Sunday, March 23, 2008

Story of Miu 9

Continued from previous Story of Miu entries.
The "plop plop plop" of electronic waterdrops sound from my cell phone, the ringtone I've set so I know it's e-mail from Miu.
On the subject column, an animation icon of a glittering pink heart bounces around.
"It's him!" her message reads, a little ominously.
I press the tiny keyboard quickly with my thumb for an immediate reply: "Who he?"
It turns out she recently joined a world-music band with African drums, guitar, keyboards, traps drumming and singing that she was introduced to by a friend in high school.
Miu is learning how to play the kpanlogo with this group.
But more importantly, she has met someone.
He is the band leader Yuga. He's 21, and so a few years older than Miu.
This is what Miu says, a bit breathless on the phone, when I call her in the evening after I get home from work:
He has the most beautiful dark eyes like those of a wise elephant.
He write songs about being free, being in love and never forgetting the passion for life.
And what is fascinating about him is that he is not interested in money, status or careers, Miu says.
He works for a Tokyo that is contracted out to create ringtones for mobile phones.
And this is apparently a lucrative business because every tune on the Japanese pop charts has to be programmed into a ringtone.
But there's special software to do it so it's pretty easy, leaving Yuga a lot of time to work on his art, like composing, writing lyrics, collaborating with illustrators, rehearsing for performances and working on sound engineering on recordings.
Some of his songs are movie scores because the trend for some of the most mainstream Japanese movies lately is to use indies soundtracks.
As I gather from what Miu tells me, this person has never been abroad and doesn't understand any English.
He doesn't even have a passport, Miu says with a giggle, as though that only adds to his charm of being someone totally genuine whom only she has discovered.
He speaks with a slight accent of the Sea of Japan, which makes the speaker's tone softer than the Tokyo dialect, as though that person is somehow in perpetual doubt.
The shifts in intonation are similar to the speaking style of Korean actors that older Japanese women are so crazy about, like "Yon-sama," Miu says, to her, another profound observation.
Not that I like Yon-sama at all, Miu adds with a laugh.
He calls me "MEEEH-you-san," it sounds so sexy!
There isn't much point in contesting her observations.
I know Miu is in no mood to be challenged about any of them, anyway.
I am invited next weekend to what's called "raibu," short for "live performance," meaning a concert, where I will have an opportunity to meet Yuga.
But I am more happy for her than worried.
I can tell from the sound of her voice that she is literally floating, so euphoric is she about Yuga's existence.
Miu is way too young to start growing cynical about relationships.
She deserves to have, for once, this feeling of being so in love your feet don't quite touch the ground.

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