Tokyo Metro Dreams

A team of workers is in charge of setting up tables and chairs, along with various foods, on the subway tracks. Customers jump off the platform and hurriedly get down on the tracks to sit at the tables and eat. The workers help them down by pushing them while they descend carefully, most of the time. The workers leave after giving everyone enough time to enjoy their picnic without worrying about the next subway. Another subway is coming, and it will be here any minute. The workers undo the chairs and table and rush back to the platform. Some customers are still seated on the tracks when they hear a rumble from a train arriving from another direction. The workers help them climb back onto the platform by pushing on their butts. The transit vehicle hisses and belches and tears the tables and chairs apart.  Sometimes, if the driver arrives too early, he'll be reprimanded for disrupting the life of customers who are enjoying their picnic on the subway tracks, which must be above all festive.

 

*

 

In the subway, I saw the Sniffer. A plain, bland guy in the gray suit, drawn for suicide. He approached a girl in concentric circles, taking in more and more particles of smell from her body. She is in the center, in uniform. He surely prayed that she didn't wash in the morning. When he approached two centimeters of her skirt (he never touches them), he moved back abruptly. He dropped out of his orbit. His mission was completed. The girl was sad. "I know," she said, "my smell aged. I am no longer a fairy. I no longer beckon to travel to the forested lands where he is the guardian. I hope he can still send me some money regularly, for the memory, maybe, my Long-Legged Boar."

 

*

 

I’m in the public restroom. The man in the next stall takes a lot of time to take out his stuff and cries as he does it. When I’m done with my business, I notice a pigeon staring at me from the sink. It has a piece of paper attached to its leg. Once the paper is removed, the pigeon flies away, hits the wall, and falls dead at the foot of the man who continues to search frantically between his legs. "You should stop," I say. "You think so?" He pulls up his pants and walks out of the bathroom, happy. On the piece of paper, I read the message: Meet in the park, for a good cause. The man who was looking for his penis comes back and says, "Don’t go there. They will ask you to drink gasoline and shout a ridiculous slogan." I thank him for the advice. As I wash my hands, I notice that another pigeon is staring at me with a threatening look. This time I ignore it.

 

*

 

A salaryman falls asleep in the Yamanote; before long, his organs seem to move into his right leg, and soon, the entire man has turned into a leg. He has achieved a dream of his: turning into a high school leg. He sneaks under the skirt of a girl who does not notice him at first. He feels her swollen groin against the back of his body-leg. But he feels no excitement. He expected to feel his toes become erect. Anyway, he is happy to support this young girl. Another salaryman, who turned into an arm, crawls toward the girl. Under the skirt of the slumbering girl, the arm clasps the gigantic foot. A fight breaks out between the two men: one of them slaps with his articulated foot against the spidery hand. The watch worn by the arm-man rings; the siren of the Yamanote shrieks. It’s time for its passengers to get off. Later, in a pink room, the young girl wakes up with a much longer leg than normal, punching madly at the air in anger. Her right arm is covered in thick fur and feels soft down against her chest as if someone were rubbing her with saké-soaked towels.

 

*

 

On the subway, a man starts to embroider a pattern under the skirt of a schoolgirl. A crowd gathers around them and applauds. The man is absorbed in his work, unaware that an anti-broderie policeman disguised as a woman has grabbed his wrist. "I couldn't resist," the man says. "As soon as I think of a fabric, I want to embroider my art on it." The policeman sighs. "The law is the law," he says. A retired lawyer disguised as a woman stands up. She asks the schoolgirl to remove her panties so that the man's work can be judged. The crowd discusses the embroidered pattern and concludes that it isn't bad work, but they aren't sure whether it constitutes art. Meanwhile, the embroiderer sews his lips and eyelids shut.

 

*

 

The heatwave has melted the business cards, and we no longer recognize our neighbors. Suicidal compilation videos are being played loudly in people’s heads. An employee sleeps in the subway, wearing a muzzle. A high school girl takes a pin out of her pocket and scratches the man’s hand. “You think I wrote on your hand but you are wrong. I wrote in your brain. I caused a scuffle in your sensation cellar. Your skin is the whisperer of our impossible story." The man does not wake up; he purrs behind his muzzle. Another young girl arrives; she pricks her finger with a needle and brings it to her mouth. "The function of sewing is hijacked. Your function of imagining has become a sewer. You get lost in your rusty pipes." The man opens an eye. He realizes that he has a muzzle in his mouth, and he wants to scream. Another young girl sits down; she is not entirely national in color, and she has progressive ideas crawling under her skin. She holds a piece of grass in each hand. "Somewhere in the country, there are two living holes. The samples of your desire, which I hold in my hands, are withering away." The girl puts one of the pieces of grass into her mouth, and her eyes become entirely black; her hair is brighter than the reflection of the moon in a puddle of gasoline; her clothes melt away to reveal a very tight bikini. The employee screams behind his muzzle; the other passengers get up and put the muzzled employee and the girl in the bikini in a large transparent plastic bag. A passenger pulls the emergency stop, and “Passenger Incident” appears on an LCD screen. Two minutes later and the scene is gone. A single worm is writhing on the shoulder bag of a beautiful woman disappearing up the escalator in front of me.

 

*

 

The first man slipped his hand under the skirt of a tetanized schoolgirl and then started to hold a high and perfect soprano note. His descending, melodic line pierced the noisy silence in the subway like a ray of sunlight through a dark cloud. Normally sullen and half-asleep passengers closed their eyes in delight. Another man, caressing the thighs of a trembling woman, started to sing a choral line from fifths. It was a very gentle counterpoint, like the dream of a flower. The third man scratched his greasy hair against the back of a saleswoman as he joined in harmony with the other two. In seconds, a ten-man choir resounded in the car, to the mystical joy of the passengers. Everyone wanted to film the lyrical performance with their smartphones, and their images trembled with emotion. The train stopped as if to savor this musical happiness for a moment. The assaulted women were choir-crying, and their cries sounded like the squeaking cello melted in a Bach suite.