This wasn’t a submission to my what’s up, Loco? series, but it fits so I’m gonna work it in.
This from a longtime reader and commenter here that I’m sure if you read this blog you know probably as well as or better than you know me, by the name of Chris, AKA hawaiibadboy AKA fuKnWitU. Like myself, he has a couple of blogs out there that you ought to be checking out if you ain’t already. His new blog is aptly called: Confessions of a Bad Boy in Japan
He opened with “Fuck You Loco” (you gotta love the man’s directness) and proceeded to tell me about myself.
Here it goes:
“Fuck You Loco.
How fucking ironic since it’s what I got to say to you.
I’m looking at a shout out tweet in your sidebar. Your “everyday reads”
Just peeped 808 (Hawaii zip…another irony….the place I love) and it’s…well hey…alright.
My fucking role model who’s site I deposited 119 comments on some of them longer than your posts and I get…..a couple comments. I held shit down while you were busy and was told I was spot on. Where the fuck has the respect gone? Your giving love to fucking Manga sites? Thanks for the support dog. I ALWAYS told you straight and some support the other way woulda been nice…hell….it was kinda expected.
You got 995 twitter followers?….where the FUCK are they? This site is 1/2 you and 1/2 commenters. You didn’t even need to participate. Your comment section was like a forum in and of itself. You got a buncha fairweather (Rubi and a few others I ain’t talkin bout ya’ll obviously) commenters. You got some blogs in your roll that are about dead and 2 aren’t even in Japan anymore. I checked Tokyo Times last night and he got 35 comments because he responds to every comment like you used to. I always knew I’d get somethin. I had to join Stumble and whore myself for a comment though you didn’t even respond to the comment.
Is there a fucking problem?
You pimp your posts all day long and then don’t service them. You cherry pic who you respond to because your building bridges or whatever the fuck your doing? You used to put up with all that bullshit about being a Yokozuna at JapS*c or whatever that was so I shoulda known. I never thought I’d be watching you cheer Manga sites while ignoring my attempt to grow. You…you fucking break my heart. The ONLY male blogger I respect in Japan and you fuckin do me up hard.
I never saw it coming. Others might not get it but you know what I’m talkin about. I KNOW you hear me.”
Yep, I hear you, bruh.
Now you listen to me.
Today, just an hour ago a matter of fact, I was sitting in a dentist chair, getting root canal, thinking about you.
I don’t know if you’ve ever had this particular dental procedure before, but if you haven’t pray you never do. With all the modernization that has taken place in the field of dentistry, these sadist by trade (for some reason) have not figured out how to numb a nerve completely. At least my dentist hasn’t. So, it has taken four visits for him to remove four feisty nerves. Why? Cuz I probably scare the shit of him every time he touches one. I speak in tongues the pain is so excruciating. Today, after having put it off for two weeks, I went in to have the last of these nerve endings removed, Why had I put it off? Because this is the worst pain I’ve felt in my entire life…I’m saying, I’ve lived four fucking decades without feeling anything near what these sadist up in there are dispensing.
So, why the hell would I be thinking about you, you’re wondering?
You know how I got through the first 3 nerve ending removals? The first two I got through by telling myself shit like: BE A FUCKING MAN & SUCK IT UP! YOU WASN’T BITCHING AND MOANING CRYING AND SPRAYING THE ROOM WITH DENTAL INSTRUMENTS WHEN YOU WERE EATING ALL THAT GODDAMN SUGAR AND NEGLECTING TO VISIT YOUR DENTIST FOR DAMN NEAR A DECADE, NOW WERE YOU? SHUT THE FUCK UP AND TAKE IT LIKE A MAN!
The third one, however, made the first two seem like jammed fingers, paper cuts or hang nails by comparison. The third one reminded me of Laurence Olivier and Dustin Hoffman in that “is it safe?” scene in The Marathon Man! It was dental water-boarding. I ain’t exaggerating. I grabbed my dentist arm mid-procedure and said, through, I’m sure, eyes that could kill, “This ain’t gonna work!”
The dentist said, “it’s the only way we’re gonna save the tooth. If we don’t do this we’ll have to pull it.”
This tooth just happens to be the one beside a gaping hole where my molar used to be, the molar they pulled last November. And, it’s vital for the bridge work that will follow this root canal.
