Rain outside. Room is packed, party in full swing, the air heavy with perfume and sweat. Look over there, Saboten Girl ruling over her crew of cats like a real queen, her laughter high and hands gesturing like butterflies in the air, big golden earrings sparkling in the light. Corinne is here too, teaching BadBoy how to pronounce cunt. With that Aussie accent of hers she can make everything sound sexy; no wonder BadBoy trying is to get into her pants – hard. Talking of which… is that Kei? There, smooching with that oppa? Oh yeah, that’s her alright. Got a futon in the room upstairs if you want to, lovebirds, or else the one-and-only Green Eyed Geisha will write something wittingly snarky about you on her blog tomorrow. Dance, dance, dance.
Verity, late as always, comes in, pretty with her long hair. She is new in town and doesn’t know most of the people, so, shy as she is moves over to Loco, who is just flipping a vinyl on the turntable. Over the music they chat a bit before she asks: “yo Loco, who’s that guy over there?” “Huh, what guy?” “The tall one, standing in the corner.” she says, pointing a finger.
“Ah”, Loco says, “that’s Biggie”.
“Oh, so that’s him! He said he wanted to talk to me about something, I wonder what it is. But… Loco, this is a party and all…. why isn’t he smiling?”
Why do you blog about Japan?
I don’t. What? No, really, Loco. Look, here’s the deal: last weekend – I had been lazy and not shaved for a couple of days – in the mirror, in what used to be a very reddish beard, all of a sudden a streak of grey. And I kinda liked it. Because, well, I sort of found peace with who I am now, where I am now, now that I finally have my act somewhat together again. But it also made me realize that I have been here fourteen years, the better part of my adulthood spent in a countryside town in Kyushu. Already fourteen-fucking-years-in-Japan! So, the gold and sparkle, the marvel and wonder, has worn off long ago. There of course still is a bit of lovin’ and a bit of hatin’ and a bit of bitchin’, but I don’t get off on a kimono or tea-ceremony no more.
A couple of years ago, 2008 to be precise, something went horribly astray around me, in my life. And I ended up in what well could have been a chapter taken out of Orwell’s 1984, full of Newspeak, twisted realities, raped truths. And I lost everything. Materially, but also more important things. Pride. Joy. When I looked in the mirror, my eyes were dead. I fell hard, and was purged accordingly from the petty society I had belonged to for so long.
There is this saying in Japanese: deru kui wa utareru, “the nail that sticks out gets hammered down”. Well, I wasn’t exactly asking to stick out, but I got me a good beating regardless. The ship was burning, rats were running. This country is not very fond of anything that is perceived as a disgrace, disturbance, or disagreeable to the eye, and my fifteen minutes of fame were rather surreal. But I still made a point not to leave town. I hadn’t done anything wrong, I wasn’t going anywhere. To fight this wave of hatred took a lot of energy, though. I put myself into cold shutdown. I lost the ability to laugh, the ability to speak.
The System takes it time, grinding relentlessly but slowly. Yet, two years later most of the mess had been sorted out, and I thought I had made enough of a statement. The only thing – or should I say person – that had still tied me down to the place, was by now gone too. Fake – yes, I am a fool, lesson learned. So I packed the bags, and moved up north, close to Tokyo.
I had seen things few will see in their lifetime, but by now the bad dreams, waking me up at night, had become much less frequent, and I felt it was time to start laughing again, speaking again. What frustrated me enormously though, was that my voice – the Truth never had been out there. So I had this vague idea, that someday I would try to write something down. And I started looking for a forum for that, being a very digitally-illiterate person. The result is my blog BiggerInJapan, where I am experimenting a bit with the format, basically warming up. And this is where I soon will put down my short story, “The Plane”. It’s almost ready. It is very cryptic; we are sitting on some tapes and the Rats are still watching, and some people need to be protected from further harm. But the emotions I experienced – the fear, anger, resentment, failure, shame, loss – those I want to be raw like sushi and honest to the bone. We’ll see. Writing it made me relive some things, but also gave me closure. Probably I’ll down a bottle of something before mustering the courage to push the publish button, and then cry me a few crocodile tears while y’all are laughing your ass off. Which is fine. Don’t you know: clowns are good people.
wow, Biggie, this heavy stuff is not, uh, what this party is all about. Err, what is the loco-est thing you have ever seen or done in Japan?
Yeah, yeah, Loco, gotcha. I’ll try to be a bit more, ahem, fun. So… you guys wanna hear about sex in Japan, right? Sex always sells. But… I don’t know. It is so all over the place, so easily available, like you have a McDonalds, a Starbucks and then some sex at every corner, it’s almost not sexy anymore. Ah, but there is this one time I still vividly recall though. I was walking deep in the night through a quiet, residential area of Tokyo’s Meguro ward, when all of a sudden I saw this young woman standing in front of her dark window. Naked, touching herself, watching me, clearly wanting for someone to watch her. I guess Tokyo can be a lonely place, making people do funky stuff sometimes.
Or no, maybe you want to talk about violence? You gotta appreciate I am really trying hard to please you. Japan is supposed to be such a safe country, eh? Oh, I’ve got some stories for ya… thanks to my god-given talent to be in the wrong places at the wrong times. Wish I was better at just walking away. But I can tell you those scrawny chimpira dudes regretted tangoing with me. Or how I KO’d a wanted yakuza and got a friggin’ police reward for it, AND a box of cookies. And so did a dog (well, not the cookies)! Hmm, Gaijin And The Dog – nice title for a small post, or maybe the next commercial in that Softbank series. Hey Loco, you can have the suave black guy part, while I play the cute dog. Whatya say, man, are we finally going to whore ourselves out and cash in on our otherness?
Instead, I will tell you something more loco-ish.
Dare I say it? The L-word? When Lucifer is watching, ready to lick me with his flames? Is Biggie going all sissy now? Who talks about L. these days now anyway? That’s so passé.
Crimson dark, burning L. Going loco for L.
I thought I had forgotten how to, or maybe purposely took a break. But L. may prove me wrong. A mind twisting around a mind. A body longing for a body. A soul screaming for a soul. Am I scared of L.? Yes. Will I take the plunge? Yes.
Verity, why are you looking at me like that? Do I make you uncomfortable?
oh fuck, Biggie, are you telling me that… come on now, I mean, are you sure??
Biggie has left the room…Lord knows why. I miss the guy already, though. Don’t you?
Anyway, before he gets back, I got a couple of things I wanna say.
One other thing.
@Readers: Over the course of this series, I (and via Loco, you guys) have been blessed with some of the finest minds and talents the Japan blogosphere has to offer, and there are more to come! I’m really overwhelmed by the turnout and the quality of these posts. Thank you for reading and do yourselves a favor and peep his work when you get a chance. You’ll thank me!
Where the hell is he? Oh well…Verity, watch your back! (-;
@Biggie: Thanks for sharing your thoughts and for blessing Loco in Yokohama with your gifts! I feel you, bruh. Totally! And I’m sure my readers do, as well. BTW I love that song and video!!!
This party WILL continue…
PS: Click on the links below to jam with the previous guest DJs!