放浪 follow the hollow brick road

日英で綴る放浪記~順不同

訓練: はだか同然の女が裸足で駆ける~その時==>警察24時 A woman roams the street barefoot, almost naked

2017-06-18 22:38:15 | 放浪 紫の峠

警察24時というドキュメンタリー番組が周期的に各テレビ局で作られ、

放送される。麻薬取締りや飲酒運転取締りのため、警邏するパトカーの様子や

交番での日々のやりとりを取り上げる。ガサいれから逮捕の瞬間をカメラが

追うこともあるし、警察官の訓練の様子や日常を取り上げることもある。

 

カコは昔からこの手の番組が好きだった。

大学を卒業する間際に、飲み会の帰り、山手線をぐるっと睡眠周遊している内に

ひざに載せたかばんの中から財布を抜き取られたことがあった。お金がなくなった

こともさることながら、いただいた名刺入れとそろうよう奮発して買った新品の

財布が盗られたことがくやしかった。社会人への準備万端、という気持ちに

自ら水をさす失敗にたたみかけるようにして、翌日。。。


警察24時

山手線で居眠りをする酔っ払いが、財布を抜き取られる瞬間をキャッチ。

まさに、これ、カコだよね

と母親に笑われる。


あのような映像は顔などにモザイク、音声に細工がしてあるが、果たして

映っている本人から了解を得るのだろうか。飲み屋の親父と話しているとき、

そんな疑問を投げかけると、


「そんなもん、取るわけないだろう!」

と親父はひとことで切り捨てる。


まあ、どれもよくある光景なのだろうから、匿名性は保たれるのかもしれない。

私にもあなたにもあるかもしれない、だから面白いのだろう。

犯罪の抑止効果もねらっての番組制作であるが、どのくらい役に立っているのだろう?


このような番組は日常を取材したり、車載カメラを利用して、後から編集して

おいしいストーリーに仕立てるのが普通であろう。


そう、警察にとって、日常が仕事であり、日常が訓練である。


避難訓練やテロ対策訓練などを見たり、参加者・傍観者としてかかわる時、

訓練とあらかじめわかっていて、しかも非常に押し着せな筋書きで、

果たして意味があるのだろうか、とカコは常々感じていた。


やらないよりはやった方がいいだろう。

それをきっかけに、実際とはどのような点が違うだろうかという考えも、

訓練がなければ考えることもないからだ。


でも、本当の訓練は、こんな程度では意味がない。

テロとか、外国人を巻き込んだ非常事態に対する日本の準備は2017年現在

ぜんぜんできていないだろう。それでも、10年前と比べ、来日外国人が急激に

増えたことによって、多少、日常が訓練になる場面が街でも、警察組織の中でも

増えてきたと思われる。


紫の峠。


青の峠から1年後、また発作的にミニ放浪を始めるカコ。

1年前に家族に多大な心配をかけたことからの反省もあったが、

その混乱の中で、自分が自分である証明、自分が錯綜の中にも冴え渡る

論理と理屈があるのではないかという気持ちを確かめる意味もあって、

少しの逃避行をするに至った。


For Kako, the first roam was the longest, most tiring and confusing. Ending up caught by the police, her uncle had to pick her up, and her parents came the following day, after looking for clues on her whereabouts for a few days. She knew she had caused pain for her family, colleagues, and those who knew of her crazy ordeal, would not have thought that she was in her right mind.


She had been unsure herself how sane she was, had been, and how much had the effects of illusion and delusion been. It was a question she kept asking herself. The whole story was too complex to explain, let alone understand. It made her feel lonely. But still, she kept believing that there were guardians watching her every move, people who knew what she was doing, even though they would never come up to her face to face. It was this thought that kept her going.


So the second roam, the purple stage, although similarly strange thoughts and actions led the way, was based on a more limited theme and playground. She could not travel too far. She could not do things that could be illegal. She would try not to get her parents involved if possible. But she had yet to know that as long as she ended up in a police station, the Japanese police would definitely have to involve her parents to release her... Being an adult does not guarantee your rights if you seem weak in the head.


After staying the night in a hotel in Kamakura, Kako had already gotten into a trance-like state. Weird things had happened, maybe only in her mind, but they seemed to lead her into a staged entrance to the coming act. Being in the hotel chain where she had worked for for a few years, things that only an ex-employee would understand to be significant acted as cues for her to move on.

