Friday, November 14, 2014

Hitting the Mark

There I was standing on the northbound platform just minding my own business when I spied him out of the corner of my eye, calling out from the other side of the train tracks. He was hard to miss with his eight foot bow and arrows in tow, an amateur archer I supposed. From his platform perch he motioned in my direction, but he seemed to be beckoning to anybody but me and oddly enough, or not, I was the only one paying him any attention.

Then luckily, or not, his cries managed to penetrate the cool veneer of a young hipster (he had sunglasses) who had just joined the ranks of the northbound traveling band. The young man picked up the piece of paper that pops across the way had been desperately pointing to all this time. "It's nothing," he screamed with a look of utter disdain as he flung the small scrap of certainly something to the south corner of the earth. When the wind returned it to whence it came I could just make out that that something really was just about nothing, simply somebody’s discarded receipt from the nearby Mos Burger fast food joint.

Looking a little sheepish the old archer did exactly what I would have done if I had been in his shoes - shift the blame on somebody else. So he saw an easy target and took his best shot, saying, "Sorry! I thought the foreign gentleman dropped it and that perhaps it was something important."

Suddenly the same crowd who had ignored this voice from the other side for the better part of five minutes were all ears, and all eyes for me. Their cold stares pierced my core like poison-tipped arrows. “No it’s not mine,” I protested, but I cried out in vane as they turned away to board the just-arrived train, leaving me with all the blame. Feeling nothing but shame I acted a little insane and kicked that receipt as if I were kicking a field goal in a football game. Then as I watched it float to the ground below, my gaze fell upon the sharp eyes of my southbound foe with the bow and in them I saw the sense of supreme satisfaction. He had hit the mark and the mark was me.

 Note: These drawings are just temporary placeholders. I'm going to do them over in oils on canvas. In the meantime just imagine them in all their future glory!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Poisoned Minds

I wonder what’s going through the minds of the folks at the Yokohama Board of Education. According to a recent story in the Japan Times the city’s Board of Ed has recalled a junior high school textbook due to its “descriptions of the mass lynching of Koreans following the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake.” 

During the aftermath of that massive temblor, fear mixed with old hatreds to create a tornado of violence that swept up Yokohama’s small ethnic Korean community in a path of death and destruction. In his book, Yokohama Burning, Joshua Hammer writes that army commanders whipped up rumors about Korean well poisonings.” The lies added more fuel to the fire as vigilantes roamed the streets, hunting for human prey. 

Here in Yokohama's Temple Valley people still recount how a few hundred people fleeing for their lives sought sanctuary in the local police precinct station under the command of one Tsunekichi Okawa. The story goes that not long after this desperate group of innocent men, women and children were safely nestled within the confines of the precinct premises, state-sanctioned killers showed up looking for their pound of flesh. 

It was then that Okawa, a man of quite ordinary stature emerged from within. Staring the prospect of his own death straight in the eye, he is said to have looked the rabble up and down and told them "if you want to kill them, you'll have to take my life too, but first go and fetch me a jug of that poisoned well water you're crying about." Then jug in hand, Okawa downed the entire contents of the vessel proving beyond a doubt what he already knew. The poison was all in their minds, where it still seems to be today.

(Originally posted on The Temple Valley Times, August 29, 2013)

The Mailman Knocks

"Is this you sir?," the mailman asked. "I couldn't think of anyone else this could be for around here except you."

I told him my name wasn't Candyholic and he walked away with the undelivered envelope and a puzzled look on his face. 

Maybe he knew me better than I knew myself.

(Originally posted on The Temple Valley Times, August 7, 2013)

What's In Store

I don't have a store but if I did, I would sell these:


Related post: The Cone Zone

(Originally posted on The Temple Valley Times, July 29, 2013)

Learning to Relax

Craneview Junior High
Ahhh sweet summer vacation! This is the moment school kids clad in hot wool uniform pants and skirts have been literally itching for all semester long. It's hang time, nothing to do but kick back and chill out. 

That is unless your my son Jiro or one of the five hundred and twenty five some odd other young scholars who attend Temple Valley's Craneview Junior High School. Early this morning I found the lad completely decked out in his formal school regalia, including the wool pants, white button down shirt, tie, the whole works. Lunch pail in hand and out the door by 8 am, he was headed off to a full day in the world of academia,well at least a full day of art club. 

Craneview Junior High is where he and nearly all the rest of his schoolmates will be spending every day for the next two weeks and then on and off for the rest of the summer vacation. While they'll be whiling away the hours in club activities (and just about everybody belongs to a school club or sports team of some sort) they'll be learning a thing or two too. One thing you can rest assured they won't be learning though is how to relax.

Related post: A Sticky Situation

(Originally posted on The Temple Valley Times,  July 22, 2013)