Solitude is pleasant. Loneliness is not. The forgotten stores of Shimokitazawa.
A few years back I was in a supermarket and saw a damaged apple. It was bruised and off-colour. Lonely. Discarded. I felt sorry for it. I bought it because I knew no one else would. I was reminded of this apple today as I walked through Shimokitazawa’s suffocating Station Market. It isn’t really a market at all any more. It’s a dark alleyway that smells like a box of forgotten books in your attic – one that has gone mouldy with damp, its contents soon to be deemed unreadable. Shutters have closed and only a handful of tiny stores remain. Elderly patrons stand alone in their stores with vacant glares in their eyes. This time next year I doubt this place will even exist. If you are ever in Shimokitazawa, Tokyo, Japan, please walk through it and say hello to the stores for me. So they won’t feel lonely.