06 February 2011 ~ 6 Comments

The High Hat

Just now, I was walking home from the station when I spotted a black guy about a block away coming my way. I didn’t recognize him. I’ve run into all of the blacks in my vicinity at least once. New Blood, I figured.

For the past couple of years I’ve shunned other black people…unless they were Africans, and most Africans wouldn’t let you shun them anyway. They’d holler, “Hey, my Bruddah!” from across streets some times. It’s just beyond rude to them, I guess, to let another brother pass by without even greeting them.

But, African-Americans…as I’ve mentioned during my racism series, we don’t get down like that usually.

However, I’ve been trying to turn a new leaf, and as difficult as it is, I’ve begun making an effort to avail myself of my brethren simply because I can’t think of a good reason why I shouldn’t show love…or at least an openness to it. I mean, if the other person does one of a hundred things I’ve been known to do once I spot another black person, like suddenly check my cellphone or find something in another direction suddenly particularly diverting, I’ll understand. I’ve been there.

I spotted him first, I think. And watched as he approached walking on the other side of the narrow street. A Japanese couple came upon him and in typical Japanese fashion made an excessive five-foot detour around him. I zoomed in on his reaction. A smile. And a nod.  An expression on his face I read to mean, I understand your trepidation. I would take evasive action if I saw me too if I were Japanese. Have a lovely day!

Yep, either a new jack, an imbecile, or one of those people who go through life with an all-encompassing inner joy the likes of which Oprah would kowtow before.

In other words, Ghandi.

In yet other words, full of shit.

But, still I kept my attention in his direction, determined not to shun him despite his disposition.

Then, he noticed me. Our eyes met. And he suddenly looked up like a bird had called his name.

Surprising! I’d never seen a black guy pull that one before. Japanese have done it, of course, but never a brother.

He kept his nose up in the air til he was parallel with me. That’s when I realized what he must have been doing. He was giving me the high hat. This motherfucker high yellow nigga was giving me the motherfuckin’ High Hat!


Anyway, I lost it.


He’d actually stopped and turned when I called out, but at my approach took a step away, in what looked like fear.

“Uhhh, eeto, he–he–hello,” he said, the words spurting out like they’d been pried loose from terror-locked jaws.

I’d only wanted to personify the worst case scenario in the mind of the kind of African American that would snub another that way. So, I’d done my best impersonation of the kinda guy I’d sooner search the ground for loose Yen or the skies for Hurley Birds than acknowledge. One of them loud talking, shit-eating grin all up in your face, using “nigga”  and “bitches” in every other sentence kinda guys.

I didn’t think I’d scare him, though. There was nothing threatening in my behavior at all. WTF??

“Nice to meet you,” he said, and stuck out his hand for a shake. His hand was shaking.

“Nice to meet you???” I said.  Then something clicked, and I felt bad as hell. Now that I had a good look at his eyes, I could see the slight slant. And I could hear the echo of his accent in my head. A Japanese accent.

“Damn, my bad, Yo, I was just fooling around…I didn’t mean to scare you,”  I said. “Yeah, um, nice to meet you too…”

And I shook his hand.

“My name is Junichiro…call me Jun!” he said, and he could have been one of my students, who’d I taught that same exact phrase a few months ago.

“Jun! Cool name,” I said, giving this Haa-fu a closer look. Wow, how did I miss it? “My name is…



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6 Responses to “The High Hat”

  1. FuKnWitU 7 February 2011 at 12:13 am Permalink

    "Anyway, I lost it."

    Those 4 words are like fucking cat nip for me. I SWEAR I got pumped just seeing em 🙂

    It was an honest mistake. He's definitely gonna remember you 😉 lol.

    • Locohama 7 February 2011 at 9:28 am Permalink

      Yeah, I hate getting snubbed. I hate the idea of people thinking they are beter than me for whatever fucking reason. Even if they are richer, or smarter or a member of the majority racial designation…or whatever. I just hate that shit! But that's people are and I gotta live in the world with you know people and shit. I just sometimes Lose it when black people try that shit. I mean, I expect that shit from white people and Japanese people, because half the time they dont know any better, but black folk should DEFINTELY know better. At least I used to think that. But I'm thinking in terms of my generation. The thinking of generation Y is beyond me sometimes. And this guy was young, early 20s so his behavior through me for a loop…and I lost it. Not proud of it though )-;
      Thanks for the shout yo!

      • FuKnWitU 7 February 2011 at 1:01 pm Permalink

        Being ignored…I don't know how to explain how deeply infuriating that is. Most American's in Japan are the types I hung with back in Hawaii so they are just as foreign if NOT more because I don't get em'?? I don't.
        I'm gonna beat the shit outta a hiking/kanji otaku who ignored a polite invite on F.B.
        Not a polite decline cuz he thinks I'm crazy via the Yamaguchi ALT society. (that woulda been smarter)
        No…he just fucking ignores me. That's O.K. if you live somewhere else but this bitch boy lives 30 minutes away and teaches 4 of my students at J.H and H.S. so attending the Sports fest is not odd for me though I never went before.
        I'm gonna get in HIS MUG and tell him if he doesn't get on the ground and kiss my foot

        (in the mens room outta site from the crowd since this is me dominating him not for others but for myself so I don't care where his humiliation/punishment takes place)
        But I'm gonna teach this DUMB mother fucker a lesson. I KNOW he knows about me but he ignored me? He will never do that again after I see him BET!

        I will video this so I will give heads up as the time approaches. He gets to kiss my foot or my hands are gonna make out with his fucking face..up to him.

        He's clueless to the lifetime memory I'm gonna deliver to him. THIS is just too fucking easy. The NON language barrier allows me to terrify him in a deep way. 🙂

        Oh happy daaaay
        Oh happy day!

  2. RKat 7 February 2011 at 1:25 am Permalink

    This is why I love your writing! I want to just hug this post.

    I knew a half black half Japanese girl, her father was from Nigeria I think. She said to me, "you can speak English, I'm so jealous." Because everybody expected her to be able to speak English, when her father couldn't even speak English. She was born and raised in Japan, and she was definitely Japanese (although definitely darker skinned than your average citizen!), but she still had that African attitude. She was extra genki. Mixed race nihonjins are awesome ; )

    • Locohama 7 February 2011 at 9:22 am Permalink

      I love that you love my writing (-: Because I know you can fully appreciate it, being a writer yourself. Feel free to hug my post any time. And I agree "mixed race" nihonjin, like yourself, are something special. But I hate that mixed race, mixed blood, haa-fu business, you know? I mean, I think we have to, meaning mankind, find a way to discuss and identify people withput making their race or ethnicity a factor. But that's not our world, yet, I know. Thanks for the support as always!

  3. Produce Stand 7 February 2011 at 12:12 pm Permalink

    I should not have read that at work, I was giggling like I had rabies!

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