Sitting on the steps that lead down to the sea, I watch the sea slaters scurry into rocky crevices each time the waves rise a few centimeters. When the danger is over, they return to the flat steps and approach my feet which I promptly stomp to make them disappear again. I smoke a rare cigarette and look at the constellations that stretch in all directions over me; I do not know the names and do not care to for it is better to leave some things unnamed, unknown.
I sit and smoke and wonder how I would react if at that very moment a sea monster slimed its way out of the water in my direction. Most likely I would just sit there, waiting for it to do as it liked. Unless it was an obvious threat, like if had a face that was nothing but a mouth full of razor-sharp teeth, gnashing in my direction. I would probably have enough sense to scram if that was the case.
Last night in the grocery store there was a Western dude I had never seen before. He was pale with reddish blond hair pulled into a frizzy ponytail and for some reason, I wondered if he was this guy I used to know, despite the fact that they looked nothing alike and my friend was definitely on the other side of the planet. And yet, I wandered the aisles slowly, worried that it was him, that I had failed to recognize him in his evolved state, the state of being slightly shorter and much heavier and balder than when I had seen him last. And with brown eyes instead of blue. I thought how terrible he would feel walking into this suburban Japanese supermarket and not being recognized for who he was. So I decided to go closer, not to confirm that it was not him but to give him a chance to see me, just in case it was him. When he passed by and failed to acknowledge me, I felt relieved. It was just a stranger after all.
All my imaginary friends are circus folk. One walks on his hands the whole time. The other is a giant, like an actual one. I go up to his knee. He is the most understanding of all of my imaginary friends but it is hard sometimes because it gives me a crink in my neck, looking up at him as he talks. When I was younger my imaginary friends were based on people I knew but that proved disappointing because they were rarely as interesting in real life as they were in my head. This was not their fault but all the same, I had to forcibly replace them with a new crowd, who just happen to staff the freak show at a very impressive traveling circus. The only person I don’t get along with is the snake-charmer but that is simply because I do not trust snakes and so therefore I cannot trust the human whom snakes trust.
I know I shouldn’t smoke but I am doing it to quit a bad habit. It satisfies the urge, touches on the deep-seated longing from which the habit was born.
It is not healthy but it is healthier.