
There is no room in my mind for feeling compassion for other people when they’ve got misfortune.

At the first place, whether a husband or wife, do not treat humans as belongings.

“You’ll be punished if you commit a crime. But, you’ll be punished even if you don’t commit a crime.”

Whichever way to go, that’s fuck my life.

-24-

Seashore lily blossoming in the beach told me that I seemed to come to the sea…

It was like having a bad dream.

Woke up to find myself moaning in a nightmare and…

“Feeling a little better?”

A girl asked, whose face I wasn’t sure I knew.

Thinking that probably I was taken to a time trip again,I asked back,“Where are we?”
“In Yokohama,” she answered.

“He’ll be back soon, so please wait a bit.” Who’ll be back? Though I think I know…

I was in a daze while getting nutrient from yogurt.

“Hey, I’m home.”

A man in early 20’s with black framed glasses entered the room.

“Ah! as I imagined.”I thought so, but I couldn’t recall his name, just“Ken”

That guy I had met in the dungeon of No Smoking Hotel in 2011, and had a trip from Tokyo to Yokosuka in Showa time together.

But he didn’t have glasses at that time…well, it doesn’t matter.

“Too young for a bum, and well dressed… I wondered who on earth, but it was you.”

It seems several years have passed since that and he brought me to the apartment who fainted on the night beach.

“Papa, it’s time to go.”

He was urged to dress up in fancy clothes by the girl he lived with, and somehow they also took me to the Saturday night in Yokohama.

-25-

Tonight, the Dance Party is held in a night club in ex-camp of the U.S. Armed Forces.

These two came to know each other a few months ago.
Well, it could be the youthful time in Showa of Japan.

I don’t like staying out late at night as in the 21st century, so felt inconvenient in almost all the time.

It’s good we’re allowed to smoke as we like, but there are too many people and I cannot be at ease.
However, something interested me, the heartrending and passionate music such as Argentine Tango.

Ken brought his friend.
“It’s long time no see.”
Maybe… Okazaki, who was the boy in a cabaret.

I wanted to ask what had happened during the several years, but difficult to talk a lot in the air.
Well, it’s not that important…

Around 11 o’clock at night, his girlfriend left for her(their) place, though the others wouldn’t go home.

When Ken said he’d see her off, I wanted to get out together.
But he said,“Wait a little. I’ll be back soon.” So I lost the chance.

I usually like the night. I mean…
Like having a glass of wine calmly, enjoying the waving light of candle in the darkness.

But, I don’t like sing in karaoke and making merry in a bar or club,
because people are drunk and I cannot talk as usual with them. In a word, “rubbish.”

It’s difficult in the night city to drink “a little” to settle down.

Me is a social person officially, but don’t like establish relationships halfheartedly with alcohol.

No way! especially being encouraged to go to a cabaret club by my friend or fuckin’ coworker.
Nothing to talk to such stranger girls with no connection with me.

The story has digressed… but to be honest, it’s impossible to drink along the night with the guys met at random.

If I were younger, it would be useful to take interests in the unknown world.
The worn out heart through the trips around the world thinks it’s trifle.

I was looking for any reasons that let me go home.

But where should I go?
Japan or Europe, either is OK. I have to go back to 2011. It’s not good at this rate. I have a lot of work.
If not impossible, even Russia in 1920’s is okay…

But how?
I have repeated come and go somehow ever, but it’s no use because I don’t know the mechanism.

