Symphony of Destruction

When I first moved out here to Awajishima, I was as prepared for the lifestyle changes as one can be moving from the inner city slum that is Nishinari (the area of Osaka famous for its troubled history,especially the riots that occurred there in 1990) to a city with a total population of 40,000 (and like the rest of Japan, shrinking).
An early indicator of the trouble I would face here was the list of ten real estate agents my new company provided me. Upon calling every agent on the list, six were no longer in business, two told me there were no rooms to rent, and only the last two had rentals to show me. I ended up choosing the newest of the lot, a two-story lot house with enough space for a bachelor to assign specific roles to various upstairs rooms (i.e., “the not-yet-unpacked box room,” “the walk-in closet,” “the network vault/musical instrument chamber”). It it this last room that I am writing about today.
It started out with my 10baseT hub and hacked AirPort for sharing a dual ISDN connection plus a couple acoustic guitars: An old Yamaha (yes, the motorcycle company) and an even older Suzuki (yes, the violin company) with black flamenco strings. It quickly became home for a djembe, an ashiko, and several other “neighbor-irritants.” It also featured subsequent network and internet connection upgrades, from 10- to 100- to 1,000-baseT, and the jumps from 1.5 and 8Mbps ADSL to 100Mbps FTTH, as well as the wireless jumps from 802.11b to enhanced b, g, a, and finally b/g/a. But I digress with this nerdy shit; I’m focusing on the musical stuff today (besides, all the network stuff is downstairs now since I pinched off the upstairs phone line to decrease line noise). Anyway, it was basically a couple stringed instuments and various drums, plus the usual assortment of blues harps, kazoos, etc.
It occurred to me this morning as I stubbed my toe on a koto that those first-level instruments have been multiplying like rabbits, and something must be done before they take over my house completely. You see, in five years they have steadily been overflowing from that single room to all other upstairs rooms, to the wide corner stair on my staircase, all the way down into my entry hall and into the computer/living room. In five years, on this desolate and remote island I have somehow acquired:
– One hand-carved sitar from Nepal (had to have one; I never play it but might put pickups on it)
– Two more Hohner Blues Harps (they get crusty with spittle if you don’t clean them after playing drunk)
– One Chinese-made harmonica (playing this gives me more blues than the authentic Blues Harps)
– Various castanets and shakers (these all belong to Taro, who sheds/forgets musical detritus like this wherever he goes)
– Another mini hand drum (No fucking idea where this came from)
– A hand-made theremin (mail order from the states, a fucking rip off at $200)
– A Taisho-koto (for lack of a better explanation, a Japanese autoharp)
– Two full-size kotos (I like sleeping next to these because I can wake up, pluck a couple strings, and be happy for some reason, although I stub my toe on them all the time)
– 5 or 6 shittily-made wooden flutes with rainbow airbrushing which people think it’s a good reason to buy in third world countries for like ten cents each and distribute as presents when they get home. Fucking tourist scum (thanks for the presents, y’all!).
Not that I can fucking play any of these instruments proficiently or actually read music or actually practice with my band or anything, but I figure as long as I have instruments and none of us dies, I can still claim we are a band… We are going to make a comeback like the fucking Eagles, dude (and barring that, at least like the Doors).

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