Thursday, March 24, 2016
Nippon’s Truck Confession
Nippon got thinking of his life—indulging in his calculated confession with his conscience and subconscious, crisscrossing with those alternate voices, —sitting still in that truck for hours, — he deliberated on his esteem, his liberation, his immunity to judgment, or to be judged. In many ways life held a silence, a deafening, an ache he told himself, feeling as if he lived in a primeval woods not a modern day city, with heavy threats, and pigheadedness in the hearts of many, if not snobbery, as he presupposed the Cro-Magnon man might have felt had he had time to visit Lima, in his space and time for a month or year or decade: surely he’d feel lodged in, as in the iron works of the Eiffel Tower, unable to free himself. But he had to live among what he called, ‘The antes’ the human ants, but never having understood them, life in the big city was moldy to him.
Thus he got thinking, pondering on: Lima: his, friendships, his nature, truths, mythomaina, and etcetera.
He wasn’t like everyone else, he didn’t need to learn how to live, such was his way, he had learned it all at birth, like Adam, in the Garden of Eden, such was his life, he knew everything he needed to know at birth, he was in harmony with the universe: silent, talkative, free, capable, tireless, easy going, just with justice, gifted and satisfied with nothing. He liked music and dance when he was young, and at times intoxication. He even leaned at birth the secret of the creatures and of their world of fatigue, they were satisfied without understanding.
Friends were another thing. It is their duty, a loved one’s duty: say a relatives, friend, or alike, they had a duty to love you, along with their connections, but of course that is rather another matter. I can’t find the right word, he used, but he told me once he had a friend, it was during war, 1971, he got shell-shocked, couldn’t talk for a week, had to be taken out of Vietnam and sent to Japan for recovery, when he had got home from the war, he called him up, and his friend said, “Don’t bother to call again, it only reminds me of that frightful day!” Perhaps the word he adopted thereafter, the one I can’t seem to find is friendships are unavailing, or in vain, or pointless; be that as it may, he had learned only in death do we give admiration due to the beloved, and only for an hour or two. “We love the dead,” he spoke out loud in his truck’s front seat, looking at the door of his house. Then got thinking again: we love the dead because there are no obligations to them any longer. That’s man, he has many faces, he loves to receive love, and he returns love when he gets loved, he loves when someone is lovable, but when he or she is not, it’s another story, and it is seldom unconditional. With tragedy, love awakens, now for the show.
As for man in general, what does he do but read newspapers, magazines, watch sports on television, news, drink beer, fornicate. He does all this to exhaustion; and travel the world out of a mythomaina. And killing, killing people for liquidation, like the little flesh eating fish in the Amazon, whom leave only man’s skeleton when finished.
And as far as Lima went to him it was simply: sidewalks, crossings, an ocean on one side, and mountains on the other sides, all hemmed in by fog, day in and day out; a train that packed you in like sardines, little and big shops everywhere, if you dared to eat in them you had to bring your pills along to cleanse your inners; everyone like everyone else. A city of neon, alcohol, drugs, all emanating like smoke, people like funeral ducks drifting, somnambulists, for all they cared they could be in Bali or Java, or on the moon.
Part of the story “Anthills of Lima”