時間旅行の世紀 第六章

(23)

「ブルジョワの追放なくして革命は終わらない。そのためには武装蜂起もやむなし」

レーニンの扇動により決行された十一月革命によって、ソビエトという名称を冠した国が誕生した。

いわゆるブルジョワ層にあたるマリアの一家は、身の安全のため、遠く離れたシベリアの地に移住することになった。

やがて、ソビエトが否定する反体制派の芸術家たちもやって来て、イルクーツク郊外の寒村は芸術家村に生まれ変わった。

芸術家村の夏の短い夜が明けようとしていた。

足の悪いアナスタシアだが、まだ26歳。女としての人生を放棄するには早すぎる。

そういえば、彼女の夫のセルゲイは、イルクーツクで日本軍の捕虜になっているらしい。

日本軍? そう・・・この時期、革命後の内戦による治安の乱れを正すための国際貢献という名目で、日本軍によるシベリア出兵が行われていた。

日本は、先の日露戦争での勝利の結果、朝鮮(現在の韓国と北朝鮮)における権益を確保した。

ところが当時、ロシアの支配下にあった満州(現在の中国東北部)のハルビンを元内閣総理大臣の伊藤博文が訪問した際、鉄道駅で韓国人青年に暗殺された。
この事件を口実に日本は、朝鮮を併合。事実上の植民地とした。

さらに第一次世界大戦でドイツの植民地であった青島(チンタオ)を攻略すると、その勢力を満州からシベリアにまで広げようとしていた。

しかし、そのセルゲイは怒るだろうな・・・
留守中に子供を手なずけ、妻と夜を明かす外国人の存在を知ったら、気が狂うかもな・・・

彼の立場になれば、あまりに非情な現実だと思う。

しかし、悲惨な運命は僕だって同じだ。
あるいは、それ以上かもしれない。

こっちは捕虜と違って、戦争が終ったところで帰るアテなんてないんだ。他人の不幸に同情する余裕なんてない。
だいたい、夫だとか妻だとか、人間を勝手に所有物にするなよ。

「罪を犯せば罰を受ける。でも、罪を犯さなくても罰を受ける」

どのみち、それが僕の人生だ。

(24)

浜百合が咲いているところを見ると、どうやら、僕は、海に来ているらしい・・・

悪い夢を見ているようだった。

うなされて、目覚めると・・・

「少しは良くなったかな?」

見覚えあるような・・・ないような女性が訊いてきた。

おそらく、また時間旅行に連れ出されてるんだろう。

「ここは何処?」と訊いてみると、彼女は「横浜」と答えた。

「もうすぐ帰ってくるから、待ってて」

誰が帰ってくるんだ? なんとなく想像つくけどね・・・

ヨーグルトで栄養補給しながら、ぼんやりしていると

「おう、帰ったぞ」と黒縁メガネをかけた男が部屋に入ってきた。

「ああ、やっぱり」と思いながらも、その男の名前が出てこない。
センスのないメガネで老けて見えるが、二十歳そこそこだろう。確か・・・ケンだったっけ?

2011年のNo Smoking Hotelの地下室で出会い、昭和の東京から横須賀まで旅したアイツだ。

でも、あの時はメガネなんて、かけてなかったけど・・・ まあ、いい。

「浮浪者にしちゃ若いし、身なりもいいから、誰かと思ったら、兄さんでさあ」

どうやら、夜の海岸で気絶していた僕をアパートまで運んでくれたようだ。

「パパ、そろそろ行かないと」

同居の女性に促され、彼は洒落た服に着替え、何故か僕も、土曜の夜の街へ繰り出すことになった。

(25)

