From “A place in heaven” by Prince
“Stop your whining…and face it: you’re a big black angry man in a little yellow xenophobic land,” he said, with a self-satisfied smile indicating he thought he was being clever, “and you’re going to have to accept that fact, or just leave.”
“I’m gonna go with option three!”
“I didn’t give a third option.”
“I KNOW,” I snapped. “But, I thought of one all on my own. Is that ok with you? Who initiated you the brains of this outfit anyway?”
“You did, matter of fact!” he retorted. “Last time, when you said ‘if I ever start sounding like one of those ex-pats who sit in bars all night complaining about Japanese this and Japanese that, please bitch slap some sense into me!’”
“Fuck, is that a quote?” I asked. His impersonation of me was right on; like looking in the mirror…well almost. After all, he is white, bespectacled, balding, and I got him by a good 9 inches in height and a solid 75lbs in weight. Otherwise, he was dead-on.
“I could tell you the date you said it, too,” he smiled. “It was 3 years ago…today!”
“Well, a lot has changed in 3 years,” I said, overstating it a bit. “I’m not the same person I was then.”
“Of course not…you’ve changed a lot! You’re practically Japanese now.”
“Fuck you!” I said with just enough venom to let him know I resented his remark but wasn’t bent outta shape or anything.
A waitress appeared, smiling and bowing, “Sumimasen…O-kawari desuka?” (Would you like another cup of coffee?)
“Unn, O-kawari desu. Ato…Chocoleeto Caaaakee wo kudasai.” (I sure would, and also a slice of chocolate cake.)
“Nihongo ga jouzu desune…” (Your Japanese is great!)
“Chigaimasu ne. Mada umakunai desu yo.” (No, it isn’t. It’s still pretty bad.)
She walked away, glancing back, flirting, as I suspect they are paid to do, but even more so than usual. I turned back to Joe and said, “I think she was flirting. What do you think?”
He didn’t respond. He was just watching me.
“Do you really think I’m angry?”