Dear Ryuichi Sakamoto

Your music used to be my only friend.

I had recently moved to the U.S. with my sisters. I was a 9th grader back then. I didn’t know how to speak English or have any friends. I always had a stern face and ate alone in the cafeteria. Sometimes, I skipped lunch and hid in the school bathroom. I was terrified of being alone.

From where I lived, getting to the school took about an hour and a half. I had to wake up at 5:30 to catch an old minivan. When I hopped in the car, I took my iPod Mini out and played the first track of your album Playing the Piano.

I closed my eyes and listened to you playing piano. I could even hear you stepping on the pedals. I felt like your music understood what I was feeling. I was an angry kid who occasionally went outside the apartment to scream as loud as he could. No one could dare, but you let me calm down and find peace.

I wish I could tell you how grateful I am. Your music changed my life.

Rest in peace, Ryuichi Sakamoto.