Pink and The Potato Man

Pink and Potato Man are opposites that are transformed by meeting one another.  Pink is a somewhat superficial young woman who embraces all that is artificial, but there are glimpses of something more natural and real deeper within her.  Potato Man is earthy and grounded, but stuck in his ways and lacks tolerance.  There are glimpses of a life less rigid with more lightness of being, but he cannot achieve this alone.  By meeting one another one spring evening under the early spring cherry blossom, they begin a journey where they are transformed in ways they could never have known alone.

Pink wakes up in her apartment early one spring morning in Tokyo, that is as tiny as a giant tinder box.  Sitting up in her futon she looks out her window to see a branch full of deep, pink plum Sakura bobbing up and down from the wind in the trees.

She paints her long, lean nails with pink polish and sprinkles them with glitter whilst humming a J-pop tune. She parts the paper veils aside and looks out of her huge widows onto the sunny spring day. Pink picks a dress covered in sakura petals. She pops pink bubble gum into her mouth, slips on her high heals, with a spray of shocking pink feathers and steps out into the cool spring air.

As Pink is standing on the train with J-pop humming in her ears, she gazes up at a poster advertising her language school whilst chewing and popping her bubble gum.

She is surrounded by salary men and teenagers falling asleep listening to benkyou study aids.“Gambatte Kudasi”!“Do your best! Go for it” Teachers cry down the headphones of her fellow passengers.

Pink lets her head fall to one side, looks down at her phone and changes the setting from music to language audio book.“Now it's your turn”“Ima dewa anata no bandesu”“What's your name”?“Anata no namae wa nandesuka”

Pink gets off the J-line, with her feathery decorated heels, clicking against the station's polished floor. 
Walking through the elevator decorated with shiny bright lights, Pink fixes her hair in the mirror.

“ohyaho gosaimasu”!

She totters through the sliding doors as she greets her English Language teacher.

Returning back home from her language class Pink walks through the back streets peppered with many signs for ramen and fried food huts. Rock and Roll music is playing from inside a tiny hut with a tin roof, lit from the outside by a lantern as oval as a glow worm and as orange as a the setting sun.

From the distance, Pink hears in the distance “Yaki-imo! Yaki-imo

Looking up, Pink sees what looks like miniature steam train coming towards her.

石焼き芋、焼き芋、焼き芋 Ishii ya-kimo, yaki-imo, yaki-imo.
石焼き芋、焼き芋、焼き芋 Ishii ya-kimo, yaki-imo, yaki-imo.
石で焼いた焼き芋 Ishi de yaita yaki-imoooo.一本100円と300円だよ Ippon 100 yen to 300 yen da yooo.とても大きいのが400円だよ Totemo ookii no ga 400 yen da yooo.焼きたての熱々 Yakitate no atsu atsu.石焼き芋、焼き芋、焼き芋 Ishii ya-kimo, yaki-imo, yaki-imo.早く来ないと行っちゃうよ Hayaku konai to icchau yo

Stone-baked sweet potatoes, baked potatoes, baked potatoes

One for 100 yen or 300 yen
Sweet potatoes baked on hot stone

A really big one for 400 yen
Freshly baked and piping hot

早く来ないと行っちゃうよ Hayaku konai to icchau yo
Come quick or you’ll miss me!

石焼き芋、焼き芋、焼き芋 Ishii ya-kimo, yaki-imo, yaki-imo.

Stone-baked sweet potatoes, baked potatoes, baked potatoes
Stone-baked sweet potatoes, baked potatoes, baked potatoes

His wailing yet deep voice stops Pink in her tracks as she listens to his song. Lanterns sway in the spring breeze. The dark pink cherry blossom bobs up and down lightly lit by the warm gleam.

Potato Man walks slowly and deliberately in sturdy, strong brown boots. His back is slightly hunched over and his gloves are leather tan. The fire burning in the iron oven burns an afterglow into the ebbing dark night.

The Potato man's iron oven rolls to a heavy halt beside Pink. With his big, thick leather clad hands he gradually scoops up a dozen sweet pink potatoes with his iron ladle and places them into a paper bag, gently handing them to her.

Pink presses her cherry flavour lips together till they turn red and reaches out to receive the little brown paper bag filled with luscious, pink sweet potatoes. She lifts one out of the bag pops it in her mouth, licking her fingers. Potato man meets Pink's eyes. Their eyes grow wider. Pink's cheeks blush the colour of cherries and blossom falls from the above onto her ebony hair, like a sprinkling of confetti. The fire crackles and smoke from the chimney whisps up into the night air.

Potato man starts up his iron oven and walks deliberately, but slowly away. His head hangs low down with his back slightly hunched over. Pink watches him as his disappears down street lit with lanterns glowing so orange that there could be 20 suns setting

石焼き芋、焼き芋、焼き芋 Ishii ya-kimo, yaki-imo, yaki-imo.
早く来ないと行っちゃうよ Hayaku konai to icchau yo
Stone baked Potatoes,
Come quick or you’ll miss me!

All rights reserved: (c) Jessica White