In mid-morning on Monday, June 5, 2017 the heavy leather belt that I have habitually worn every day for the last ten years broke and literally disintegrated on my body while I was working. That left me with the problem of holding my trousers up with one hand while trying to work with the other for half the day, hoping that people didn’t notice. In my work I am constantly on my feet and moving around, not sitting discreetly at a desk. It’s a maddeningly awful feeling. At lunch time I scooted out to a convenience store across the road and was lucky to find some safety pins which helped a lot, but not entirely. After leaving work I began to commute to an evening job. While transferring through Shinjuku san-chome Subway Station - still holding my trousers up with one hand - I saw a kiosk selling hats, neckties, folding fans, and belts. Lucky!! It was a temporary kiosk, the sort of thing that breaks down and is set up in a different location in a different subway station every few days - a roaming vendor of various utilitarian items. Sometimes I see kiosks selling costume jewelry, sometimes some selling rice crackers or umbrellas or other odds and ends. I knew I had a spare belt at home, but I couldn’t wait that long, so naturally I bought a belt on the spot and was glad of it. It was a long 130 cm belt, much too large for me, designed to be cut to size by each buyer. So my trouble wasn’t over yet. I could not wear it right away. It wasn’t until I got to my evening job that I was able to cut it to size with a pair of scissors.
Exactly 48-hours later, on Wednesday, June 7, 2017, the emergency belt that I bought on Monday 5th also broke and felt apart, precipitating a new crisis. What the hell is it with this country and its goddamned belts?! Maybe I am wearing my belt and other clothes differently than I used to and wear them out in a different manner. I have gained weight over the years, but I am not currently gaining. But maybe with age my body shape has changed due to age-related metabolism changes, causing me to fit into my clothes differently and wear them out in an unfamiliar way. I'm only speculating. I wonder if there is anything to it?
What the hell is it with this country and its goddamned belts?!
Now, it happens to be true that at the moment I am deliberately avoiding buying some kinds of clothes of which I have an excess - T-shirts, underwear and socks - and am purposefully letting the clothes I have wear out and disintegrate on my body - literally disintegrate. I have a big collection of T-shirts, some of which I haven’t worn in years and instead of throwing the excess or aged items in the trash I want to honor them by using them for their intended purposes. You know, the economic principle of production for use. Things are produced for a purpose, therefore it is fitting that they be used for their intended purpose.
The economic principle of production for use: things are produced for a purpose, therefore it is fitting that they be used for their intended purpose.
But belts are of a different type. Belts have a unique importance. I need them. I do not have an excess, and having them fall apart on my body - especially in the middle of the day, at work, with no convenient facility to replace them - is definitely inconvenient and irritating.