They bustle with a mission on their mind. All have the same idea, yet each a different purpose. The absolute silent country in the world is as deafening as an airplane which hovers over the maze of streets, tortuous tunnels and the immense mass of buildings now and again.
Zebra crossings are squashed underneath the business shoes of millions who trudge their way to their 9 to 5. I’m the only tourist in the horde. Me, standing a whole head above the tallest person in a western influenced city that is yet to be taken over by the smell of coffee, popular as it is. The street signs are not as vibrant as the later hours. In a blatant manner, they sit. Staring down at the early goers from above. Watching every living minute pass. Yet time goes on.
X marks the spot.
‘Smack Bam’ straight in the middle. A bird passes over head. I imagine the it’s pint of view, the 4 way intersection splits the the city in quarters. The concrete hiding the true beauty of the surface, hidden behind a cement mask. This broken, technology stricken realm has been tweaked, transformed into a home to an advanced society, futuristic as they are traditional. Old fashioned as they are modern.
Like a smoke cloud, the carbon dioxide exhaled from the flock is thick. It’s as if time has no effect on it. It moves in slow motion. Grey, unpredictable, its spontaneous movements, twisting and folding in on itself as it rises up into the contrasting blue sky.
The traffic is calm. Not often you see many cars around this intersection. Too many people. It’s amazing to me the amount of people whom pass this intersection daily. I’m just a bystander. Watching the world pass.
They hustle with fun on their minds. All have the same prospect, yet a different view. The utmost reticent nation in the world is now louder than an earthquake.
Once again, those poor zebra crossings never stood a chance, pummelled by the nocturnal explorers on their way to discover some exotic fantasy. They disperse at the outskirts of the crowd and I’m standing in the middle of it. It’s strange; Japanese people are short compared to me. Notably, I was only 13 at the time and the odd tourist sized me up as they passed.
One golden yellow star is gone like the early goers. Replacing that warmth is the fluorescence of the street stores ranging in a vast variety of cultures and topics. The orbiting moon stands her ground, drowned by the artificial light, pulsating from the endless city.
The smell of the soys and the spices, new to many, have caught the attention of the stray pedestrian on an empty stomach. From local or afar they come to gaze upon the ever-changing hub of the metropolis. This place has been reborn in a matter of hours becoming a place of wonder.
The street signs now gazing down on us once again, this time they are alive with colour, unreadable to the English eye. Raised high for all to see, but not all to acknowledge.
I again revisit the the view of a bird gazing down on the pathways of streets and tunnels that are lit up like a match to a trail of gasoline. Light to darkness. The whole pictured displays the wards of Tokyo which are dispersed into sections of the Rubik’s cube. Intricate, hard to solve, hard to navigate. I’m there to complete the entirety of the puzzle; collect the pieces that have been scattered around the world for me to pick up. For me to complete the picture. Organised chaos. What can I say? I’m just a bystander. Watching the world pass.
My breath from my lungs is dense. It’s not affected by space. Mixed, neon, it’s unpredictable patterns, blowing like flames from a disheveled dragon.