…to spend just one day at a previous time in my life, whenever I get the urge. And I get the urge a lot. I’d only want a day, that’s not much to ask, is it?
This was the weird thought I had the other day while watching LA Story, a film I hadn’t seen for 20 years. Naturally watching this film got me reminiscing about the last time I’d watched the film (or last approx. thirty times, to be more accurate).
In my final year at University I lived in a flat with five friends.
The flat had a video recorder. In those days, 1993, this was a rare treasure. However, we owned no videos between us, being the impoverished students that we were. So a friend lent us three videos to watch sporadically during the year. They were: The Life of Brian, LA Story and one other I can’t remember. We watched them all many times over during the year. We would regard watching one of these videos as a ‘special treat’. I hadn’t watched LA Story since that time (having got to the stage of knowing it line-for-line) until two nights’ ago. So that is why watching it after such a gap made me desperately wanted to go back to an evening of watching it with my flatmates.
My current book is a translation of a Japanese novel about two people (a student and a teacher) who meet many years after first knowing each other. They enter into a strange relationship based on their mutual disconnection from society. This relationship is largely carried out in Japanese eateries and bars, and partly on a mountain trek looking for mushrooms. There is a lot of imagery in the book of the Japanese eateries they meet in, the food they eat and the beer and sake they drink.
It is a lovely little book and vividly takes me back to my two years living in Japan (1995 to 1997). Reading this (not at the same time as watching LA Story) makes me long to step back to a day in 1995 and walk around Iwatsuki, a small town (officially a city, the city of dolls) north of Tokyo, where I lived.
If I could go back it would be a Sunday and I’d simply walk around town and visit all my favourite places: the Big 10 Video Store (possibly to browse the Julia Roberts shelf, or the Bruce Willis shelf), the ‘philosophy’ shop (to buy milk with a straw) and Saty the department store (to take ‘puri kuraa’ (print club) photos).
Would I have time for a quick bowl of raamen before coming home? I hope so.