Click here for pt. 1
“They are not a moral people,” Patrick said. “At least not moral as we see it.”
“As we see it?” I asked, incredulously. I couldn’t imagine he and I saw anything similarly but I didn’t say so. I just wanted to know how he’d become the most notorious Charisma man in Tokyo…at least as far as Nova was concerned. His exploits were whispered far and wide. His “charismatic” accomplishments were legendary.
“They’re piss poor peasants, practically barbarians…closer to animals than they are to us,” he said.
I couldn’t believe my fucking ears.
“You don’t believe me, do you?” he asked like he were accustomed to having his assertions challenged and thus came prepared to present proof that would satisfy even the most fierce opposition that Japanese people were sub-human.
“Ok, answer me this: what separates humans from the animal kingdom?” He asked, and folded his arms across his chest.
I’d seen Patrick several times with different Japanese girls in various locales, and all of them were clearly out of his league. Like this one time I’d run into him at a Starbuck’s in Shinjuku. He was with a straight up Japanese model. She stood out among other Japanese girls the way a Rakim song would stand out in a modern day mix-tape. The prototypical model, flawless in every way, by all appearances. He was sitting there confidently gaming away with his patchy, almost ring-wormy looking haircut, blotchy skin, wearing the suit he’d be wearing every time I saw him. He’d had her locked in a conversation and she clearly couldn’t understand what he was saying well or, I believe, she’d have fled the scene like she’d had an appointment for a Can Cam Magazine photo shoot crosstown 5 minutes from then. But, on the contrary, she was beaming and looked like she wanted to have his little haafu babies right then and there.
“Patrick!” I shouted.
With some effort they both yanked their eyes from one another and looked at me. He registered surprise and embarrassment, and all of the confidence he’d had just moments ago vanished, transforming before my eyes into the sniveling, nervous, twitchy shifty eyed Patrick that almost made me ashamed to share his race…the guy I’d see at the office from time to time.
“L-L-Loco!” was all he’d said.
I’d felt bad, responsible for the depletion of his confidence. Like a cock blocker. So, I decided to keep it moving and pretended to be in a rush. I figured I’d catch up with him another time to find out the details.
And that ‘another time’ happened to be this day, which found us working at the same satellite Nova location. We’d gone to McDonald’s together for lunch and over Big Mac sets I inquired as to his method. I’d wanted to know how this guy, who made even me feel debonair and irresistible by comparison, was able to overachieve as he was infamously doing.
Only to be told that it had something to do with Japanese being akin to animals???
“Come on, man,” I said. “You don’t really believe that shit, do you? You? As a black man, you ought to know better than that. After all the shit blacks have gone through with white folks thinking like that about us…please tell me you’re kidding.”
He paused and took a sip of his drink just as a couple of Office Ladies were passing by. One was about to take a seat at the empty table beside ours but the other, after taking a glance at us, called to her- with a little urgency- that there was another table across the room. The other couldn’t understand the urgency until she glanced our way and noticed us. Then she rose and hastily followed her companion to the free table across the room.
Patrick then turned back to me like he’d forgotten I was there.
“Look around us…” he said. “It’s the lunch rush, right? So, why do you think every table in here is occupied except for the two on either side of us?”
I actually hadn’t noticed until he pointed it out.
“You probably think it’s cuz Japanese people are a bunch of racist bastards, right?”
“No,” I said. “I mean, it could be that. but, who knows?”
“I used to think like you…” he said, like a pompous mind-reading fuck. “I used to think that Japanese were racists, or xenophobic, or whatever you want to call it. But now I know better.”
“Okay…” I said, still wondering what this had to do with animals. “So, what’s the real reason, Patrick-sensei?”
“If you were to move away from someone the way they just did, so blatantly, what do you imagine would be going through your mind?”
“I wouldn’t do that…well, I should say, I wouldn’t do that unless there were special circumstances…someone I was trying to avoid on purpose and wanted them to know it, or maybe a homeless person stinking to high hell or something like that. But, I wouldn’t do it otherwise. Not without reason.”
“Because that’s a fucked up thing to do to someone…”
“Cuz I wouldn’t want anyone to do that to me. You know, that ‘Do unto others…’ thing.”
“Exactly!” he said, like I’d made his point. “You’d have to have a reason. You wouldn’t do it without one.”
“Okay…” I said. “I’m sure they had a reason, too.”
“Are you?” he asked. “Why? Cuz they’re shy? Cuz they’re afraid of people who look different than themselves? Cuz they’re afraid of the unknown?”
“That’s what everybody says…”
“Listen, Loco,” he said in an exasperated tone like he was trying to be patient with me. “I have a very high regard for human beings…and I think humans have a rather high capacity for rational thinking….don’t you?”
“I believe this is what separates humans from animals…”
“So, you think Japanese don’t have a high capacity for rational?”
“What do you think?” he said like he was teaching a course.
“I think you’ve been here too long…” And, I laughed. But my heart wasn’t in it. And Patrick knew it. He smiled, took a sip of his coke, looking at me over the lid.
“Okay, big deal! They moved. That’s their prerogative, isn’t it?” I asked. “I mean, I’m sure they had a motive…it’s like fight or flight, right? They decided to fly instead of fight. Whatever feelings of discomfort they might have experienced have been neutralized by moving. The way I see it, that’s basic human instinct.”
“I agree and I disagree,” he said. “I think fight or flight is a basic animal instinct…and maybe children. But not complex enough for adult humans. I think human motives should by directed by morals. For me, I think, doing the right thing for the right reason pretty much sums it up. Assuming they are rational beings, if they had even considered our dignity as humans for a second they could never have concluded that moving was the right thing. Any other motive is beneath contempt.”
“But those are western values, dude,” I said. “You can’t apply that shit universally…can you?”
“I do,” he said. “I have to. It’s the only way to protect myself from the onslaught of offenses over here, in the US, hell, anywhere.”
“You see,” he explained. “I only allow humans to offend me. Adult humans. And once offended, I respond appropriately, dependent on the offense. But, children and animals don’t offend me. Japanese people don’t behave like rational humans and they certainly have no more regard for my dignity than a child or animal would. So, I don’t see why I should recognize in them something they can’t recognize in me. To prove I’m the bigger man? At what price? And for what purpose?”
“So, basically you’re a predator and Japanese animals, particularly the females, are your prey…”
“Something like that,” he laughed.
“That’s really twisted,” I said. “If I understand you correctly, you’re punishing them for lacking the morals you value.”
“But, you’ve let this idea you have of them being animals transform you into an animal! By punishing them this way you’re compromising your own morals, aren’t you? Or did I miss something?”
He thought about it for a second. Then he said, “You missed something.”
“That, if I don’t see them as human then the guilt you’re trying to play on doesn’t exist,” Patrick laughed. “I’m no more an animal than a cattle rancher is…Or a chicken farmer. Or a big game hunter. I’m just a Sportsman, Loco. Pure and simple.”
…to be continued