11:57pm, Nishishinjuku


I blink three or four times. After the bright fluorescence of the convenience store, my eyes take a few seconds to adjust to the rainy midnight streets. I squint upwards to regard the raindrops where they tumble into view past the lightbox sign of a 5th-floor bar across the street. No heavier, but no lighter; set in until dawn by my estimation. I consider the bar, too. Time is running short, but a night of searching in this weather is like to bring nothing but a head cold. It is a nice thought – an hour or two on a comfortable stool hunched over a series of whiskey glasses in a warm smoky bar – but I don’t let it linger. There will be much worse than a head cold to come if I don’t find what I’m looking for. I turn up my collar, tuck in my chin against the damp, and begin to walk.

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