I’m sorry for the lateness of this update. I hope you didn’t worry too much. I’ve been thinking a lot about what happened yesterday. Thank you for the messages of support. I’m still pretty shook up, but as everyone keeps telling me, there wasn’t anything else I could have done. I have tried calling the police again about the body still lying in the street, but again I had no answer.

I was originally thinking that I could just cover it with a taupaulin or something, but it doesn’t really feel like enough. I couldn’t just leave it there for the birds. “It,” I mean “him…”

Instead, I decided to do what he had done and try to cremate him. I went down to where he lay in a massive pool of dried blood. It was more than I had remembered… The bloodied bag of soft drink still lay next to him. I tried not to look at it. I couldn’t dwell too much though, as I was nervous standing out in the open like that, so I grabbed him by the arms and tried to drag him. I knew in an instant that he was too heavy to move. Damn! I thought that might have been the case, so I went around to the back of the house and took some wood from the pile. I stacked this up on top of him with some kindling, and set it alight.

I poured some water into a bucket, which I kept nearby and watched the flames search the creases of the man’s body. It’s hard to say how I felt. I was just numb. The man lived alone with his wife, so the house was now unoccupied. As the flames grew bigger, the smell of burning hair, flesh and clothes filled my nostrils. I gagged a little, but managed to control myself this time. I don’t really want to get used to this smell, and I kind of hope that that doesn’t happen. As I watched, I absentmindedly pulled at the handle of the sliding door. It was unlocked.

I looked back at the fire in the middle of the street, and then inside the house and sighed. I’d come this far. Taking a little look around couldn’t make it things any worse. Good to get away from the smouldering body for a few minutes anyway.

Yoshi's place 2Unconsciously I took off my shoes before stepping up the into the entrance. In
retrospect, there probably wasn’t much point anymore, but it felt weird to go into a Japanese house with shoes on. I walked around the rooms of the wooden building, but it was obvious that there wasn’t much there that would be of use.

In the end I made a small pile of things in the entrance, that included toilet paper, some rice, bottled water, a few beers and a guitar. I didn’t play, but if I’m going to be spending a lot of time in the apartment, I figured it might be a good time to learn. I thought about taking a picture, but decided to leave it. I carried all of this back home, and as the fire was starting to die down, I finished it off with the bucket of water. I found a tarpaulin in the house, which I used to wrap up the charred remains and buried the man in the backyard. My clothes reeked of ash, so I washed them and had another cold shower. And to think, I used to complain about kids climbing me like a tree at lunch time! God, I wish for those days…

 

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