Fiction by Ian Denning
They told Koji the music for the new game had to be bright, so he sat in front of his keyboard and MIDI workstation in his Kyoto flat, a pot of coffee brewing in the kitchenette although it was already midnight, and he dreamed of Trinidad.
He had taken Kumiko there last December. A hotel on the beach, white sheets and bellboys in starched white shirts, the sun bright enough to bleach the blue out of the sky. The sand was so yellow and the ocean so turquoise that it looked like a video game—cartoonish, too colorful. “Look at this,” Koji said, pulling their luggage across the courtyard. “It’s forty degrees in Kyoto right now. And raining. I checked the weather report.”
Koji expected Kumiko to ridicule him—their relationship was built on his square nerdery and her wit—but she only said, without turning to him, “Yes.”
He had told her they were going to Trinidad to celebrate his new job. Koji was only a year out of art school, and had been hired by a company called Nintendo to compose music for video games. The job was worth celebrating, but that wasn’t why Koji had brought them to Trinidad.
In the hotel room, Kumiko hung their clothes in the closet while Koji paced, talking about the beaches and the sun and the island. “We can go look at the mud volcanoes. And there’s a steel drum band playing tonight. We’ve got to see that.” Kumiko nodded, and even though they were in the hotel room together, it felt like she was elsewhere, listening to him the way you might listen to strangers in the subway.
Check out my short story “Koji Kondo in Trinidad” up on Mixtape Methodology today!