Sakai-san: Closure – 2007


In May 2007, I went back to visit Sakai-san.

House boarded up, front room barricaded, entrance padlocked shut. Cats meowing loudly from somewhere close, but no Sakai-san. In our last conversation, there was mention of subsidized housing in the city. He’d been denied the first time; wasn’t allowed to declare his old age pension as a source of income to pay rent, but now, perhaps . . .


I tried looking through the glass, afraid of what I might find.


Had he died? Did he move out? Housing projects? On the road selling art? No neighbours, no family, no memories.


I came back a month later to the same situation, said a few words, made my peace, and drove away.