Meeting a friend of a friend for the first time on a stairwell as we descended into the lower basements of the club in Shinjuku on Saturday night, she asked me to name her perfume.
I could not do so.
Probably back in the day, when a smell nut could identify all the main perfumes, this would have been a cinch, but at that moment, as I leaned in, nothing particular came to mind. Just a pleasant freshness: perhaps it had faded in all the urban humidity.
Anyway, she told me she loved my book, and I was delighted. After that, they got sucked up in the crowd when we eventually got down below and I didn’t see them again. But the next day, she said she felt as if she had stepped into another world coming to Kabukicho after all this time in relative seclusion (as did I ). Just one notorious nightlife area of Shinjuku, a neighbourhood which itself forms part of the biggest city in the world.
I feel her photographs of the street corner we were on capture some of the strangeness, deep man-made artificiality, and allure.