stories

The Rumors About Me - Chapter 5 - page 1

There were times when I would unexpectedly encounter some of the crowd that were secretly reporting me. Once, when I came out of a stall in the company toilet, I tried opening the doors to the rest of the stalls in the line and found most packed solid with guys dangling cameras and taperecorders. If I suddenly used my umbrella tip to poke through the shrubbery in front of the empty lots on my way home, female announcers would spring out and dash away, microphones in hand.
Once, when I was watching television in my own room, I suddenly leaped up and raised the tatami straw mats, pried up the floorboards, opened the closet doors, and poked at the ceiling with a broomstick. The announcers and onlookers that were packed under the floor ran widly about, shrieking; from the closet, four or five reporters, including several woman, tumbled onto the tatami; and one cameraman behind the ceiling put his foot through a panel and came crashing down as he flurriedly tried to get away.
Of course, none of this kind of thing ever became news. Only the dialy incidents of my life were taken up and grandly reported as the big news of the day, outstripping important stories about politics, diplomacy and the economy.
For instance: "Mr.Morishita Orders New Suit on Installment Plan!"
For instance: "Mr.Tsutomu Moeishita Dates Again"
For instance: "Complete Investigation - Mr.Morishita's Weekly Dietary Life!"
For instance: "Who is the Woman in Mr.Morishita's Heart? Is it Really Miss Akiko Mikawa? Or ---."
For instance: "Mr.Tsutomu Morishita Argues with Colleague, Mr.Fujita, 25, about Voucher Error.
For instance: "Shocking! Mr.Morishita's Sex Life!"
For instance: "Today, Payday for Mr.Morishita!
For instance: "How Will Mr.Morishita Use His Pay Check?"
For instance: "Mr.Morishita Again Buys 350-yen Socks (Blue Gray)!"
After a while, even commentators specializing in my affairs appeared. This surprised even me.
Finally my picture embellished the cover of one of the big newspaper's weekly magazines. It was a color picture. Of couse, I had no idea when it was taken. It showed me mingled among commuting office workers on my way to work in the business district. I was slightly pleased that it was so well taken.