Kamakura was a very important place for the hotel chain. It was where the founder and ancestors slept. It was a hotel that was lavishly built near the coastline; lavish, not because it was what you would expect of a luxury hotel chain, but because of its simpleness, the fact that they would build something so simple and only two stories high in such a location. The hotel should not be the top feature. It is only a backdrop, a location to enjoy the quiet beauty of the area.


Much later, Kako was to find out that the hotel's philosophy had totally been trampled on, after the chain was taken over. She would be appalled by the haughtiness of the staff. The type of haughtiness that she had only experienced in other higher than average (in price if not in quality) hotel chains. 


But then, the philosophy still existed within most of the staff. It had only been a few years after the takeover. She had arrived in a taxi that sped directly to the hotel without extra chatter. Speedy, safe, without extra frills. She was exhausted by the time she had arrived at Kamakura Station, falling asleep on the train while sometimes hearing strange conversations. She had felt that she was being guarded by civilian bodyguards. A thought that would be a crazy thing to tell any normal being. Why would she be guarded by bodyguards? She is just a normal woman in her mid thirties. What would make her so significant to need to be guarded? True, she was as insignificant as a nobody you would meet on the train at rush hour. But this was part of the training, she thought, for herself and for those training to be bodyguards, or perhaps those that had retired.


By the time the taxi had arrived, Kako desperately needed to go to the toilet. She had been keeping it in since she arrived at the station, but had felt the urge to get to the hotel as soon as possible. She had made a reservation, something quite rare, as the usual procedure would be to walk in and see if they would give her a room. So the taxi ride, or rather, the taxi driver seemed to know the situation she and her bladder were in.


When she arrived at the front reception desk, a female staff member greeted her, but she quickly asked for the whereabouts of the ladiesroom and sped directly there to do her business.


And strangely, or by utter coincidence, when she returned to the desk, a tall male staff member was there to attend. She instantly thought, "It must be the man 'in-charge'." In retrospect, it could have just been that it was the time for the staff for the night shift to take over. The sun had barely set, and that would sort of make sense. But the look that he had reminded her of the elite managers in the Lion Hotel (let's just call it that to make things simpler).


Manager : Do you remember the taxi's car model and license plate number?

Uh-oh, Kako thought. This is a test. And I must not lie.

Kako : No, I don't.


After that, the check-in procedure went as usual. No comments from the manager about the taxi. No questions from Kako's part. That was all unnecessary. You must stick to the facts, without extra chatter. That was the way of the Lion Hotel Chain. Or, it used to be the way.


As she was guided to her room, Kako thought to herself that she must now be wary of car models and license plates. That sounded like training for a doorman or a spy. She had absolutely no clue about cars, and wasn't a wiz for learning numbers at all, but she thought it must be part of the training. 

You could say that all of this was part of her delusion. The manager may have asked something totally different. But this was how she remembered it, and it was because of these memories that she put the pieces together to carry out her ultimate role-play later on.

She was welcomed into a room on the second floor. There was a balcony that overlooked a patio and a bare spread of lawn, and behind that, possibly the ocean. It was too dark to see anything further out. 

She had stayed at the same hotel before. What she found that she definitely did not notice before was a rope with metal clutches to use when trying to escape from the balcony. It was placed near the windows, with a guide on how to use it in case of emergency. This seemed so much like the Lion Hotel. The emphasis was on safety rather than what looked good. She wasn't exactly sure whether this device was there for real or whether it had been placed there just for her to test things out (or be tested, for that matter!). She would deal with it the next day. She was too tired to do anything else. She decided to turn the hot water pot on boil for a cup of tea. She had a cup of green tea and decided to go to bed. It was slightly chilly, so she took the top off the pot, nice and warm from the boiling water, and put it in her bed to warm it like a hot water bottle. 

