Occupied City Online - David Peace Page 0,1

these twelve candles, we gather around, around and around –

Back in the Occupied City, here we are the victims again –

Here, never the witnesses; always, already the victims –

So we are weeping. Always, already the weeping –

Here, we who were once the living –

Now weeping all the time, here –

Here tonight, weeping –

In the Occupied City, where the weeping seek the living. But the living are not here, not here tonight before these candles –

Here tonight, there are only the weeping –

Here tonight, only us:

And so again tonight we are Takeuchi Sutejiro, Watanabe Yoshiyasu, Nishimura Hidehiko, Shirai Shoichi, Akiyama Miyako, Uchida Hideko, Sawada Yoshio, Kato Teruko, Takizawa Tatsuo, Takizawa Ryu, Takizawa Takako and Takizawa Yoshihiro –

But we are still weeping. Always,

already the weeping,

always, already the weeping again in the Occupied City:

In the Occupied City it is 26 January 1948 again –

Here it is always, already 26 January 1948 –

This date always, already our wound –

Our wound which will never heal –

Here, here where it is always, already that date, that time; always, already, the last time:

For the last time. In the morning, we wake in our beds. In our beds that are no longer our beds. For the last time. In our homes, we dress. In our homes that are no longer our homes, our clothes that are no longer our clothes. For the last time. We eat white rice. Now we eat only the black rice, the black rice that empties our stomachs. For the last time. We drink clear water. Here we drink only the dark water, the dark water that empties our mouths. For the last time. In our genkans, we say goodbye to our mothers and our fathers, our sisters and our brothers, our wives and our sons, our husbands and our daughters. Our mothers and our fathers, our sisters and our brothers, our wives and our sons, our husbands and our daughters who are no longer our mothers and our fathers, no longer our sisters and our brothers, no longer our wives and our sons, no longer our husbands and our daughters. For the last time. In the snow, we leave for work. For our work that is no longer our work. For the last time. Among the crowds, we catch our trains and our buses. Our trains and our buses that are no longer our trains and our buses …

For the last time. Through the Occupied City, we shuffle –

From the Shiinamachi Station, we shuffle. In the sleet. For the last time. Up the road, we shuffle. Through the mud. For the last time. To the Teikoku Bank. The Teikoku Bank that is no longer a bank…

For the last time. We slide open the door. The door that is no longer a door. For the last time. We take off our shoes. Where are our shoes now? For the last time. We put on our slippers. Where are our slippers? For the last time. We sit at our desks. Our desks that are no longer, no longer our desks …

For the last time –

Among the papers and among the ledgers, we wait for the bank to open. For the last time, on this last day, 26 January 1948 –

We watch the hands of the clock reach half past nine. For the last time. The bank opens and the day begins. For the last time. We serve the customers. For the last time. We write in ledgers.

For the last time –

In the glow of the lights, in the warmth of the heaters, we hear the snow turn to sleet, the sleet turn to rain, as it falls on the roof of the bank. And we wonder if today the bank will close early. We wonder if today we will be able to leave early, to go back to our homes, back to our families. Because of the weather,

because of the snow –

But the snow has turned to sleet, the sleet has turned to rain, and so the bank will not close early today and so we will not be able to leave early today, we will not be able to go back to our homes,

back to our families –

So we sit at our desks in the bank, in the glow of the lights, in the warmth of the heaters, and we watch the hands of the clock and we glance at the face of our manager, our manager sat at his desk at the back; we know Mr Ushiyama, our manager, is not so well.