I released his arm and said, “okay, do what you gotta do!”
Have you ever seen or read, “Dune?”
There’s a Litany Against Fear that Paul Atreides uses to prove that he is human when he is suffering incredible pain. Dune fanatic that I am, I have it memorized. It goes:
I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain
And, yeah, the litany helped a bit. But no matter how many times I said it o in my head, it still hurt like I imagine giving birth must.
During that procedure, seeing as how I had man’d up, this sadist who gets paid big bucks to torture people decided to fuck with the fourth nerve…you know, to see if he could knock both of them out while he was in there. it was a good idea, and I really wanted to, but even Frank Herbert’s brilliance couldn’t stop me from kicking over the dentist’s tray when he touched it.
I was a fucking animal, but I survived and so did the dentist.
So, two weeks later, today, I turned myself in.
This, after waking up this morning and reading what you’d written above.
I walked into that office like a man surrendering to authorities after sitting atop the Most Wanted List for years…my estate settled and most of my affairs in order, it was time to pay the piper…and ‘fess up to my crimes!
I sat in that chair, glanced at the x-rays- exhibits A through fucking D- and at the peculiar shaped dangerous looking instruments on the tray, then into my dentist’s dark anxious eyes, and said, “let’s get this over with, yo!”
I laid back, looking up at the light, and I thought of you…and I told myself- like I’d told myself previously that I’d had it coming for all the Cap’n Crunch and Sugar Pops and daily Starbuck’s Grandes with no less than 8-packets of sugars- I told myself I had it coming cuz I brought Chris to this!
And, as the dentist read off my sentence and revved up the drill, I accepted my fate.
As he drilled deeper into the tooth, well into the process of essentially killing it by removing its last remnants of life- that feisty die hard of a nerve that obviously wasn’t ready to bite the big one, holding on to life with microscopic grip, I thought about how I had purposely neglected your blog…and it had been purposely done, for I knew you were cranking out the posts, and I knew you were waiting to hear from me, waiting to see how I would respond, anticipating the kind of support you’ve shown me over the course of the past year or so.
I knew it…so it had to be purposeful, right?
FUUUUUCK! I screamed, internally, when the drill kissed that nerve good morning, and the nerve replied, “Fuck you, Haisha-sensei! And, fuck you, too, Loco, for putting us in this fucking position…I ain’t going nowhere!”
But, I thought about you! And I gripped my hands, wringing the blood out of them, and squeezed a tear or two from my eyes…but I didn’t lose control.
“You’re doing very well!” the Dentist said, patting me on the shoulder.
No the fuck I’m not, I thought. I’m dissing a man who’s shown me nothing but support, who’s been not only a fan, but an inspiration, and a stiff jab when I needed it! No, I’m not doing well at all! But you go ahead…drill away, doc! And get it done!
The pain was like the ultimate wake-up call. The alarm clock from hell! Not only for the obvious reasons, of the dental hygiene and sugar intake variety. But, a wake-up call for my life!
It wouldn’t have been, however, if I hadn’t read your comment. It would have just been another dose of pain in a life I’ve often defined as pain management by pain avoidance.
I asked myself, why? Why would you not go all out for Chris? Why have you not giving him your full-throated support of his writing? Why haven’t you done much more than drop a line or two just to let him know you’re reading it? After all, you feel him! He’s a bad-ass, no doubt, but underneath all of that, you can see the heart that pumps the bad-ass, and, however twisted at times it may be, it’s an admirable one. A heart not unlike hearts you’ve known and loved all your life.
So why don’t you…
ARGHHHHH! The pain!
I cut my eyes at the Dentist, wondering if he had given me as many needles of anesthetic as root canal requires. Cuz, from the feel of it, it must’ve been “Torture a Gaijin” day, or something. Or maybe he’s just one sadistic bastard.
I drifted back to pondering the pain I’ve caused you (“You…you fucking break my heart”) with my sadism, torturing a gaijin, as it were, and I had the thought: this torture is no less than I deserve.
But, why would I torture you?
“Does that hurt?” the Dentist asked, rhetorically. I didn’t respond. Of course it hurts! If I’d invested time I’ll never get back, precious fucking time, in another person who arbitrarily disregarded my efforts, it would sting like a motherfucker.
