This photograph was found on It nicely mirrors Alice Neel’s painting Loneliness but it takes the subject, the red chair out of a barren, almost wistful domestic setting and puts it into a decimated industrial environment that looks like a blasted cathedral. Personal sorrow is transformed into post-apocalyptic nightmare; yet the subject matter stays the same. 


“About me” section of a lonely Japanese man’s daily e-diary.


Thanks for clicking “about me”. You may leave in a few second, but in this moment, you have just found me out from the vast space in the World Wide Web. Though I am not sure whether you are interested in me or just mistakenly clicked “about me”, I am happy that you come here, because I am a quite isolated, lonely guy so it’s like I do not exist in this world for main stream people. Now I am going to write about me; but I am sorry, it is no good to expose personal information that identify who I am on the World Wide Web, so following will be 70% truth and 30% lie.

I was born in the late 60’s. My birthplace is in rural area in Japan. Some of you may believe that Japan is in Southeast Asia, but it’s not true, It is located in northeast Asia. People in developed area of Japan like Tokyo often look down the area where I was born. I don’t like that, but actually where I was raised up should be said to be a rural area, for example, there was no book store in my town, there were a few TV channels, and you had to wait two hours if you miss a train.
So when I was a child, I could not get things so much that should be easy to get if I were lived in Tokyo. I didn’t study much but liked reading, though it is hard to get a new book. And I liked to listen to radio. This habit is still going on, I always turn on my radio when I am in my small apartment. When I was junior high and high school student, I listened to Japanese program from foreign countries by a shortwave radio. Thanks to the internet, people nowadays cannot believe how difficult to get information from other countries, but at that time, so many people used shortwave radio to get what is going on in other countries. In addition that was still in the cold war era. I know it would be an exaggeration, but I had got to know that international affair was severe more than what ordinary Japanese citizens think.
And music is an important part of my life. Since I listened to shortwave radio so much, I liked US and UK pop charts far more than Japanese hit songs. When I was a junior high, I listened to Beatles’ songs in addition to popular songs at that time. Then when I was a high school student, my favorite music genre turned to be classical, especially piano music. I like Bach, Lists, and so on. Since I have got a job, I became too busy to listen classical music that are long time wise, I got back again to US popular songs like Carole King and James Taylor. It was mid 90’s and music scene was already occupied by electric rhythm machine sounds, but I loved old 70’s sounds on weekend between hard working of weekday.
And there is one more thing that is important to me, it is English. You may feel uncomfortable for my poor English. English is not my mother tongue. I have tried to learn English but I know I will never be able to learn it. I listened to Car Talk and A Prairie Home Companion every weekend, but I cannot understand why they burst into laugh when someone tells a joke. I know it will never change until I die, but I will keep on trying to learn English. I am not sure why I am doing so, but basically it is fun and it makes me feel something new.
Now I am a hard working guy who over works 120 hours plus regular hours. I hate my job, but it is the only way to make money. Someday I will be free from this modern slavery. Writing this blog doesn’t help me quit hardships, but does ease my stress. I think no one reaches this last sentence, but if it were, thanks so much.

Goodbye, see you tomorrow.



0013.jpgBarbara Covett comments on the feeling of freakishness that the lonely engender in other lonely people in Zoë Heller’s Notes on a Scandal.

Lonely people are terrible snobs about one another, I’ve found. They’re afraid that consorting with their own kind will conpound their freakishness. The time that Jennifer and I went to Paris together, we saw an airline employee at Heathrow ask two very fat people in the check-in line where they were both off to. The fat people were not a couple as it happened, and the suggestion that they were panicked them. Leaping apart, they both shouted in unison, “We’re not together!”

I understood their horror… Even Jennifer and I were prey on occasion to a certain self-consciousness about the impression we made as a twosome… I always suspected that we were faintly comic; two screamingly unhusbanded ladies on a day out. A music hall act of spinsterhood.

Rainer Maria Rilke

I am much too alone in this world, yet not alone


to truly consecrate the hour.

I am much too small in this world, yet not small


to be to you just object and thing,

dark and smart.

I want my free will and want it accompanying

the path which leads to action;

and want during times that beg questions,

where something is up,

to be among those in the know,

or else be alone.

I want to mirror your image to its fullest perfection,

never be blind or too old

to uphold your weighty wavering reflection.

I want to unfold.

Nowhere I wish to stay crooked, bent;

for there I would be dishonest, untrue.

I want my conscience to be

true before you;

want to describe myself like a picture I observed

for a long time, one close up,

like a new word I learned and embraced,

like the everday jug,

like my mother’s face,

like a ship that carried me along

through the deadliest storm.

Rainer Maria Rilke, English translation, © 2001 by Annemarie S. Kidder. Published 2001. All rights reserved.