Fiction: I was odd and might be absurd


Text and Photo by Yoshihiro Kaneda

I felt dizzy whenever I went to the Izumitamagawa station. Whenever I went to the Komae station next to the Izumitamagawa station, I didn’t feel any sickness.

One day I went to the meeting of The Association of Measuring Radiation in Komae City. There were around ten people in the meeting room. All members welcomed me with smiles and they knew I had come to them one year before and I came from Brooklyn. I asked them about radiation in Tokyo. They laughed.

I told them “This year is much better than the last year.” One old man asked “Do you feel radiation in Tokyo?” “Yes, of course. Last summer, I came back to Tokyo. When I took a subway, I felt at ease because the underground had no radiation.” He did not say anything and neither did anybody else. So I repeated a similar story. “When I went to the underground hall of the Diet member’s office building, I felt really relieved.” He laughed at me with a big smile said mockingly “That’s true. I know. But you are overly sensitive to radiation.” I reacted and thought to myself “What’s funny?”

But, deep inside, my heart was smiling too because I clearly understood the cause of my dizziness and I knew I was weak to radiation and might be odd to them.” Then, I unfolded their radiation map of Komae City. I checked the Izumitamagawa station which was measured 0.07 micro Sievert per hour, about 0.02 micro Sievert higher than the Komae station. Only 0.02 micro Sievert caused my dizziness and a mocking laughter and chuckles.

I was odd and might be absurd in Tokyo in 2015. And I thought I had been odd to people since I was born, even in an anti-nuke group. “Where was my happiness?” I murmured.