米軍キャンプ跡地にあるナイトクラブで今夜、Dance Party があるらしい。

この二人も数ヶ月前に、ここで知り合ったそうだ。まあ、昭和の青春ってやつか・・・

自由にタバコが吸えるのはいいんだけど、人が多すぎて、落ち着かない。
21世紀の世界でも、夜遊びが好きじゃない僕は、すぐに居心地が悪くなってきた。

でも、アルゼンチン・タンゴとか、切なくも情熱的な音楽には惹かれるものがある。

ケンが友達を連れてきた。

「お久しぶりです」 確か・・・ キャバレーでボーイをしてたオカザキだ。

この数年間、何があったのか訊きたかったが、この雰囲気では、じっくり話をするのも難しい。
まあ、どうでもいいんだけど・・・

夜11時あたりに、ケンのガールフレンドは家路についたが、他の連中は帰る気配がない。

彼が送りに行くと言った時、僕も一緒に脱出したかったのだが・・・

「すぐ戻るから、待っててくれ」と言われ、タイミングを逸してしまった。

僕は、夜が好きだ。

暗闇に揺れるキャンドルの炎を見つめながら、静かにワインを飲むのが好きだ。

でも、居酒屋とかクラブとかカラオケでワイワイするのは好きじゃない。
だって、人々は酔っ払い、まともに話しも出来ない。一言でいえば「くだらない」

夜の街では、心を落ち着けるために「軽く」飲むことは難しい。

僕は表向き、社交的な人間であるが・・・ 酒に酔って、いい加減な人間関係を築くのは嫌だ。

特に友人(知り合い)にキャバクラなんぞに誘われるなんて冗談じゃない。何の関わりもない初対面の女と話すことなんてない。

それで癒されるとか言う奴をいちいち否定しないが・・・
30歳前後の男性が集まると「ノー」と言うことが、変なことのように思われるから不思議だ。

話が脱線してしまったが、正直、ひょんなことで知り合った遊び人風の連中と朝まで飲むなんて無理だ。

もっと若ければ、自分の知らない世界への興味もあったかもしれないが・・・
世界中を旅して磨耗した心には、それが小さなことに思える。

何とか帰る口実を考えていた。

でも・・・ 何処へ帰ればいいんだ?

何処でもいい、2011年に帰らなきゃ。このままじゃヤバイ。仕事だって、たくさん抱えてるんだ。
2011年が無理なら、1920年代のロシアでもいいか・・・

でも・・・ どうやって?

今まで何となく、時代を行き来してきたけど、その仕組みがわからないんじゃ、どうしようもない。

No smoking hotel -Season5-

-19-

“Today is the anniversary of Lenin balloon, isn’t it?”
A girl who arornd 5 years old talked to me in an innocent tone.

“The anniversary of Lenin balloon”
… Could they really launch such a thing in this quiet and peaceful country in Russia?

The girl’s name was Maria.
She told me that although she was born in Petrograd (present St. Petersburg),
she and her family fled from to escape from fires of the revolution.

It was called the artists village around here,
and Dachas of those who are kind of eccentric and from the upper class gathered.
The flow of the clear river that praises itself its abundant water.
Except for the unpleasantness which so many mosquitoes bring about,
you can consider there as the summer resort where gentle and cheerful people spend their time in summer.

By the way, I thought I was back to the hotel in 2011,
but who ever expects that I’d be taken to Siberia during Russian revolution now…?
Besides, it is summer. The calender seems to go out of control.

This time, I believed I could never be back. But, I’m not in so bad mood.
Well, I can’t find the exact expression, but it was like I was chosen to be god.
I mean I felt so comfortable in this village that way.

When I was led into Maria’s house…
the relatives of her parents and also their friends welcomed me as they dance French Can-can even in the daytime!

“Come on, let’s have the dance of 1999!” said Sophia, who is Maria’s aunt and invited me.
Said what? The dance of 1999?

In 1920s, there was a legend saying that the world would come to an end at the end of the century
and the people in the artist village, in particular, believed in that.
In other way… they were trying to dance all Belle Epoque-ish decadence in every possible situation.

I held Maria in my arm and had the dance of 1999 with Sophia hand in hand.

“By the way, where are your parents?”
When I asked Maria, she ran to the woman relaxing leisurely in her chair.

Her name was Anastasia.
She was beautiful but it seemed that she didn’t have the full use of her legs.

“And your dad?” I said.
Maria pointed ahead the forest in the distance across the window and made an innocent smile.

-20-

Maria took my hand and we walked along the river.
The surface is bright with the sunlight.
The gentle summer scent filled out there.

Suddenly, we heard a Russian announcement which came through a bad speaker.
In the meantime, many people came and sat aside the river.
They gathered in order to see launching the balloon.