 

少し仮眠を取った後、目覚めると、電気はつけっぱなしで外は暗かった。

携帯電話の着信があり、メッセージが入っていた。不思議としばらく連絡を取っていなかった

ホテル時代の同期の女友達からだった。彼女は同じ会社の先輩と結婚し、二人の

子どもを育てながら神奈川のベッドタウンで暮らしていた。

 

頭の中に混乱があり、いろんな事象を線で結びたいところに同期、しかも同じ

ホテルにまだ勤めている夫がいる彼女の伝言があると、縁を感じずには

いられない。カコはその場で彼女に電話をかけた。鎌倉に来ていることを

告げると、電車でそれほど遠くないところに住む友達は、ぜひ彼女の地元で

会わないかと誘われる。子どもたちのお迎えの時間の都合で、夕方に

駅近くで待ち合わせをすることになった。彼女の様子は至って普通だったが、

カコは自分自身が今ベストの状態ではないことは自覚していた。その様子が

相手に伝わったかどうかはわからなかった。会社にいた頃、最も親しくして

いた同期であったが、結婚を機に彼女は横浜に拠点を移し、子育て真っ最中

である多忙な毎日と、カコをつなぐ接点は少なかった。ここ数年間、カコに起こった

いろんな出来事や苦悩について、彼女は知るすべもないし、ましてや、会社員時代

しっかり者で通していたカコが錯綜状態にあることや、闇を抱えるようになったことは

先入観があって、会うまではわからないだろう。

 

夕食は摂っていないが、おなかはすいていない。

夜回りにも出かけなければならないか。その前に、非常時の退避の確認をしなければ

とふとカコは思い出す。なんともわざとらしい形で、金具の付いたロープが用意されているが、

梯子でもなく、ただのロープである。こんなもので、訓練もしていない一般客が逃げられる

のだろうか?いざとなれば人間必死になるからできるのかもしれない。でも、例え2階で

あっても、それはホテルの2階。天井高があるせいか、地面までかなり距離があるように

見える。しかも、眼下は植え込みなどではなく、パティオに敷き詰められた石畳のような

タイルだ。

 

子どもの頃からジャングルジムとか、蹴込み板のない階段などが怖かったカコにとって、

これは非常にハードルの高い課題だ。しかも、非常時以外にこのロープを利用して

下に降りようとすることは問題とも思われる。ホテルとして、このような器具を用意している

段階で、使用できるかどうか実践による確認はしているものと思われる。しかし、

カコのように、高所恐怖症(落ちないことがわかっている場所では、100階だろうが

怖くないのだが、足元が不安定なところは、木の上であろうが、崖であろうが一様に

恐怖である)のものが、果たして安全に利用できるのか、検証の必要はあろう。

 

恐怖心を克服する。

これは、青の峠で放浪に出た時からの課題のひとつでもあった。真夜中の京都の

山沿いにある稲荷神社を歩いたのも、そうした恐怖心の中で、何が本当に恐くて、

何が想像と考えすぎゆえの恐怖なのかを実体験するに至った。

 

ひとまず金具をバルコニーの手すりに取り付けて、紐をたらしてみる。

スパイ映画の脱出シーンでありがちな状況だ。目の前は広がる空き地とちょっと

林と海しかないように見えるが、もしかすると、向こうからこの様子が隠し撮りされて

いるのかもしれない。そう考えると、カコはおかしくもあった。有事でなく、誰にも

頼まれていない状況で、カコが取っている行動はコントでしかないからだ。

 

クスっと笑えるような状況がないと、本当に救いようがない一連の「調査」、「訓練」

というなの放浪。

 

下を見ると、落ちて打ち所が悪かったら死ぬか、大怪我をしそうな様子だ。

 

"You're asking me to do this? Really?" She asks the guy who was supposedly filming her every move. She was also asking herself. 

OK, let's make sure that we have shoes to wear once I get down.

She threw one ballet shoe down.

No ripples. No calls from the hotel guests down below.

OK, let's throw a blanket down there to ensure soft landing, just in case I fall.

No ripples. No ruffles. No calls from security. No one taking her to the local police. 

Well, I just dropped a blanket. How could that be against the law?

 

It was a mix of Cinderella and Rapunzel. But the sad reality was that there were no princes or dragons to help her out. No matter how long she waited, unless she went down herself, she would remain where she was.

Even trying to escape from a two story building seemed so difficult. Imagine being trapped in Grenfell Tower with the whole building ablaze... The danger and possibility of fire hazards have not decreased, no matter how much our society seems to have progressed. In hotels, in airplanes and office buildings we are often cautioned on safety and evacuation routes. But how many of us have actually been in an actual simulation? Without the prior know-how or practice, can we actually escape in an emergency situation?

 

 

 

To be continued shortly.


 

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