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Ah, eight months. A lot has happened since that very last update. New interests. New realization. New experiences. There was a moment where I wanted to start over fresh but couldn't because of several commitments, like funding for a trip, finishing up school and contemplating about my future. Not anymore, I'm starting fresh. Welcome to the underground. --- It was definitely not at that time, my あの頃じゃねえ (ano koro janee), when I was thinking that this thing would not happen. I hated all of this before, that side that no one would talk about. Then slowly and steadily, I suddenly feel like I'm going to take off from the things I hated. What I hate is what I like now. It felt that the old had died but the new had been here all along, waiting for me to make my move. And so, my story begins... Disclaimer: Please watch the video on its entirety. After the video, you can begin the Spotify playlist located to your right-hand side. --- 01_IN DREAMS WE TRUSTED In dreams we trusted. I had thought for it for such a long time, the dream of moving to the big city. I had been stuck at this place in the middle of the country for such a long time that I had forgot what the big city looked like in my childhood. I’m already 23 years old and there’s no employment for me that can be found in this small town. All I can see are farms, farms and more farms. I mean, what kind of future would I have if I stayed here this way? Most of my schoolmates had already abandoned the town and moved to the big city. So, I decided to leave my parents and live away from my own from now. For sure, that was the dream that I trusted. I don't expect being familiar with the city and all, but it was worth the damning try. I said "ittekimasu" to my parents. My parents are sad and all, but it was for my future. You see, my mom was a hardworking woman running an agar-agar company and a meat packing company. My dad is a businessman in a construction company, but for sure I don't want to work at that place. I am that determined to move to the city and see it for myself. In my mind, I started to imagine how the city would look like. A lot of jobs are on demand, and I for sure can find something that I could make good money with. They all said to follow my dreams. So, I am goind to follow it through even though I may end up falling to hell. I boarded the local train to the prefectural capital so that I can transfer to a bus that would take me to the capital city. Internally, I am screaming "[expletive] it, I am going to the big city". I am on my way. On the way to the prefectural capital, I saw trees and lots of them. I thought that somewhere outside of this forest of despair will be that city of dreams. I stuck to my dreams because I trust it. In no time, this scene will be over and would have been replaced by a thicket of concrete, or whatever it's called. A sea, an ocean that I may not as well navigate like [expletive], I dont care. I had come to realize to not notice the same-old-same-old things and look for that one opportunity. After a long while contemplating about a new chapter in my short life, I had arrived at the prefectural capital and boarded a bus bound for the big city. For me, I thought this prefectural city is good enough for me; however, it really is the big city where everyone's at. The companies are all there as well as some people that I may have known from school. I haven't seen them in years. I decided not to enter college and all that [expletive] but it was mostly because I am too lazy to take exams in order to make myself some sort of a company slave. During the journey I realized how crazily dumb it was for me to not enter college. Of course everyone in the city will be looking for those degrees that they sought with university students. I only have a diploma in high school and a degree specializing on nothin'. if I could have entered the lowest university level that I could find then I could have entered it, but too late now. I'm already at the highway heading to the big city. So far, aside from a few houses, I could only find other cars and lots of green things that I prefer not to discuss anymore. You never know how [expletive] excited I was to finally reach the big city. Everything was so different from the countryside! There are a lot of concrete, not so much trees, there are more cars than I thought and the amount of people is vexing. I've been at the bus long enough to see the slow gradual change from the inaka to the big city. I couldn't wait for my new adventures in here. What's in store for me I do not know yet. I still have so many big expectations about the big city, but so far, so good. I have finally reached the end of my bus trip and had arrived in the big city. I could not believe how gigantic these buildings are in real life. There are so many people selling various fruits, vegetables and other things on totally overblown prices... I don't think the money saved for this trip would be enough for even a week here in the city, and I still haven't found any employment as of yet. My landlord had been expecting me for a while now to move into the new apartment near the station for a while now. Walking through the neighbourhood, it isn't that bad after all. Since it was a holiday today, there weren't that much movement in traffic. I could only see a few cars down the road. The buildings were all pretty good and all and there's a large theatre that I don't know what in the world they playin', probably a thing called damn kabuki. I wasn't that interested in all of that jazz so I didn't learn that much about theatre at school. I was more interested in music back then. i think I'm still interested in it but had forgotten which one was my favourite. Oh shoot, I forgot to get money! Oh well, the bank was accross the street so that I could get that. Just around the corner from here is probably the apartment that I will be staying. Maybe it'll be that tall building behind the theatre... First, I thought the apartment that I will be staying at was that. From what I could remember, that was the one that was advertised to me. Upon arriving at the building though, they said that it's not really an apartment but more of an office space. [expletive]. Looking accross the street at the park you can see a couple of people doing acrimonious things. I don't even know if they have a home or something. Is this the dream that I really trusted, a life in the city that would eventually end up in ruin? Looming over these people at the park is a memorial for people who had died in the war that happened a long time ago. It had been kept meticulously clean but you can also see the marks where graffitti once occupied the white marble. The more that I walked through the neighbourhood the more I feel depressed. For sure, this will be my life from now on, seeing people sell and cut beef, "Yankees" wearing the most hip-hop clothes out there in the country. Immigrants trying to sell me local food at a cheaper price but of varying quality. Actually, there's a lot of people here, but they're mostly either tourists looking for latest beauty products or medicine, or locals looking for the lowest priced deal. I don't mind the sheer amount of people, but I would have been [expletive] scared of everyone around. You don't know which one would beat you up or steal money from you. Foreigners said that we as a country is safe but could you really trust them? Of course you will be really scared. Who the hell are all of these people? めっちゃ人が狭いだよね！ (It's so claustrophobic in here with this much people) in here. Adults, children, teenagers, you never know which one is which, as if it is just a blur mostly. I don't remember any of their faces, the people that I see on the street. I may be just overwhelmed with confusion right now. I tried to walk in a straight line but there are just too many of them along the way. But I think I have reached my apartment tonight. It's still on a pretty busy portion of the arcade, but at least the roof of the structure shields the noise away from me. It's quite the measly apartment. I got it for cheap but I need to pay a portion of the electricity and water. Below it is a store owned by someone I have yet to meet. They said that he usually sells clothing and only goes to the establishment every two weeks to see what's up with everyone. And so, this is what it's like in the big city. I thought my dream would work out as it should be, only to be crushed by reality. In dreams we trusted, all right. --- July 5, 2006. Stepping out of the Azusa (Super Express), I arrived at the vast expanse of the railway station. The walls were depressingly blood red and the paint on the steel pillars used to hold the structure is peeling off. On a nearby wall was an unsightly spectacle of competing graffiti from rival gangs, none of which am I part of. Wearing a black hoodie with a striped black and white t-shirt, brown pants and a rucksack for an extra shirt, I begin anew to the hustle of this huge city. [expletive] Komaki, my future isn’t there and everyone’s at the city nowadays. Though I don’t fit in with the rest of these city people I could not give a [expletive] about them waiting to get into the red-striped loop line train. I need to get to Takadanoura to meet my landlord. My landlord's head office on this tall building in the big city. They said that I will be staying at some shambled apartment nearby on a shopping arcade sans the amenities that he has just on his office. Oh well, I guess it's a dog eat dog world out there. But in dreams we trust. === Thank you for viewing this update. As a lot of you may have been surprised with this release, let me set things straight out of here. No, this is not an Okaiken update. This is not a continuation on anything but a new story with new characters in a nation that I refuse to name.