While young men was playing music, also Sophia and Anastasia came.

They said today is the ten and several times anniversary
since comrade Lenin almost brought the first revolution, which was never to be done in fact.

Lenin is one of those whom I respect in history.
If I had been able to go back to my world after this, I could say it was wonderful visit…
you know what, I’m gonna see the very historical moment with my own eyes beyond time and space!

But, my heart was hesitating. I don’t think I can get back anymore.

That is not so a bad thing, but I’m still caring about the people and work left in that world beyond.
I was very in the middle of the world tour which I have dreamed of since I was a kid.
Furthermore, my father got ill and was in hospital in Japan.

If it had been promised that I can return, I want to enjoy the summer in this artists village to my heart’s content.

I just cant’t do that while I’m holding regrets and worries.
Only If I could switch my mind off well…though unfortunately, I am not so smart.

Santa in the mid summer came and began to give presents to children.

Naturally, Maria got excited a lot!

“During the summer, where are you staying, Santa?”

“In Soviet Union.”

“Then, what about winter?”

“I visit children around the world out of Soviet Union.”

Listening to the conversation by Maria and Santa, I lighted my tobacco.

I breathed deeply and made a big sigh.
The summer melancholy is going to take me to Another World.

Feeling a little funny…I was beginning to enjoy the summer in Soviet Union.

-21-

In time, the sun showed its tired face, and its light was getting weaker.

Blown by breeze, I kissed Sophia by my side without specific reason,
thinking I might be doing this with grown up Maria several years later…

It seems the sunset is almost there, but the sun is still in sight.
Under the midnight sun, the vermilion surface of the river makes tiny waves.

In the bushes of the forest, a big balloon was launched.
There was Lenin’s portrait on the front and to that the young men repeated, “Long live our comrade Lenin!”

People in the artists village also gave cheers, holding bottles of beer and vodka or smoking and…
It doesn’t seem that they are celebrating the communist revolution.
A little disappointed, I regretted leaving my camera in 2011.

As for Maria, she was engaged just in eating cake…
It seemed Lenin balloon was sort of entertainment for a peaceful picnic.

I think it was after this, Great Purge was conducted in the Stalin era
that the dictatorial system by Communist Party was reinforced.
Besides, these people in the artists village were from mainly the upper class
and the Bourgeoisie, whom they targeted later as enemy of the revolution.

It was fun but not so much as I had expected…when the feeling occurred to me,
I could see fire in the forest across the river.

Your won’t say it fell, will you…
I was sure something not good happened.
As for the people, they looked worried about,
but seemed to be even enjoying the fire across the river.

Looking at the way the fire in the forest getting larger, Maria and her family went home.
As if it was a natural way of happening, I stayed the night with them.

During the night, for about only 2 hours, I talked with Anastasia, the mother of Maria.

She doesn’t have the full use of her legs, but the veil of night gives her amorousness way of things.
Having wine, I was listening to her love story in the past.

The thing I was interested in through that was why Sergei, who was her husband, didn’t come back.

-22-

When at night, with drooping eyelids, I blow out the candles flare,
Time’s unending path is followed only by the old clock there.

For just draw aside the curtains and the moon will flood the room with a fire of passions summoned by the arduous of her gloom from the night of recollection.
She will resurrect an eon of distress ? which we, however, sense as in a dreamlike paean.

Moon, arch-mistress of the ocean, you glide the planet’s sphere,
You give light to thoughts unthought of and eclipse sorrow and fear.

Oh, how many deserts glimmer under your soft virgin light
And how many woods overshadow brooks and rivers burning bright!

Legion is the name of billows you dispose of as you please, when you sail upon the ever restless solitude of seas.

Of resplendent climes, of gardens, palaces and castles old,
Which you impregnate with magic and to your own view unfold of the dwellings that
you enter tiptoe by the window-pane to gaze thoughtfully at foreheads that so many thoughts enchain!

