We landed in Tokyo just as the night was starting to show its cracks. The trains had just started running, and we got on the first one that came, settling into seats with our backpacks between our feet. As we got deeper into the city, the train slowly populated with sleepy businessmen, who kept their eyes open just long enough to find a seat or a handle. A sleeper train, lined with heads tumbled onto each other like dominoes, or carelessly put away dolls. The sky turned purple, then streaked with pink, visible in flashes between the increasingly dense forest of buildings. Unoccupied handles dangled from the ceilings and swayed with each curve of the train.
Have you ever seen Spirited Away? Then you can picture it, Chelsea and I the only two awake, the other passengers shadowy, slumped, indistinct, all beneath the round eyes of the swaying handles, as the train carried us to places unknown.