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What happened?

At some point I stopped writing but several people that I know now have published books, newspaper articles or something else. It seems that everytime I came out of the ocean somebody I know or am acquainted had published something substantial but me. So, I’m wondering what happened to me?
There was a time when all I wanted to be was a famous writer and I wrote all the time, even keeping a diary and I was very disciplined. I was writing all the time. I started a novel and finally finished it but I couldn’t get published because I didn’t have an agent. I wrote another novel and it was the same scenario. I never stopped writing poetry and I have several hundred poems that I have written in notebooks and on various sheets of paper. Then for some reason I just got dried up on the beach. Now that I am living in Japan I still write poetry and I have written a short story and left other incomplete but it’s not the same.
What can I do?
I thought about just copywriting my stories and then just posting them here online for people to read. I wouldn’t make any money but maybe somebody would take the time to read what I had written. The other option is self publishing but since I just spent several thousand yen building a new road bike it will have to wait until my money is not funny.
My wife has been egging me on to write for some publication be it magazine or something else. Excited about her suggestions I saw several adds for writers in some well known publications here in Japan but I just never pursued it. I just stopped or got sidetracked. Maybe I’m just addicted to social media and so busy watching other people take selfies or other forms of self absorbed activities that I’m not into myself enough. There is a another reality too, my life has changed a great deal from those days. I have a family and I’m working all the time and so when I do have some free time I want to relax and play with my kids or vegetate but who doesn’t have these responsibilities! So, I can’t really use that as an excuse and it must be that I lost my motivation and my ambition because my idealistic dream of how I wanted it to all be didn’t materialize and so I moved onto other things, like making electronic music and cycling.
Recently, after talking with my mother she mentioned an opinion piece my friend had written in the Los Angeles Times. I explained to my mother that in college while working on our school newspaper together we were friends but also rivals, he got the scholarship, apprenticeship to the Los Angeles Times and I went to the LA Weekly. What really made me feel like a seal in an aquarium was seeing that an acquaintance had published an article in the Japan Times. I found out because he talked about it on Facebook. I didn’t know he was a writer and I don’t think I will read his book because of the subject matter.
Now I feel like a sardine. I feel like somebodies lunch. My mother did encourage me to write, not fiction but about something real which is what I never really did before because I was motivated to write fiction. It’s what I wanted to do. There was a vision I had to write the great American novel. I did it for myself but it’s stuck on my computers hard drive getting fossilized. At some point, what I feel will come out and I will get published but I just have to get it out like when you feel you have to vomit and then the words will come to me like some dream. At least I hope it happens that way. Don’t bang on the glass. Thank you!


All I can do at the end of the day is ride my bike home. I’m trying to build a new titanium bicycle. I still can’t get over Prince being dead. He was our generations Jimmy Hendrix. Will I ever get home? This is going to be a long process. In the mean time life moves forward. My son has a big soccer game tomorrow. Hopefully victory awaits us. Nerves of steel. He started younger than me. De ja vu. It’s spelled incorrectly but sums up this moment. At this stage in life your heroes start dying and people you know start to look old. Japan is a difficult place to live in sometimes but I won’t get shot by the police. I can feel the air siphoned away. That’s why what ever you are becomes focused like a laser. Can’t waste time spying on people with Facebook, will move forward word by word.



Prince dying is like art crying. One of the best and most influential artist of a generation. One of the most memorable parts of my life was going to see the movie Purple Rain with my sister. My aunt who had so many of his records before he had become more famous, greatly influenced my appreciation for music. Listening to Princes music made you feel that you could be original and not care what others think about you. That you can make music in your own way and people would respond because it communicated the need to just be yourself.
Yes, I saw him in concert like so many other people. The artist he spun off of his own creativity and their talent he cultivated. It’s the end of an era or just the beginning. The torch has been passed to us. Now, so many people make singles but can’t make albums. I don’t even listen to a lot of new music because I’m too busy discovering music from the past I’ve never heard before. Prince made so much music and some I may never here, it will take decades just like his career. It hard to make people understand how much he influenced generations of his fans in so many ways.
So many of us are slaves to others opinions and cultivate image more than creativity. If you do anything good it will speak for it’s self but there is nothing wrong with being confident. It’s true that he made some music that I did not like and that is the same for any other artist that I like but it’s just rare to find anyone who could do so many things and well.

What now?