A king’s plans enmesh the planet for a century or more, while the pauper hardly thinks of what his morrow has in store.

Though the dice of Fate have to them meted different rungs and ways,
Both submit to the same biddings of Death’s genius and her rays, be they weak or be they mighty, unintelligent or clever.

All do minister to passions and their bondsmen are forever.

One is looking for the mirror, purposing to curl his mane,
One ? for truth, hoping to find it in the space and time mundane.

時間旅行の世紀 第五章

(19)

「今日はレーニン気球の記念日でしょ」 少女(幼女)が無邪気な口調で語りかけた。

「レーニン気球の記念日」 のどかなロシアの田舎に、そんなものが打ち上げられるのか?

少女の名はマリア。

ペトログラード(現在のサンクトペテルブルグ)郊外の生まれだが、革命の戦火を逃れて、家族と共に移住してきたと言う。

この辺りは芸術家村と呼ばれ、変わり者の上流階級出身者のダーチャ(別荘)が集まる。

豊かな水をたたえた川の澄んだ流れ。蚊が多いことが不快なことを除けば、穏やかで陽気な人々が夏を過ごす避暑地といったところか。

しかし、2011年のホテルに戻ったはずが、今度はロシア革命のシベリアに飛ばされるとは・・・
しかも季節は夏。カレンダーにも狂いが生じてきたようだ。

今回は、もう帰れないかもしれないと思った。ただ、そんなに悪い気分じゃない。
何というか、神に選ばれたような気分だった。それぐらい、この芸術家村の居心地は良かった。

マリアの家に案内されると・・・
両親の親戚や友人らが昼間からフレンチ・カンカンを踊りながら!僕を迎え入れてくれた。

「さあ、1999年のダンスを踊りましょう!」

マリアの叔母にあたるソフィアが僕を誘う。って何? 1999年のダンス?

1920年代では、世紀末に世界が終るという伝説があり、とりわけ芸術村の住人は、それを信じていた。
というか・・・ 何かと理由をつけては、ベルエポックなデカダンスを踊り尽くそうとしていた。

マリアを抱っこしながら、ソフィアと手を取り「1999年のダンス」を踊った。

「そういえば両親は?」 マリアに訊ねると、ゆったりとチェアでくつろぐ女性のもとに駆けていった。

彼女の名はアナスタシアといい、美しいが、足がやや不自由なようだった。

「パパは?」と訊くとマリアは、窓から遠くに見える森を指差して、無垢な微笑みを浮かべた。

(20)

マリアに手を取られて、川のほとりを歩いた。

太陽に照らされた水面、のどかな夏の香りが辺りに充満している。

突然、どこからか音響の悪いスピーカーを通じて、ロシア語のアナウンスがあり、しばらくすると、多くの人が川のほとりに座りはじめた。

人々は気球の打ち上げを見るために集まっていた。

青年団による演奏が行われている間に、ソフィアやアナスタシアたちもやって来た。
今日は、レーニン同志が未遂に終わった第一次革命を起こしてから十数年目の記念日なのだそうだ。

レーニンは、僕の尊敬する歴史上の人物の一人だ。

今後、元の世界に戻れたなら、最高の旅行だったと言えるんだけどな・・・ だって、時空を超えて歴史を目撃するんだぜ!

でも、僕の心は曇っていた。もう帰れる気がしない。

こちらも悪くないんだけど、向こうの世界に残してきた人や仕事のことも気になる。

向こうでは、子供の頃からの夢だったワールド・ツアーの真っ最中だったんだ。おまけに日本では父が倒れて、入院していた。

帰れる保障があるなら、この芸術家村の夏を満喫したい。ただ、心残りや心配事を抱えていては充分に楽しめない。
上手くスイッチの切り替えが出来れば良いのだが・・・ 僕は、そんなに器用じゃない。

真夏のサンタクロースがやって来て、子供たちにプレゼントを配り始める。

当然、マリアも大はしゃぎ!

