I’m thinking whoever was responsible for the architecture in these most recent missions was a person who just said “Yes!” to everything without really putting much thought into it.

“Should we include red lasers of instant death?”


“How about razor wire that shoots out of the wall at periodic intervals? I’ve got an engineering team just itching to try out their latest design.”

“Sure, sounds great!”

“Oh, and how about an Indiana Jones-style boulder that rolls down staircases you’re trying to climb?”

“Absolutely! You know what? Why don’t we put two of them in there? I bet nobody else has ever thought of that.”

This…this is why I hired you.”

It must have been a fairly lucrative contract when all was said and done. It’s just too bad that it didn’t work out the way they intended. I’ll skip the details about the self-collapsing bridges and somewhat more…exotic trappings that briefly prevented me from confronting and slaying a seven-toed demon.

I met the engineering team’s handiwork again at the local Hyakumonogatari (“One Hundred Tales”) apartments. This time they had spilled water all over the place and electrified it. I sense tripwires and landmines in my future. I’m not psychic, I’ve just lived life. I’m writing this entry on my phone while hanging out in the lobby. I’m hesitating, but I’ll eventually go and do it, just as I did at the dig site in Egypt.

“Want some noodles before you go?” Samurai guy asked me as I was preparing to head out the door of Susanoo’s Diner. I thought a moment before saying “yes.” I was then handed a bowl of steaming hot ramen with fairly hefty chunks of beef in it. At home we use meat sparingly in our dishes; I didn’t relish the thought of looking like a dog trying to tear the stuff apart with my teeth.


“I put meat in your ramen to give you enough stamina to take on those demons!” Samurai man said with a gruffness that somehow complemented the smile hidden on his hairy face. I bowed my head slightly and sat down at the bar next to a patron who was occupied with their alcoholic thoughts. I didn’t want to get a sore back from sitting on the floor.

The noodles were good. So was the beef. I don’t eat a lot of meat, but I have nothing against it. I could feel it in my intestines as I got up from my seat and excused myself to the restroom. Samurai guy had previously told me that I’d get free noodles for life if I came back from my encounter with Ibaraki in one piece. I did, and he meant it, so I was more than happy to say “yes” to free food.

And that’s what I’ve found to be my greatest source of inspiration for reflection in these diary entries: living life by saying “yes” to it without regard for the multiplicity of “no”s floating about both within myself and out there in the world. I like to think of living as my way of sticking it to dark times and dark thoughts.


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