It’s funny or it isn’t how you can have a family but still feel alone. An email from the states said someone read my resume and they want me to apply for a job. Should I go home? It’s tempting. At the moment it feels like I’m divorced. I’m here economically and paternally for my sons. What a way to spend spring vacation. It could be worse. Finally it stopped raining and I can go out and ride my bike but it’s still cold. My wife is colder, I love her but we’ve changed. How dumb a statement could that be when nothing stays the same. Nothing is easy in life. Look at the U.S. I love home but this is the first time in a while when I felt so scared to be an American. This election looks so fucked up, Trump is a racist asshole and Hillary and Bernie are boring.
It looks like the end but more exciting in Japan where people just seem to be moving increasingly more faster. I came to this realization that Americans are violent and Japanese are rude.
Which is worse?
Maybe I should take the job. I’ll miss my kids. I already took off once just to go home and see my dad who recovering from a back surgery but is about to have another surgery. Medical loves him. I can’t watch or wait anymore. That’s why I take care of myself physically but mentally it’s a lot harder. My bicycle can’t do everything. How many movies can I watch on Amazon? I could think of worse behavior like paying for storage. There’s things I can’t say on Facebook. People say pictures say a thousand words but some of that is caca because pictures don’t tell it all.
My tongue get’s stuck sometimes when I really want to say something to someone and I realize I didn’t do it. The one good thing to come out of all of this is that I’m writing some poetry everyday but I’m not back to where I was creatively so long ago. I’me so distracted by the internet. I need something else. Children are great. They give me inspiration but I have to know when something is not my fault, whether its external or internal. All I know is that I’m tired of fighting with my wife. Being with her sometimes is like watching someone float down a river on a boat and they tell you to try and jump on their boat and once you land on it they tell you to jump off. She lives life like she rides her bicycle she just takes off and you have to follow her or just find your own way to where ever we were suppose to be going in the first place.
What now?

Face hater

For some reason we make friends with people on Facebook that we normally wouldn’t. Then when they write something or post something that makes us wince and we wonder if we should defriend them. Outside of Facebook it’s easy to not like people but within the world of Facebook, I have to ask myself, “Why am I friends with this person?” Realizing later that they are still the person that does the same things I never liked, which is why I didn’t talk to them in so many years.
At times I’ve detoxed from Facebook. I had a problem with hackers and so I closed my account for a year. It was good to be off and lately I’ve been away again for almost three weeks now and I feel fine. Now I’m contemplating what to do next.
“To defriend or not defined, that is the question.”
I’m not saying I haven’t embelished some things from the past but I did it enough a few years ago to irritate an ex and late I ended up defriending her but now I understand how she was feeling. I wasn’t the the same type of situation recently but someone talked about an issue as if I had not contributed to it, a news story and well this person came off like a self centered jerk.
So here I am wondering what to do next. I don’t mind his wife but as wife’s go she probably tolerates him but recently I realized that he hadn’t changed much like a lot of people and so I am wondering what I should do. Or I am just taking all of this shit too seriously but being the thougtful person that I am I take things personal sometimes, I should say that I’m sensitive but that means I care. Otherwise confront the person head on and leave my conscous clear or just go with the Facebook flow and pretend to like things I don’t like and be friends with people I normally wouldn’t have been friends with after so much time has passed but as they say, “keep your friends close and your enemies closer!”

Woman with dark sun glasses in the rain


Winter has arrived once again here in Japan, almost. It’s getting colder. I ride my bicycle everywhere. Without it I couldn’t get to work. It’s a 50 minute ride. Maybe you know this already. The school year is over here. Unfortunately, it’s not quite over for me. I have to grade some exams but I was stuck home with my son because influenza, which is common here struck his class. So, Saturday and Sunday I’ll be grading tests.
Sometimes while riding to work I see scenes out of movies would make if I could but it’s very much reality. A young woman running across the street and then looking back at a man, presumably here lover. A woman wearing black sunglasses in the rain, standing on the corner with an umbrella. A woman wearing a white shirt and white pants and maybe she was waiting for a cab but out all of these people it’s the women, but I can’t forget the midget I see in a business suit. He looks like he is doing well.
A have a novel to finish and I’m in writers block and blog block and just block. I have to motivate myself and it’s hard. At one time it was my dream to be a famous writer. I’ve written several books but I don’t have an agent so I can’t get published. I have to self publish them. Some are stuck on computers that have crashed. What can I do? No matter what I have to keep writing.
Home looks crazy now. The world once again is obsessed with terrorism because of recent attacks in California and Paris. Thousands of people have died in all of the wars and bombing and blunder in the last two decades. Americans have short memories too. Who do we vote for? This is a white moment. I could say dark but I’ll just say a white moment because so many people seem to be blind to reality when we’ve never had so much access to information at our fingertips.
“The violence, the violence,” I think that is what Brando would say if he could look at the U.S. Here I am in a self imposed exile in Japan. As one year ends another begins but as always I wonder were is it all going. What is in store for us. No matter what I have to keep writing. It’s hard mainly because of trying to make peace with the past and with myself. The memories that creep up like steam from the sidewalk.


