The following conversation took place yesterday between a friend and I in a café in Yokohama
Friend: I finished your book yesterday.
Me: Oh? what did you…
Friend: I dunno…I mean, I see what you see. I do. But it just doesn’t bother me.
Me: I see.
Friend: Well, now it probably will, but it didn’t before…
Me: Is that bad?
Friend: Fuck yeah it’s bad! I gotta live here. I got kids and shit. I ain’t going nowhere.
Friend:You know what I mean…
Me: Actually, I don’t. Did the book make you wanna leave Japan??
Friend: Well, it certainly didn’t make me wanna buy that house me and Mrs been looking at, that’s for damn sure.
Me: Sorry about that…
Friendh: Nah, don’t be sorry. It ain’t your fault. You just called it like you see it, shit, like it is!
Me: I don’t see how it didn’t bother you before you read the book…
Friend: Yes you do. You said it in the book. It was in the first fucking chapter, wasn’t it?
Me: What was?
Friend: When you talked about how you tolerated life here initially. I was doing just what you said you used to do. I was looking down at these mofos. Fuck I care if they too ignorant, scared shitless and small-minded to respect me. It’s just like you said. They’re isolated on this little island, protected by their language and cultural barriers, so they’re relatively safe from outside influences like human equality and the other issues our boy MLK preached about and whatnot. These mofos hardly even know who he is. I told my co-worker that i usually take this day off back in the states and he was like, “why?” So I told him as much as I could about MLK and e civil rights movement and he was looking at me like everything i said was a foreign concept. Fuckers are clueless. So why should I let clueless mofos bother me?
Friend: You were dead on. I even look down on my wife. She’s just as Japanese as everybody else.
Friend: That shit ain’t funny! Last thing I need is for my kids to get all fucked up too. Shit, I only see them a few minutes in the morning and a few at night. I’m at work all day…and they’re in Japan all day, everyday!
Me: I see what you mean…
Friend: That’s why I said “go.” You rocked my world yo, with your fucking book!
Me: My bad…
Friend: Nah, yo, kill that noize! I think if MLK read your shit, he’d know he’d made a difference. You feel me? In other words, Thank you.
Me: Don’t thank me…thank MLK! He, and our parents and shit, they did all the heavy lifting. All I did was tell my story.
Friend: But you keeping that dream alive…even here in Asia, and that’s admirable, bruh!
Me: Thanks yo.
Happy Birthday (belated) MLK! Thank you for all you sacrificed for the betterment of the present and for a brighter future for humanity!