She sat in the backyard on the hottest day of the year. Everyone was under shade, in the waters at the beach, or hidden behind their fortress of airconditioned comfort. Not her.
The girl sat in the brilliant sunlight like a fading statue while the wisp of black hair escaped from her two pigtails and matted to her fine damp neck. She used the back of her palm to wipe the sweat from her freckled forehead. Madness, they said. She was absolute madness. It had nothing to do with the thermometer reaching 118 degrees outside or that the rays were burning her pale, almost translucent skin. It had everything to do with her mind.
But it was only because it was untouchable and it all started with a question.
“How could you like this song?” It was asked by a Japanese foreign exchange student that added to her mother’s long collection of foreign students who swept through the house, semester after semester. They came, conquered, and left back to their motherlands life heroes. She stayed.
The song was rap. It talked of women bent over with a baby on her back. The men ragged of hustle, hustle, and then, of course, DOUGH. So damn original and sincere. Very appropriate for all ages as it blasts on the radios in every car, stereo, and home (all day everyday, baby). So on a regular day when the ordinary American girl with unordinary features sat in the kitchen looking out the window with music in the background, Kengo came up to her and looked her in the eyes. She had no idea what he felt. His expressions were like looking for color on a blank piece of paper.
“How could you like this song?” It had been the first time in a month that he had come downstairs to make an effort of conversation. Kengo took the tiny rusted radio in his hands and threw it on the floor, instantly shattering the ancient artifact. Before she had a chance to answer or move, he was gone back to his fortress of solitude and books. She looked at the broken radio but only saw the words of the question floating in the air above the only evidence of his emotions.
That night she lay in bed and thought about his question. Maybe it was the radio crashing into the linoleum floor or the lack of music which had once filled her mind but she could think of nothing else but the WHY? She didn’t know why; she just did. She couldn’t relate to the words. What the hell did she know about twerking it hard? Her hustle consisted of waking up in the morning and scheming for pocket money from her parents. When she tried to play the song back in her head, there was nothing. Why…
After that day when she woke up in the morning she met every moment with that very same WHY and if it didn’t hold her interest for more than 11 seconds, it was left in a pile of dust covered forgottenness. And so the rest of the world thought she was crazy. She didn’t talk about the things everyone else talked about. She didn’t complain about the heat because she thought it felt so much nicer than cold. She walked the streets looking up into the clouds because she no longer had the patience for people around her who loved what they loved because they were cornered into loving it. They weren’t shown the different gardens in the world. They were only given daisies and weeds.
Thank you Kengo, she would sometimes whisper to herself (which certainly didn’t help her standing in society), You helped me see the orchids, liliess, the blossoms, the plumerias. All in the form of a broken radio and floating question.
Think for yourself lovely.