Sneakers are a more powerful antidepressant than any drug. When loneliness intensifies or panic attacks cause the walls to close in, I strike out. All I need are my shoes and the knowledge that, as long as I keep moving, the shadows can’t catch up.
April 2015 is an idle month waiting on paperwork and settling into a new home in an endlessly large city. No legal status to work until the paperwork comes through, no income for a month after the work begins. Each day is empty, formless.
My apartment is small in a way I don’t yet know how to work with. Cozy, but perplexing. It’s long and narrow, like someone furnished a hallway. The bed frame squeaks and shifts. The upholstered chair is fraying badly.
I am also fraying badly. I need help. I need answers.
All the time in the world with nothing to do but keep the bad feelings away. Not a spare yen for entertainment, either. But walking is free, and getting intentionally lost is the best way to explore.
I start picking directions and just going out to see what I find, wandering for many hours. In this way, I develop an intimate sense of the city. More than just finding interesting places: understanding them in context.
But best of all is that it brings me joy when very little else does. It reinforces my love of Tokyo and its innumerable little curiosities that can only be found by stumbling upon them.