Stand perfectly still, close your eyes and you can feel it. The muddle of eight-bit sound effects, the chatter, the traffic streaming past outside, and the fog of cigarette smoke hovering like a storm cloud over the gamblers. Open your eyes and you’re in the loneliest room in the world.
A bleached-out calendar hangs open on 11 March 2011; on the floor, plastic baskets and metal pachinko balls are scattered everywhere, forcing you to pick a careful path through the debris.
The sense of loss and upheaval is palpable. You can taste it in the dank, cloying air. Outside the gambling parlor a kid’s bike lies on its side, now rusted through, perhaps in the same position it was tossed seven years ago when its owner dropped everything and bolted. Across the car park, a silver Audi A4 Avant—seemingly in perfect condition—is being consumed by the weeds, sucked back down into the earth from whence it came.