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Living After Midnight Part II: Sapporo By Night

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Author's Note: This is a sequel for a stream-of-consciousness one-shot I wrote way back in 2015. I decided today that I would follow it up with an actual story that would go somewhere.



Counting flowers on the wall, that don't bother me at all

Playing Solitaire til dawn with a deck of 51

Smoking cigarettes and watching Captain Kangaroo

Don't tell me I've nothing to do


That old song had been stuck in Sam Hirano's head for the past few days, and he was playing it in his mind, humming the tune as he sat in his room clad only in a pair of black briefs, his raven hair unkempt and his eyes slowly turning bloodshot. The pale and thin young man was alone this weekend. He was alone every weekend it seemed, and it turned out making amends with his parents seemed to make things worse.


Had I known this was what my so-called new life was going to be like, I wouldn't have made peace with my parents and moved with them to this god-forsaken country! Well, maybe I would have made peace with them anyway, but I wouldn't have agreed to move back in with them. If moving back in with them involved me going halfway around the world, I would've stayed in my trailer back in Virginia.


It had been three months since Sam reconnected with his estranged parents and moved back in with them, and approximately ninety days since the three of them moved to Japan, the homeland of Mr. and Mrs. Hirano. Sam may have been of Japanese descent, but he was born in Washington DC and raised in the great state of Virginia. He was an American, not a Japanese-American in his eyes, just an American. and he didn't really connect with the more uptight and formal culture of Japan. Now he was living within the vicinity of his parents at an apartment complex located in Sapporo. Technically, he lived on his own in a separate apartment but his parents lived across the hall and paid his rent while Sam paid for utilities and entertainment by doing menial odd jobs around town like delivering newspapers and shoveling snow off the sidewalks during the ongoing winter. And it got cold and snowy in Hokkaido, much to Sam's dismay.


I can't believe it, I've got a paper route, and I'm twenty-five! But then again, my job back in the States sucked just as much, even if the pay was slightly better. Slightly.


It had been a long day for Sam, and now he was finally going to unwind for the weekend by sitting in his bedroom half-naked while guzzling energy drinks and downing the occasional shot of whiskey. He couldn't find Jameson at his local convenience store, but he was able to buy a fifth of Wild Turkey 81, his second-favorite brand of whiskey for a fairly decent price given his location.


I have to admit, I do love some Wild Turkey. Not to say that the local Japanese whiskeys are bad but there's something about a good old-fashioned Kentucky bourbon in the good old-fashioned style. Sort of reminds me of home, actually. Gives me something positive to think about while I sit on my bed moping around in my underwear. Screw it, here goes the underwear! Nobody here but me anyway, and I do like the feeling of soft cotton sheets against an unfurnished basement.


Sam often slept nude. Not in a sexual way, it was more of a comfort thing than anything else. In his old trailer, he didn't have air conditioning, just an electric fan, so he slept nude during the summer to keep from overheating. Now he did it out of force of habit and in all honesty, he didn't care. He lived alone and drank alone. No harm and no foul was the way he saw it.


But between the fact that he was guzzling energy drinks like a college dudebro on Adderall and the warm feelings of nostalgia he got from sipping on his favorite bourbon, he could not sleep no matter how hard he tried. Like at all. And he was bored as hell.


I've got to find a way to entertain myself. I did have fun playing those role-playing games with my friends back in the Old Dominion. I still have my dice and some rule books. Maybe I could play a game solitaire? One where I'm the both Game Master and the player at once. A little unorthodox and I'd have to improvise a lot, but what else am I going to do? Stare up at the ceiling while that damn Statler Brothers song plays in my mind all damn night? Screw that.


The young man got out of his bed and immediately moved a cardboard box from the closet containing his role-playing game materials. But first he had to decide which game he was going to play.


Big Eyes Small Mouth? Too easy.

GURPS? Too hard.

Pathfinder? Too overdone.

Call of Cthulhu? Not done enough.

D&D Fourth Edition? That's a mandatory drug test right there.

Vampire: The Masquerade? That might actually work.


Sam grabbed his copy of the original First Edition softcover core rule book from the box and then grabbed a plastic bag full of ten-sided dice and placed both on the desk. After retrieving his pens and paper, he opened a can of Pepsi and began to think of a character and some scenario prompts he could run through.


Worst-case scenario, this would give him something to do for the long and sleepless winter night and in the best-case scenario, expend enough of his energy to get himself to fall asleep.


I know these games are meant to be played with more than one person, but a game's a game and fun is fun.


Sam sipped on his Pepsi slowly as he began to ponder his ideas for a player character and a setting for the game he would run in his head.

Edited by Osric

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