「夏の間、サンタは何処にいるの?」

「ソ連の中さ」

「じゃあ、冬は?」

「ソ連から世界中の子供たちのもとに行くのさ」

マリアとサンタのやり取りを聞きながら、僕は煙草に火をつけた。

息を深く吸ってから、大きなため息をついた。

夏の憂鬱は、僕を Another World へ運ぼうとしている。
ちょっと可笑しくなりながら・・・ 僕は、ソ連の夏を楽しみはじめていた。

(21)

やがて、太陽は疲れた表情を見せ、日差しもだいぶ弱くなってきた。

そよ風に吹かれながら、たまたま横にいたソフィアとキスした。
数年後には、成長したマリアと、こうしているのかもな・・・ と思いながら。

日没が迫っているようでいて、太陽は沈まない。白夜の中、朱色に染まった川面が小さく波打つ。

森の茂みから、大きな気球が打ち上げられた。

正面にはレーニンの肖像画が描かれており、それに向かって、青年団が「レーニン同志、万歳!」を連呼する。

芸術家村の人々も歓声を上げるが、手にはビールやウオッカの瓶を持っていたり、煙草を吸っていたりで・・・
どうも共産主義革命を祝っているムードではない。

多少、拍子抜けしながら、2011年にカメラを置き忘れてきたことを悔やんだ。

マリアに至ってはケーキを食べるのに夢中で・・・
レーニン気球も、さながら平和なピクニックの余興といったところか。

共産党の独裁体制が強化されるのは、この後、スターリンの時代に血の粛清を行ってからだったっけ。
それに芸術家村の人々は主に上流階級の出身で、革命の敵とされるブルジョワ層だったよな。

しばらく空を泳いだ後、気球は、対岸の森の奥へ消えて行った。

面白かったけど、期待していたほどじゃなかったな・・・ と思った、その時、対岸の森から火の手が上がっているのが見えた。

まさか墜落したか・・・ 

只事ではないことが起こっていたのは確かだったが、人々は心配そうではありながらも、対岸の火事を楽しんでいるようにも見えた。

山火事が広がっていく様を眺めながら、マリアたちは家路についた。

さも当然のように、僕も泊めてもらうことになった。

2時間くらいしかない夜の間、マリアの母であるアナスタシアと語り合った。

足の不自由な人ではあるが、夜の帳は彼女に艶やかな色気を与える。

ワインを飲みながら、彼女の昔の恋物語を聞いていた。
それで気になったのが、セルゲイという彼女の夫が何故、帰って来ないのかということだ。

(22)

夜 瞼は下がり 僕はキャンドルの火を消す。
終わりのない時間の道を古い時計が追うだけ。

カーテンを開くだけで、月光が・・・
彼女の深い悲しみと情熱の炎が部屋を満たす。

短い夜だから・・・
それを、夢のような賛歌として感受するのだ。

月よ、海の女主人よ・・・
貴方は地球の表面を滑り、考えの及ばない思想に光を与え、哀しみと恐れを奪う。

そこには、たくさんの砂漠が、柔らかな処女の光の下で煌(きらめ)いている。
そして、たくさんの木々が影を覆い、小川が光り輝いている!

軍隊とは、果てしない孤独という海を航海する時、貴方が思うままにできる大波の名だ。

眩い罪の中で、あるいは庭園、宮殿や古き城の中で・・・ 貴方は、自身の開かれた見解に魔法の力を吹き込むのか?

乞食に、どんな明日が待ち受けるのか考える暇も与えず、一人の王の計画がこの地球を1世紀以上も捕え続ける。

運命のサイコロは、人を異なる地位や道に割り当てねばならない。
弱かろうが強かろうが、無知であろうが賢かろうが、誰しも死神による同じ命令と光線を浴びるのだ。

人はみな情熱に仕え、奴隷は永遠である。

ある者は鏡に見入り・・・
ある者は真実を求め、それを世界の空間と時間の中に見出そうと願っている。

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.