Sunrise at Lawsons

|Written by Sushilove51| Photo on |

“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”

– Wayne Gretsky


*Staring out a window with bulletproof glass I have a flashback*

A twenty-year old me. Ten-pounds lighter. Ten-times more curious. Facial expression wore the twinkle of a kid at Disney Land.

Today marked a full year in the military. A reason for celebration. However, we would have celebrated anyways. Just be out and about. To live abroad you begin to realize how free you are. When the locals join your company for fun. Come all who are weary. Let’s dance like you do when no ones around.

On Friday nights we were always out past the twilight hours. The usual company of Rodgers, Reyes and some friends from the Medical squadron. One of which couldn’t hold there alcohol this night and had to call it in early.

I remember the Sake Bombs…the vomit…the slip on the steps…the Emergency phone call.

We had to part ways from our friends at the Medical squadron. Twenty minutes later.

We got a text that read:

“Everything’s okay. the night was fun. see you next week”

Young and resilient. It was routine we still had our lessons to learn. Driving towards the base. We were currently in a part of the country we’ve never strayed. Yet no fear had been felt. I was comfortable as if I cruised through my home town. Japan’s atmosphere makes you feel like everything’s under control.

The party had ended. But, our heads still looped the music we heard during the night. As Rodgers drove down the dark road. We were heading into my favorite time of day. When the sun starts to rise. Emotions start to lava out. For some odd reason this time period always does. I can’t it explain it. I just take advice from The Beatles and “Let it be”.

But if I could take a stab at the feeling. It’s comparable to accomplishing a feat. There’s a sense of satisfaction from making it to see the morning. No matter what may have happened prior good or bad has been washed away. Naturally, the world freshens up. Or I may have watched too many vampire movies. Where the sun rising signals that you’ve survived the night.

Rodgers drove and was adamant on not letting people smoke in his car. He saw all the commercials about second hand smoking as a kid and developed a phobia about it. He acted as if he would die instantly once the smoke touched him. I didn’t want to be rude. I didn’t mind stepping outside for a smoke.

We were approaching a Lawson’s and I could go for a coffee to compliment my cigarette. The best part about Japan is the consistency of each town. Everything looks familiar even if you’re somewhere far away. Lawson’s is a convenience store and it lives up to the word convenience. They built them wherever you’d want one.

In a moments notice we pulled up. Out of courtesy I added to my shopping list some rice balls. Salmon Filling, and gave them to my buddies in the car as they waited. He grabbed them and enjoyed. I walked over to the smoke pit outside the store. And so does a girl.

Her eyes and mine meet. Give each other a nod but we never converse. My Japanese wasn’t good enough at the time to carry a conversation. Also my energy was too low. Even with the coffee. So instead we stand there. Each enjoying our cigarettes. The time is 0410 and there the sun rises more.

The brighter it gets the prettier she looks. She has that delicate look. Style with her modern chic. She could be beautiful in any era. In any life. In any universe. She finishes her cigarette and heads to towards her car. Looks at me again and gives a little bow good bye. I wave back bye.

Someone else is in her car waiting for her almost exactly like my friends are. I get back to Rodger’s car. He looks at me and says.

“Not one word, You didn’t say hi to her?”


“You two where best of friends last weekend”

*I did know her*

At the parade. That’s the same girl. We were drank heavy that night. Celebrating a festival. Us together looked like the beginning of something special.  The appearance was wrong. We never reached our potential. That night was only a moment. Still I ask myself if it was too late? She’s away now but it’s okay. I learned to remember It’s meant to be. Roses will bloom.

We stood at the same spot and I couldn’t remember her. It’s like my memory was erased. I wish we could be together like that night. Alcohol can make the night more fun at the risk of forgetting what happened.

Is there a person or people you still think about years later?

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Hello, Welcome to Sushi Love. We are here to help anyone with questions about life in rural Japan. We have both the native and foreign perspective and touch on everything from Health and Leisure to Travel and Entertainment. Please feel free to ask what's on your mind.

43 thoughts on “Sunrise at Lawsons”

  1. Just a heads up: You’re a good writer. That means you’re very creative. If you also test as very intelligent you’re likely a bit Asperger’s. It has a list of astonishingly counterintuitive symptoms, one of which is a truly amazing intermittent inability to recognize even very familiar faces.

    Liked by 5 people

      1. Lesson Learned. I guess it’s time for me to change my tune. I do believe in the power of words. I’m going to keep working on improving my writing and get better.


  2. That was pretty good. It’s always nice to be reminded that once upon a time I had a youth also, and had something similar happen.

    There was a girl in college. her and I were good friends. Climbed mountains, Hiked, all that neat stuff. She managed to get herself killed in a traffic accident.

    Biggest changes. I climb different kinds of mountains these days. I still like hiking. Just don’t have the time to do anything too serious.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I always wondered why our minds held on to certain memories and let go of others. Recently, I’ve been thinking the reason is there is more to it sort of unfinished business.

      See moments like that girl you went to college with. If she was still here. The adventures you had when it was just you and her. I bet if or when you went hiking recently. You remembered her or what she said and smiled about it. And in a way she still lives on.


  3. I loved this story! There are some moments that stay with us forever and this story reminded me of just that. 🙂

    Although I have not been to Japan (has been on my to-list forever) but your writing transported me to the little towns here. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I find that part of our memories interesting. Where when we are somewhere driving or moving and we experience something. It’s like we get transported to the memory or a dream. I get lost in these thoughts some times.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I second that. I remember reading somewhere that the mind travels fastest and isn’t that really true. Sitting on a chair we reach Jupiter 🙂


  4. Growing up in the military, we were posted most often in the Orient…Your words summon memories of these many places — Taiwan, Okinawa, Hong Kong, the Philippines — some visited by convenience of their proximity to return flights…My parents probably thought us too immature to notice young soldiers cutting loose, exploring… But we did. And I think it remains the best experience of our military overseas to tentatively test the social waters, learning where we fit internationally, what is valuable about the people in other countries, and how important it is to realize while there we are both symbols and ambassadors of our own country…and like our own memories of them, those people will carry their encounters with us through their own adulthoods, memories that will influence foreign relations for years. You are a fine writer, by the way…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for sharing KC. I would love to hear more about your experiences overseas. If there’s one thing I notice about the areas near bases is that there is a special cultural exchange that happens. I can’t put a finger on it but it’s beautiful to be a part of. I agree with you that this was the best part of being overseas like you said testing the social waters. In the moment it feels like an unexplored world. Thank you for the compliment. Your writing is nice to read as well!

      Liked by 1 person

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