January 31, 2010

happy birthday, Yabu!

山下翔央, Yamashita Shoon, Ya-Ya-yah
That green-eyed monster (a fictional letter from Shoon)

Dear Yabucchi,

at first I thought you were joking when you said you wanted a letter from me for your birthday. 'People don't write letters anymore', you complained to me in quite a big distress. (It's cute when you get all indignant about things like that, things you can't do much about anyway.) You had received the odd postcard from a friend on vacation, yes, valentine cards -more, I suspect, than you're willing to admit-, letters from school or the jimushô, but never a real letter. I supposed it was some romantic notion you got from a movie, or maybe a book. But you seemed so sad about it. You said you wanted a long letter too, a meaningful one, addressed to you.

So here I am, sitting on my bed indian-style, writing in the still of the night, when the house is asleep. This is not my first attempt, mind you. The carpet looks like my class in primary school did when the teacher left the class for five minutes and we started a paper ball fight. The thing is... the thing is this is the first time in my life I write a letter, a real one. After several failed attempts I was rather frustrated, but then I closed my eyes, pictured you in my mind, and tried to imagine I was talking to you.

We don't have many chances to talk lately, do we? I remember how much it amused me when you discovered, a few years ago, that I was 'surprisingly easy to talk to'. I was surprised myself at you as well, couldn't you tell? I still don't know how it happened. It felt as if one day, when I was sleeping, the aliens abduced the whiny, cheeky brat -don't frown like that, you know you were!- and replaced him with this shy boy who was outgrowing me so fast I couldn't help but worry a bit.

Things got awkward -very- and even now I squirm a little when I remember the silly smiles, your quickly looking away from me every time I caught you looking... Then we started talking, for real, and if I had to pinpoint the exact day and moment, I'd say it was when I got both of us lost in Hawaii. I never told you I was a little anxious as it started getting dark and we still hadn't found our way to the hotel. You were perfectly calm, though, and when we finally got there you told the others you hadn't been the least afraid because you were with me. I want to go back to Hawaii with you and get us lost again. I want to get lost with you anywhere.

You should beware; thoughts of kidnap have been going through my head. I miss you. I want something more than a few moments stolen from your busy schedule, want something more than text messages or whispered conversations on the phone when we're both half asleep.

I miss the strangest things, like seeing you wear the ugly outfits the four of us became so attached to. I miss school - or rather, being there and spotting you in the corridors, at the library... I miss going back home with you. I miss watching you during practice, bantering with Taiyô over the silliest thing, fooling around with Hikaru.

These days I'm jealous of everyone that gets to spend more time with you than me. Tottsu, Keito... but mostly I feel jealous of Hikaru, which is so absurd I feel absurd too. I'm even jealous of that horde of screaming fans you have now. The other day, flipping through the channels, I caught the Shokura re-run -I miss that too-, and the screams were defeaning. It irked me quite a bit. They didn't scream that much before you got so annoyingly tall and lean and got that dark, dangerous heroe look... which you spoil the moment that old-man smile of yours shows up.

I wonder how many of them can claim, like me, to love that silly smile, to have liked you even when you had that high-pitched voice you used to have and that terrible bowl haircut, when you were bossy and noisy and not much taller than my waist. Sometimes I worry I'll fade slowly for you, like a face in the crowd, now you're surrounded by so many people and getting so far away from me, now you're receiving so much praise and flattery. I'm scared. Please say you still love me? I love you still the same.


This was supposed to be my entry for Yabu's birthday, but I don't know how it ended up being a fictional letter from Shoon. I don't know if that can be even considered a ficlet, but... This was inspired by a song titled Marble Halls sung by the Norwegian singer Sissel (mainly because of the line from the refrain: "I also dreamt (...) that you loved me still the same") and also by a poem (Rhyme LIII) written in the 19th century by one of my favourite poets, Becquer (mainly because of the last lines: "as I have loved you... make no mistake, they won't love you like that!"). Below you can find the song, and also the original poem and it's translation.

Marble Halls


Volverán las oscuras golondrinas / en tu balcón sus nidos a colgar, / y otra vez con el ala a sus cristales / alegres llamarán. // Pero aquellas que el vuelo refrenaban / tu hermosura y mi dicha a contemplar, / aquellas que aprendieron nuestros nombres... / ¡esas... no volverán! // Volverán las tupidas madreselvas / de tu jardín las tapias a escalar, / y otra vez a la tarde aún más hermosas / sus flores se abrirán. // Pero aquellas, cuajadas de rocío / cuyas gotas mirábamos temblar / y caer como lágrimas del día... / ¡esas... no volverán! // Volverán del amor en tus oídos / las palabras ardientes a sonar; / tu corazón de su profundo sueño / tal vez despertará. // Pero mudo y absorto y de rodillas / como se adora a Dios ante su altar, / como yo te he querido...; desengáñate, / ¡así... no te querrán!


The black swallows will return / to hang their nests on your balcony, / and once again will knock in play / against your window panes; // but those that stopped their flight and perched / to observe your beauty and my good luck, / those who learned to know our names... / those... will not return! // The honeysuckle will return, / to climb the walls in your garden, / and open once again at evening / their even more beautiful flowers, // but those blooms that were full of dew / where we saw the trembling drops / fall like tears of the day ... / those... will not return! // Ardent words of love will return / to sound and resound in your ears; / and your heart from the depths of sleep / perhaps will wake again; // but silent, absorbed, on bended knee, / as men worship God at His altar, / as I have loved you ... make no mistake, /they won't love you like that!

PS: Translation of the text on the header, for the curious: (left) "Fire is the test of gold; adversity, of strong men." (this is a quotation by Seneca) (right) "Someday I want to try and fly into the sky for real." - "Happy 20th birthday, Yabu!"