From being an interested boy in the mid-90’s, to meeting my first every Japanese friend on Myspace 10 years later, to traveling to Australia where an idea was born. Here it is!
I woke up in the morning to see that an earthquake had taken place in Japan – a country which I described as a “red dot in the middle of a white piece of paper.” Coming from a predominantly Caucasian and African American neighborhood, I was unaware of the way they looked. I only recall seeing seeing the flag in another occasion such as Street Fighter on Super Nintendo.
I asked my mom, “mom, where is this?”
She replied, “Japan, boy!”
I said, “what dat mean?”
She retorted abruptly, “boy, don’t make me smack you in the mouth.”
And there that goes.
Myspace – 2006
At the conclusion of high school, my mom bought desktop computer for our household and once the internet got hooked up, I immediately got on myspace as any captivated teenager would; and shortly after, I found myself in the Japanese forums trying to meet people in Japan.
That moment back in the 90’s rescinded within me to the point I was so enthused about meeting people there – thousands of miles across the pond. And, so I did.
Satomi Nakagawa. She was my first ever foreign friend; however, her English was very limited at the time. Over the course of a year or so, and me being at college in Arizona, we kept in touch (since she was attending university in Miami) leading up to 2008. After a massive argument with my brother that resulted in the police coming to my house and me making the decision to move out of my mom’s house, I moved into a bachelor’s pad apartment with my best friend. It all culminated into a text message from Satomi saying she bought a RT ticket from Kyoto-Las Vegas and she ended up coming to Vegas that August.
When this happened, my life changed forever – it wasn’t necessarily the wondrous Satomi, but the idea was born. The idea whereas satomi dropped on her knees a day before leaving and sobbed before saying, “I’m never going to see you again, am I?
I replied, “I’ll come to see you. I promise.”
And when this happened, I literally made an oath to myself that I would see her again, even if it was the last time.
Early May Morning – 2009
Email to Satomi: “Satomi, you’re in Australia going to school, right? I’m thinking of traveling this summer and would love to come see you, only if I could stay at your duplex with you friend for the two days and not pay hotel. HA!”
I went from being at a moped shop the day before and almost giving up 1500$ for one of them, to going to Australia on July 22nd, 2009.
Life is a game of inches, as Al Pacino once said. Why? If I had bought that shiny blue moped, I would’ve never gone to Australia – resulting in a cubicle job for the next ten years.
Yes, I met a girl named Satomi, and I did fall in love with her. Well, that’s what I originally thought, but it wasn’t her…..it was the idea of going abroad for the first time and seeing how much of a magnificent world I lived in.
8 countries, lots of experience, and a compelling story later….HERE I AM!
Thank you, Satomi. Regardless of the fallout, it was the idea in our short-story that got me to where I am today.