Music of my Life

Monday, October 4, 2010

Tokyo Culture

They say that Japan is one of the few places in the world you could lose your wallet in the middle of the street and it would remain untouched for you to discover days later. The lost and found culture of respect. Perhaps fear?

I have a friend, she lived in Japan during the 1990's. She worked in a busy shop, nestled among the many businesses in downtown Tokyo. One day as she was walking in to work she saw a small black suitcase on the ground in front of the store. Thinking nothing of it, she went in and proceeded to work all day. After her shift was over, she saw the bag again, unmoved from the spot it had occupied that morning. A slight shuffle within caught her attention. A small noise from the bag strained to reach her ears against the bustling city. She disregarded it and went home.

The next day, upon arriving at work, the suitcase remained. This piqued her interest some, but she went to work. She left work. It was still there. She went home.

The pattern repeated a third day. Not one person touched the suitcase or even acted interested in its existence. As she left work that night, the luggage still stationary, she felt a small wave of unease and curiosity arise within.

On the fourth day, a stench began emanating from the bag. Fighting stronger urges to investigate, my friend worked and went home.

On the fifth day, the smell could no longer be ignored. She and one of her co-workers decided they had to examine the suitcase. There was no name on it, nor was there anything in the outer pockets. They unzipped the largest pocket deliberately, cautiously. The odor seeping out of the container was nauseating. She peeled back the now unzipped lid. The carcass of a baby lay in the center of the bag, its body bloated and discolored.

As she turned away, covering her face, a solitary tear rolled down the woman's cheek and landed upon the child's open palm.

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