9/16/08
Ishida House, Matsudo

The weather was nice today. It was raining this morning, so I had to use an umbrella to get to the station. Apparently there's a typhoon down south making trouble, this is probably remnants of that. Everything cleared up back to normal by the time evening came around, though.

On the way home I walked over to this building in east shinjuku with a used music shop on the seventh floor. I was looking for this Puffy song that's been stuck in my head since I heard it on the airplane, but they only had it on an album for $15 bucks. That seemed a little tall for one song, so I tried Bic Camera. They didn't have the single either, so I gave up and went home.

In shinjuku station the neatest thing happened. Let me preface by noting that Shinjuku Station is the busiest train station in the world. The only thing more striking than how big it is is the fact that all that space is crammed full of people walking one way or another, twenty-four seven. I don't know the actual numbers (no internet...), but it wouldn't surprise me if close to a million people walk through it every day.

As I approached the gates, I extracted my train pass and my DS from my backpack. Ebbing with the flow of people, I made my way to my train. I thought to myself, "Oh shoot, I meant to buy a new stylus for my DS back at the store, my old one is getting a bit worn out. Oh well." Just as I reached the stairs to the platform, I glanced down and noticed that I had been clutching my DS in such a fashion that oriented the stylus slot downward, and there was no stylus to speak of. I stopped abruptly, and after getting my back to a wall so I wouldn't disrupt the foot traffic too much, I looked around. Back the way I had come, I could hardly see the floor through all the people, much less a little white bit of plastic on it. I craned my neck a bit, but it was painfully clear that I would never see my stylus again. Even if I had dropped it only twenty seconds earlier, it probably would have been stomped or kicked into an oblivion by now.

Resigned, I moped slowly up the stairs, as dozens of annoyed Japanese commuters swarmed past me. It was only an old bit of plastic, but my game system felt naked without it. I assured myself that I could just buy a new one tomorrow, and that it wasn't really a big deal. Nevertheless, I was really thinking I needed some cheering up right about then. No sooner had I thought that when I saw something glisten on the stair I had just climbed. I looked over, trying to define the small black object on the black step. Had I been a few feet to the right, I would have stepped on it. Forgetting about annoying commuters, I hesitantly approached the object; it looked sort of like a small pen. My mind had at that point been preoccupied with a certain similarly sized object, so I understood that what I thought I saw was probably too good to be true. I blinked, and reached down and picked up what I confirmed was an honest-to-goodness DS lite stylus. I looked around for anyone else who might be looking for something, but there wasn't a soul who didn't seem to have a desperately important appointment to get to.

I examined the prize as I started climbing the rest of the stairs, marveling at my bizarre fortune. It couldn't have been on that step for too long, because it still seemed to be in pretty good shape. It had clearly been trodden on a few times, but a few wipes and the scuffs all but disappeared. I slipped it into my DS, and it clicked snugly as if it had come in the same box. The color was different from my old one, a dark navy instead of white, but I was ready for a change of pace in that respect anyways. As I got to the platform, my train pulled up. Before I boarded, I gave a moment to whoever lost they're stylus for me, and hoped that they would find mine, wherever it may be. It was all I could do to resist giving a whoop and fist pump as I stepped aboard.

Life can be pretty nifty sometimes. That is the most happiness I ever imagined that two cents of plastic could provide me.

4 comments:

mamagotcha said...

That was an incredibly cool story!

Julia said...

The average number of daily users at Shinjuku station, according to Wikipedia: 3,525,560.

Jeff said...

no stylus "to speak of"... lol ... humor and poignancy from a moment in a train station. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Way cool! Janet (h.s. mom)