Collected translations of Maaya Sakamoto news, essays, interviews, and articles


Maaya Sakamoto's Full Moon Recital Hall
Maaya Sakamoto's Full Moon Recital Hall

Bedtime Story, Part 10

Part 10 of 12 in a series:
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0:00 It happened one day when I had a job offer from a company in hand and my university graduation in sight. 0:10 I was feeling listless, and when I had a doctor examine me for what I thought was a cold, an abnormality in my blood components came up. 0:20 A bone marrow test came back filled with neoplastic leukemia cells. 0:29 The doctor’s diagnosis was “acute leukemia”. 0:36 Something’s amiss in the factories that make blood in my bones, and they put out nothing but defective products. 0:47 My listlessness was also caused by the loss of functional red blood cells, which made them unable to properly carry oxygen throughout my body. 0:58 When I looked it up on the internet, I vomited when I found a page that said “without any treatment, death is likely in days to weeks.”

1:13 Leukemia is a cancer of the blood. 1:18 I tried controlling it with doses of anticancer drugs, but with no signs of improvement. 1:25 When my hair fell out in clumps, I thought I had reached the end. 1:32 Repeated stays in the hospital strengthened my conviction: 1:37 I probably wouldn’t live through the next six months. 1:42 The expressions on the doctors’, nurses’, and my family’s faces were dark. 1:47 A heavy cloud of sorrow filled them.

1:52 Just one person—just Shiina, for some reason, never showed an attitude of giving up….

2:02 She stopped attending classes and spent nearly all her time with me in my hospital room.

2:11 But my condition only worsened. 2:15 Perhaps because of the lack of oxygen in my blood, merely lying in bed saps me of energy to even think. 2:22 I’m feverish and feel nauseous as well, and since the defective blood ruined my organs I have hematuria. 2:32 I have panic attacks and see things that aren’t even there. 2:37 When that happens, Shiina persuades me that what I’m seeing doesn’t exist.

2:47 Lying on my bed in the hospital, I feel afraid when I fall asleep.

2:55 When I close my eyelids and enter the darkness, it feels as though I might go from there to beyond the end of the Universe, to a place infinitely far away. 3:08 But there’s no such thing as Someone Else there. 3:15 In a world without advances in science, or if Someone Else was there who would comfort us, I may have believed in it. 3:28 But this is a different time. 3:34 Going there to me means only ceasing to exist. 3:41 No one exists there, in that pitch black, lonely place. 3:48 No, there is no loneliness. 3:53 There is not even a world.

3:57 That’s why sleep frightens me….

4:04 When my fears were keeping me awake, Shiina started to tell me bedtime stories.

4:12 Her voice is gentle, and warm.

4:18 While listening to that voice as though clinging to it, I close my eyes.

4:24 My breathing becomes calm.

Part 10 of 12 in a series: