I like watching the old men smoke on the Shinkansen, there’s a certain furtive elegance to it. Not quite nonchalance but something akin to devil may care. ‘Nationality doesn’t matter,’ Tanaeda-San says, ‘culture is only the tiniest artefact, it’s a trait that grows over time or is embedded in youth.’ I’m not so sure, I tell him, our elderly carry themselves differently, almost fearfully at times, their retirement seems almost a gamble. ‘So so so so so,’ he says, and turns to watch his country sliding by the cabin window. ‘Then perhaps they need to consider not stopping.’
Nic Addenbrooke is a freelance writer, editor, content creator, radio broadcaster, part-time poet and sometimes artist. Nic has been coming to terms with existence for years. He currently lives and works in Brisbane where he struggles to turn the cacophony of voices in his head into things of substance. It doesn’t always work but occasionally produces a nice veneer of sanity.