Academic journal article Transnational Literature

Lines Written on the Train between Himeji and Shirahama

Academic journal article Transnational Literature

Lines Written on the Train between Himeji and Shirahama

Article excerpt

Feeling nostalgic listening to old Joan Baez on the ipod. The world plays out as a foreign movie with the wrong soundtrack. There is no hero or heroine and no real plot. Just a cast of walk-on extras. They could be in any city in the world except that mine is the only face that isn't Japanese. Opposite is Man Who's Still Sleeping Off Last Night's Excesses. Enter Man 2 Who's Heading For The Job He Hates But One Day They'll Recognise His Talents And His Boss Will Get The Humiliation He So Richly Deserves. Right next to Young Girl Who Has Her First Job And Can Finally Afford The Make-up And Trendy Clothes She's Always Wanted. And they'll all make their entrances and exits seamlessly without need of reshoots. Denim-Jacket Uni Student stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the Immaculately-Dressed Businessman he abhors and swears he will never become and doesn't realise yet that in twenty years he will become him. And they all try to ignore each other and forget the fact that they're all in the same movie. But they swing to the right hanging from their straps as the train lurches and brace for the complete halt at Mega Station in complete unison, no more independent than a hive of bees. …

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