I recently had an accident on my bike. I was cut off by someone making a left turn and I slammed on my breaks, flew over my handle bars, bounced off the car and landed on my left knee and my head. Sounds crazy but I survived. I was pissed and punched the side rear window of the car twice. The driver was an old man and the passenger was his wife. They woman came out to check on me and asked if I was ok and I told her to, “look,” in Japanese. Then she casually walked away, got into the car an it sped off. I copied down the license number just in case.
My knee is still healing. I was bummed because I had just had my bike painted, returned from America and I was on my way home with my new foreigner identification card. I was in pain for weeks and I’m just now starting to feel better but it was a reality check. I wasn’t riding that fast but maybe I still had jet lag and I wasn’t all there. My bike was fine but I wasn’t. It was scary and painful. One more reminder that I was mortal. IMG_0939
Now I’m here, Silver Week, enjoying one of the few limited Japanese holidays. Living near Tokyo, everything moves at a dizzying pace and so to have slow-down is great. I have a family, so I’m busy, I also have a small business and I work part-time teaching English. I get burnt out often, sometimes , frustrated. I know some people who have been here over ten years, I know some people who don’t want to go home or can’t go home. I have choices they don’t have but I’m giving myself another five years if not sooner.
Last night I had some dream that I was in some temple but it was flooding from the bottom floors and I was racing to get to another level before the water reached me. It was so weird. At some point I was watching it from a far. What did all of this mean? I don’t know. Everyday here is a challenge, similar to understanding some strange dream you had the night before. I’m glad that I came and I’ve grown a lot but it’s not home. I have a lot here in Japan than some people who have been here longer than me. I’m comfortable but there is always more. I guess I’m never satisfied.
Being home this past summer was great. I went to a local university near my mothers house and talked to an archivist who had built a display about the Watts Riots of 1965. It was fascinating learning about the process of presenting history. A few floors above was an archive filled with historical documents and books about African-American history. I felt like I was in heaven until it was all interrupted by a phone call. It was then that I realised that I had found what I really wanted to do. That I wanted to study more, to learn more about history. That I’m not really doing what I want.
I’m not alone so, I can’t just think about myself anymore. I have children to raise and I’m married. Some people can do it all at the same time. I feel I can too.
For now I’m back in Japan, healing and wondering what my next move is going to be. I had a good vacation but I feel a little bit lost. I’m not satisfied with my work or living her in Japan. I’m anxious to go home and to travel more. I want to do something else. This is not it for me. I was diving for silver dollars at Redondo beach this summer and I remember that feeling I felt of being in the ocean and feeling totally free, and away from the crowds in the cities and on the beach. At them moment though I feel a little lost.

Hooligan, Scouser Co-Workers


A friend of mine is returning to England. He’s one of the few people I get a long with at work. We’ve always talked about going out and having a few beers but it just never materialized. Well, it finally happened. A co-worker came with us. We’ve all been working together for two years. He told me he always got smashed but I could only imagine what that was like. Well, we found a local pub not long far from our job. It was raining but we didn’t care. Finals were over and our grading was done and it was time to party. I honestly don’t like to drink but on some occasions I will. I don’t like to get loud or crazy. I like to keep my self calm because I don’t like trouble and basically it’s not me.
We started off having a few beers and some fish and chips and talking and then he turned into some type of drunken soccer hooligan fiend from North England and grabbing the waitresses ass and trying to pick up on women and talking loud. I admit we were having fun but he was like night and day, a totally wasted prick. I made the most of it but he is a bit touchy and feely and went a little to far rubbing my head but when we return to work after our Spring Break, I will be sure to let him know that I can’t go for that.
In Japan a lot of people drink. Cannabis is hard to find and expensive. There are other drugs but then you are really trying to punish yourself. You might end up on tv like some bloke who smoked artificial weed and ran over some people in Akihabara. I hate cigarettes and if you’ve taught in Japan you know that most schools have a smoking room. I avoid beer except when on occasions and most of the time I’ve been lucky but sometimes I have been wrong. Now I know that I have hang it up.
What a surprise because at work my mate is jovial and calm and funny but now I feel he is a bit of a lush, but more like an alcoholic. This just reminded me why I don’t like to go out to drink anymore. Some people can’t hold their liquor and actually the bar gave us a free drink but it should have been labeled pure moonshine. I had a sip after losing rock, paper, scissors and my stomach is just now recovering. It might have been what set off my friend but in either case we didn’t finish it and my other English friend who is more reserved advised against it and I concurred.
So be careful who you go out with at night. Someone you thought was cool might turn out to be some scouser who likes to live it up a little too much and cause a scene that might make you want to leave as soon as they head off to the toilette.

