Home: Simple Pleasures in a Strange World

8 years old

I lived in a single home until I was 8 years old. I don’t remember much about it, but I can recall some scenes.

My parents had two daughters and one son. I am the last. My family lived in a small single home in an alley with my youngest uncle and a cousin because they went to university in my home town.

My sister was too big for me — she was five years older. I played with my brother for a long time. (I was the leader of the boys.) And we leased part of the house to a new married couple. I loved to visit them and their baby.

A woman from a family who lived upstairs had some unfamiliar religion, so sometimes I heard some strange talking.

The ground of the alley was just soil for a long time, so we could play many things there. The best thing was playing marbles. It needs a fist-sized hole, so I couldn’t play marbles in the paved alley.

The house next door was a multiplex. There was a scary woman. When she got angry with her children, she turned them out-of-doors naked. I didn’t understand her for a long time.

Every evening at sunset, mothers of kids came out and called their children to have dinner. I didn’t know at the time, but that was a really warm and beautiful scene.

One holiday, right before we moved to another apartment, a lady living upstairs came down and into my home without me noticing and called to my mom near the front door. They said something very silently but seriously and went out quickly.

Hours later, I heard my friend died of encephaloma the morning of surgery. I didn’t even know he had a disease. It was the first death I faced.

14 years old

We moved to an apartment. I went to school far from my home. I didn’t have any friends in the neighborhood. I shared a room with my sister, but she still ignored me, and my brother was preparing for an entrance exam to university. I hardly saw them and have few memories of them.

One of my school friends loved manga and introduced me to it. I read it quite a lot. I also loved to ride my bicycle alone and phone my friend for hours at the public phone. It was a big pleasure.


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