It's the way of the world I suppose.
I owe pretty much my entire current social life to the Good News Cafe, a local bar and club run by hippy couple Takeo and Michiko. Thanks to them I have met a slew of local twenty-somethings who are making lives for themselves here in this lonely city north of Tokyo. Amid the regular crowd of beauticians, coffee shop part-timers and people in electronics sales I have met a freelance photographer, a visual artist and event organizer, a slew of DJ's, a 50's rock cover band, and a kaiseki chef, all of them fully genuine people who don't give a flying fuck that I'm a white guy from the states.
They also like the way I dance.
In my years as a social drinker I have never had the pleasure of encountering a bar so relaxed and inviting and just damned friendly as this one.
But after seven years of selling clothes they made themselves and five years of running the best damned bar in Omiya, the two of them are exhausted. Their lives are shortening, every weekend party just another string of drink orders and broken plates. The other day Takeo broke the news to me: he and Michiko are going to close the place this October and then take an extended trip through Asia, America and Europe. He's rounding out thirty-five years and is scared if he doesn't do this now he never will. His voice was sopping heavily with regret when he said it, loathe to break up this great little social center he and Michiko had raised up. "We'll be starting a mailing list for everyone to keep in touch with each other, and for us to keep everyone up to date on our travels!" he said, his voice trying to kick start enthusiasm like a choking starter on a dead motorcycle.
In anycase, we're gonna make the next few months count. The fifth anniversary party of the place is this Saturday, and they have invited every DJ who spins there monthly to play that night. That means thirty DJ's knocking down their three best tracks then sidling over for the next guy, rocking out a bar that will be quite literally overflowing with working folks who are gonna be dancing to the breaka breaka dawn. I am very fucking excited. Especially since my plane to the US is the very next day, United Airlines flight 800 soaring my Dionysiussed body across the world to the city where I was born.