Where Was I?

Sometimes it’s hard to write. I procrastinate. I finished a book but it’s in Lulu limbo now. I have to finishing editing it. I get sidetracked by life. Things are moving fast but they appear to be moving so slow.
After five years, I’m still here in Japan living outside of Tokyo. People here, appear to have no patience. They don’t want to wait and act as if they can walk through anything like phantoms. It’s impossible to understand. I ride my bike and I don’t drive. My kids are in school and seem happy but sometimes I look lost. I have a job and what I need. Nobody outside is waiting to mug me or shoot me with an Ak-47. Now it’s winter time and I miss the sun. Socially I’m bored. This is life. Its up to me. I’m back on Facebook after three months away but it’s not the same. I’m not the same. Where am I going? I don’t know. I need something more. I think it was a good idea to come here but sometimes I want to go home. This summer I will. Usually I’m a little scared. I went home not to long ago to see my grandmother. She was a vegetable in a hospice. It made me mad and sad. Dying is hard sometimes because people want to keep you around. I don’t want to go out like that. I want to live but when it’s my time, let me die. At the moment the world is fucked up, it could be worse, it could be better. Japan, isn’t happening. I’m not happening. I’m a father. That’s the good part. Maybe it’s good to be at this point. I can’t go back in time, we all want to. Usually there is something that has to be done. I have a lot to do. In the mean time, I’m trying to write it all down. I teach a lot but sometimes I want to jump out of a window and see if I can fly. It’s not possible. I try my best. At times there is no conversation at all, just little quips and jokes about things. A friend is moving back to his country. He’s finished his tour but my mine is just beginning. The house is finished and we play house. Sometimes it’s fun. Sometimes it’s not. What is friendship? I don’t really know but then I have to ask myself what is a friend. I can’t worry about it. I know more about who I am now and some of the little parts of me, like Ghana and Quakers and DNA.
Where was I?

Hacker, hacker go away!


My thumbs are cracked at the tips and hackers got on my nerves last year.
So, I turned off my Facebook page and my Likedin page because it got to the point that they were trying to get me to change my iTunes password and Paypal password but they, who ever they are can’t spell on the fake links they were sending me so it didn’t work.

What did work was some phony Likedin page that sent some malware to my phone and I watched in horror as all my mail was sucked away into cyberspace and the later I got some screwy Likedin email that looked legit but when I opened it, showed a copy of a census image I had sent to a family member because I’m researching my family history. That was the last straw for me so I just dropped out of social networking until I could figure out what to do. I re installed the software on my phone and now its better but it’s also too late for me too.

I miss my friends and sharing my life with everyone but I just didn’t think it would go this far and it really pissed me off. So, now maybe I’ll read more and well I can email the people I really need to connect with. I just wonder why me? Like I stated on my Facebook page before I turned it off, it’s too easy. That’s why they do it. We are all so gullable which is why we fall for the okey doke all the time. I thought I could outsmart them but I fell prey to a fake friend requests on my SNS sites and so now I’m in the dark.

This could be a good thing for me too because now I’m doing all the things I didn’t do when I was always looking at what people were posting or saying and also posting stuff myself. I’m not against it at all but I just felt like the only way to throw the hackers off my ass was to just shut it all down. Now I’m waiting and contemplating like Loose Ends.

I have a friend that does not use Facebook. He tried to tell me it was bad. I didn’t agree with him and I still don’t, I just fell prey to my own openness. It’s sad that you have to be so careful and look so carefully at the email addresses that come into your mailbox. It takes away from the fun and the real intent of being close to people but like in real time human beings are predatory and will look for any opportunity to take advantage of someone and so cyberspace is just one more imitation of real life. Though we recreate ourselves online we also show are true selves sometimes.

I don’t know how long I will stay like this. I told myself I would keep everything shut down for a year. How long will it last? I’m not sure. At the moment I’m not going through any withdrawals. I actually feel good too.

Being online is great. I’ve found friends and lost friends online. Now I wonder where it will all go. I miss my friends but if you really want to contact me, you’ll find a way. I just felt like I had to do it.
It sounds like I murdered someone. In a way I did, my online self. Though parts of me are floating around in cyberspace, I can’t do anything about that. At some point I might change my mind but for now I’m unplugged. A little!