Most of my tooth pulp was gone, the dentist informed me. “All that’s left is this one nerve! After we get this out we can get to work on that bridge.”
Building bridges…that’s what the dentist was doing. When you build bridges, you don’t start with the suspension cables or the lights or the road, you start with the support! So, why was I dissin’ my support? Like those grunts that worked on the construction of the supports for the Brooklyn Bridge and accidentally fell in. Now, their corpses are cemented in history, their contributions turned into sediment.
Your support has been rock solid, too.
And, your stories are astounding!
Was it jealousy?
I might’ve sucked in all the air in the room when I sucked up the pain from my fourth and final nerve’s final moments. The pain radiated all over my body, and I sweat like a sweathog.
“Wow, I think we’ve got it!” the dentist said. Then, the fucker had the nerve to add, with a chuckle, “You’ll remember this next time you eat sweets, won’t you?”
I didn’t respond. I probably would have said something unwarranted like,”Fuck You!!” But, it’s not his fault. I’d fucked myself.
And, I fucked you, too.
You know, I rode out that dental pain on a wave of remorse over how I’ve neglected you, bruh. So, now I owe you, again.
As for my behavior of late, what can I tell you?
I could give you some jazz about how busy I’ve been. And I have. And I could tell you how most of my energy has been focused on either writing and editing the two books I’m working on. And it is. I could tell you that I’ve divided most of my remaining time between trying to improve and enhance my writing ability through exercises and practice (you know that saying that goes “luck is when preparedness meets opportunity?” Well, a brother is getting prepared) looking for new material, maintaining and promoting two blogs, learning how to use social networking effectively, and all the other things you’ll be doing soon if you’re not doing them already. And that, too, is all true.
I could tell you I’ve never been much of a commenter on other people’s blogs, and that I sometimes strategically comment. That I place blogs on my blogroll not always because I read them regularly but sometimes merely because the blogger had done something supportive or impressed me at one time or another. I could tell you that sometimes I re-tweet tweets simply because the tweeters re-tweet mine, and I know I have followers who are interested in manga, etc, not because I necessarily read every post they write (even if that’s what the re-tweet suggested). I could tell you that I don’t give a fuck about the Twitter Follower count, only in the quality of the Follower (but hopefully saying that would be redundant.) That Twitter is merely a tool I use to try and connect with people and shorten that six degrees of separation between me and the people I want to reach, that while the majority of those 950 some-odd followers do not match that criteria, a good number do!
I could tell you that while I used to respond to almost all comments on Loco in Yokohama, I’ve taken to (of late) cherry picking partly because of time constraints due to the above and partly due to what Alex stated about whether the comment’s “written intelligently and pose questions that provide further food for thought,” as well as whether or not I feel (which varies from day to day, even moment to moment sometimes) the comment warrants a response at all…I’m not so much an intellectual or artistic snob as just a moody fuck with poor internetiquette, at times… (something I’m working on, btw). And, all of that would be true.
I could pimp slap you into next week and say “motherfucker, you done got in the game, for real. Bringing the noize I inspired you to bring! You’re well on your way to being a competitor now, so man the fuck up! And the megaphone I’ve given you on this blog (among other things) is responsible for, I’m sure, quite a bit of the quality traffic that has flowed your way thus far. So, shut the fuck up, or just say thank you, and stop bitching at me cuz I’ve only dropped a few comments, hardly enough to make you feel all warm and fuzzy! I’ll get to you asap, bruh, you should know that! You should also know that this blogging shit ain’t for the weak or the meek. It’s full-contact, sparring without headgear or gloves, yo, so pull your T-back out your ass and keep writing, and don’t get all bent over what Loco’s doing. I’m trying to do me! Do you!”
That would be true, too!
I could give you a lot of jazz, but I won’t…cuz you don’t give me jazz…well, not all the time. And, I respect you too much for that.
What I will tell you, though, to make a long story a little less long, is that moving forward, I’m gonna endeavor to take better care of my teeth, first and foremost, and take better care of my loyal readers, too…
That means you!
PS: And in case y’all don’t know who the man is that got me over here apologizing, in my way, and trying not to hate, and trying to amp up my own skills, y’all best check him out for yourselves, cuz money’s about to blow-up: Confessions of a Bad boy in Japan is all dat!
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And, if you got a sec, and in the mood for another side of Loco, check out my new blog: