Kawai Kanjiro’s House in Kyoto, Japan. Kawai Kanjiro (passed away 1966) was a Japanese potter and a key figure in mingei (Japanese folk art) and studio pottery movements
I am in a basement with a few older men in suits. I stand in the middle of the room, and one of them takes my vest and hoodie and bag away from me. Other similar-looking guys are filing into the room, chatting and having a good time. I seem to be the main attraction, like art. I don’t think to say anything or move from that spot. But I am very aware of my posture - back straight, legs spread, hands folded in front of me. An aggressive stance. I’m glaring at the wall. It’s a silent protest. But these dudes are still coming up to me and looking me in the eye and appraising my body. One of them, and I remember this very clearly, runs his clammy palm, with his fingers outstretched, over my shoulder and down the front of my black arm while he’s standing behind me. I’m taller than he is.
Eventually everyone gets ready to leave and they give me my things back, but they’re sort of putting them on me in a way that doesn’t feel right. They make sure my vest is zipped up all the way to the neck, and that my pocketknife is on my belt instead of in my pocket. They try to get my hair to lay flat. Eventually I get into the back seat of a car and realize that a pen must have burst in my bag because there’s ink everywhere, and I’m getting it on my fingers and probably my face too because I’ve been messing with my hair, trying to make it big again.
I am let off at an outdoor commercial plaza and B. is there. I haven’t seen him in years. He still looks like an innocent golden retriever of a man. I am happy to see him, and embarrassed because I’ve changed so much physically since we last saw each other. He remains as bright and fair as he was at 18, while I was gripped by a sort of darkness that he wouldn’t understand. He takes a step back, and I take a step forward, and then we’re sort of cantering alongside each other, and then he’s moving into the plaza, and I go after him, and then we’re both sprinting. I always had a faster stride, but he is more agile, and is braver about going over obstacles instead of going around them. The plaza is very narrow. I am seeing it from above, and can see us breaking through throngs of people.
I am the ghost in this house
Nakagin Capsule Tower
Ginza • Tokyo • Japan
via: 1972 project By Noritaka Minami