My right arm disappeared the same time Yui did. I woke up and it wasn't there, as if it had always been that way.
I then stopped smoking and eating because I no longer had to. Work stopped being important so I stopped going to the office. The TV and the web and books stopped being interesting so they stopped being a part of my life. Music didn't, though. I put all the Philip Glass CDs I had into my iPod and listened to them all day, everyday.
I'd walk around all day with my earphones stuffed permanently in my ears. One day I left my apartment without locking the door and never went back. I didn't need to eat or drink but I slept in libraries and train stations when I needed to rest. After a while night and day stopped being a factor. I stopped thinking about time. One day I let a truck crush my watch. Crunch. It wasn't as amusing as I hoped it'd be.
One day I checked into an ancient ryokan inn in Izu. I decided to stay there for a night because it was cheap and I needed a bath, for I hadn't bathed in a week. The ryokan smelled like stale cigarette smoke and looked like it never got past the 1960's. On its walls were yellowing posters for the Tokyo Olympics and long-defunct airlines. A mirror had a hand-painted slogan about ridding Japan of Philopon, a drug they used to give to factory workers so they could work continually without sleeping. (I heard Philopon means the "love of work" in Greek or something to that effect.)
I went to the ryokan's big bath. I was the only one there. I soaked in the tile bath and closed my eyes and tried not to think about anything, especially Yui. That was when I realized I couldn't remember her face. I couldn't get past her name and the fact that she had gone. I also couldn't remember some other things. The make and color of my car, for instance.
I opened my eyes and saw that a tiny old man had dipped into the bath without me noticing him. He looked frail and his pupils had a faded color, but he had a smile on his face.
Nonchalentness is the key attitude when taking a bath with others, so I didn't speak with him and he too sat silent, still wearing a smile. After a while he left the bath for the dressing room, which was on the other side of a sliding door.
When he left he didn't close the sliding door, which is against custom. I soon found out why.
He wanted me to watch him put on pink panties and a yellow bra. He would put them on and then take them off. He repeated this at least ten times.
I soon saw that there were others in the dressing room. They were people who looked like they didn't belong in the 21st century:
Three naked young men carrying wooden rifles and wearing Imperial Japanese Army caps.
A pair of middle-aged European women wearing only corsets.
Two European men with handlebar mustaches wearing only top hats and carrying walking sticks. (I now think think they were the husbands of the women in corsets.)
Two European girls in tan nightshirts, one with long, prematurely grey hair and another covered with burn scars.
A tough-looking man covered with dense dragon tattoos, carrying a well-polished sword.
All these people looked quite happy, and all of them had smiles on their faces. And whoever they may have been, it was obvious that they were the dead.
When I looked at the old man with the bra and panties again, I saw my right arm held against his chest with his yellow bra.
So that's where it went.
When I realized that I too was dead, I suddenly remembered Yui driving my blue Mini at me. And, I remembered that she was grinning as she did this.
A couple of the dead gestured for me to join them, as did my right arm. But, I decided I still had unfinished business and left the bath through the rear window.
I am now heading back towards Tokyo.