When I lived in Japan I used to go for walks late at night, find a park bench under a street light and write songs until my hand grew sore from holding my pen. Sometimes I would write heartfelt poetry. I’m serious.
Even though I sang and danced for a living I couldn’t read or write music so I made up a scale of dashes and dots to help me remember the melodies I created. My dad bought me a little handheld tape recorder and I sang into it to further jog my memory. I sang quietly so no one would hear. There was rarely anyone around that late, but just in case I hummed and whispered.
I don’t do that anymore (sit on deserted streets humming made up songs). Now every now and then I walk around and take photos.
I took these in Chinatown in Victoria about a month ago on a cold, bright Saturday afternoon.
I have forgotten all but one of the melodies I made up all those years ago. I’ve since lost my tape recorder, and my notebook with all it’s dashes and dots is at the bottom of a paper pile somewhere, unopened.
But I remember what it felt like to sit outside, alone but warm at midnight. I remember what it felt like to get an unheard string of notes just right. To close my notebook, stand up and slowly walk home through the dark.
And I’m glad I did that goofy shit back then because even though it’s a little embarassing now it sure was lovely.