Thursday, June 15, 2017

Things left behind

I don't even know where this took place. It was towards the end of a trip to Tokyo last month, and we took a local train out to a different suburb to roam every day.

Up on the road in front of us, a woman was crossing the street with her friend. A scarf that was tied to her shoulder back was unravelling, and dropped off.

I didn't have the Japanese to call out to her to stop. And there was no point in English. She wouldn't even realise I was shouting to her.

By the time we reached the part of the pavement where she had crossed, she had long gone. The scarf was already part of the roadside detritus. My friend stepped over it. Nobody else had seen how it got there.

Today, a girl sat at the bus stop, reading. The bookmark that she had tucked into the pages slipped out and fell on the floor. It was a home-made affair, cut out of stiff board. The text printed onto it was cut mid-sentence, the words obviously didn't matter. A cord was slipped through the circle cut out by a hole-puncher and knotted into place. The bookmark was something serviceable, not aesthetic.

And so I didn't tell her she dropped it. The bus came, and we both got on. The bookmark was left behind, soon to become part of the litter blowing in the wind.

I don't know why I'm going on about things left behind. I think it's because I'm forced to revisit some things I'd dearly like to leave behind.