Tag Archives: Women
“If you’d please…”
“If you’d please…”
“Sir, would you like to…”
“Akihabara’s newest maid cafe! Would you…”
23 people. She had counted them exactly, partially out of desperation and partially out of a need to keep score. Each one had rebuffed her without a single word. 1000 yen an hour and there she was freezing her thighs off in the middle of the night to an indifferent mob of nobodies she wouldn’t have spent a second glance looking in any other place. Good lord. What’s to do in this country? Graduation was still a year away and that PSP wasn’t going to buy itself!
“Hi there, would you..”
He took the flyer. Success. If only a small one.
“Thank you so much, would you like me esco-..?”
He walked on. The second part of the game was to get them into the store itself. That there was the trickiest part AND the best. To get them in meant that you could go back inside and let some other unlucky sap stand outside in the cold. God, she was ready to get back inside, serve some tea and get back at that Achika. Then she would be in the cold and would warm, sneaking bites of the fried chicken they had in the back room. Not to mention sneaking a sip of the draft beer. That would be all in good time, but for now…
“Would you like to…”
“Please, if you’d be so kind…”
“I love you.”
I can’t say I didn’t expect him to say those words, but they still hit with a raw force. I had let him chase me, after all. I had let him find me, after all. You’d think that time would make things calmer, but it time amplifies as much as it adds perspective. I could see in his eyes that he knew how foolish it was to say these things to me. I had a life outside of here after all. I had just been proposed to in Korea. He’s a good guy, working out in Pyongyang at Lenovo’s branch. He was waiting for me at the hotel. He knew he was being a fool, yet he decided to be as foolish as he could be.
He put his arm around and took a deep breath. I could feel him trembling still from the weight of those words. Such an odd word to use on a man: trembling. So full of vulnerability and weakness from this guy who’s standing a whole head taller than me. Yet, trembling is the only word that comes to mind for how his body shakes. Can’t be the train either.
I said nothing. What could I say?
God, such an awkward spot to make a confession. A train. Going for broke is something best done with intent and not in a spontaneous burst of emotion. Well, it was our only chance alone and how often could he have a chance to say it? He already knew I could say nothing yet he said something for the both of us.
“I love you.” He said again. “You don’t have to say it, just hear it.” Thank god.
Okay, I’ll admit, it was kind of sweet on his part to go all this way just for a girl like me. But they say it’s bad to break a heart. They say it’s worse yet to instill hope where there is none. There was none here. I’d be going to my hotel in Asakusa and then be on a plane bound for Pyongyang the next day. That was where I was needed more. I’d would be there and he would be here. That’d be fine for now.
As his eyes were closed in a silent agony and the train doors slid open, I nuzzled my head against his chest and squeezed his hand one last time.
The strongest, most dramatic changes in fashion have usually had a pretty good war to go along with them. The problem comes when people stop caring about the war going on. Fashion becomes static and statements become even more meaningless than they already are. Such was the marketer’s theory when they decided to take 10-cent firecracker fodder than turn them into 10-dollar novelty jewelry. Even better, the profits could come from both sides – those on the right could say that they were being patriotic and honoring the brave warriors on the front lines; those on the left could say it was a silent protest against the treatment of the fighting forces as no better than finger puppets. Either way, there was money to be made.
The trend was soon catching on all over the world after a prominent movie actress showed them off on a Chinese television variety program. Being a devout liberal, her sincere speech through the filter of Chinese subtitles moved the people on the streets of Beijing who were soon to upload it to youtube through their firewall proxies. The footage went viral literally hours after it aired and soon enough, schoolgirls in Thailand were sporting little green men on their little tanned fingers. This did cause some problems to Japanese tourists when they took trips to Dubai or Tehran, which led to embassy advisories against bringing certain types of jewelry.
In all, the trend lasted all of four months in its origin as the war starting fading in the background of the public consciousness again. The jewelry would be mostly forgotten outside of retrospective internet articles and television specials on the year and decade in review. Likewise, Asia, Europe and Africa’s craze for it would soon subside but it would be still be something that tourists would note with curiosity on the streets of Seoul or Shibuya, usually proceeded by a blog post or tweet to the effect of “WTF?”
Shakai-jin. Society and Person. Someone who contributes to society.
After graduating high school I didn’t see much point in going to university. Enough with those stupid books and pointless tests. Hearing some old geezer yak on and on about something that’s so freaking boring! I just wanted to hang out with my friends, drink a Cocktail Partner and play Angelique when I got home.
Although, I gotta admit history class was fun though. Hearing stories of The French Revolution and the killings that ensued. Especially seeing all the gorgeous paintings of the queens and the luxurious dresses they wore. I wanted that. So I got a part-time job at the first department store that would hire me. Saved every yen I could to get my first lolita dress. “Baby The Stars Shine Bright” indeed!
That was about a year ago. Now, I’m working in Harajuku on Takeshita. Been just a few months but things are going pretty good. Keeping the displays maintained, drawing up little signs for what we have in store and watching all the fashionable girls waltz in and out. The best part though is watching all those otaku when I come outside and telling them “NO!” as I walk to and from work. Then going home to my home, having mom cook up something delicious and then I can rest for the next day.
Contributing is nice.
When leaving Rome, keep the Roman in you. Not the part of Empires, pillaging then taxing the pillaged. No, no. That’s too barbaric and I fail to find the joy in that. No passion in destruction. My Rome is Mexico and in Mexico, the Romans dance salsa! It’s even easier to keep being Roman when you happen to be inside a Mexican dance salon. You’d have to be a soulless shell of a father to skip that day in a daughter’s life when she gets married. Not mention dead to turn down the opportunity to go to Prague with her friends from overseas for that event.
I have always loved the Asian mystique. Watching the movies of Kurosawa in my youth, I was entranced by Machiko Kyo’s eyes in Rashomon. So exotic yet full of that unique human beauty, I thought. Even now I don’t think I’ve ever heard her voice without the dubbing, but those eyes said far more than words ever could. The Asian mystique caught in the cinematic mystique. Can you blame me for just walking up and taking her off her chair.
“Wow!” She squealed in not-undelighted surprised, “What are you doing, sir?” Her Spanish was impeccable.
“I don’t know how to dance!”
Her feet said otherwise. Her accent had the flatness and dragged Rs of Mexico City. Who knew the day I would love to hear that accent could have ever come!? I could see my daughter gently shaking her head as she and the other guests watched the spectacle before them. No mind. It was their day and we had all cried all the happy tears we could muster away into glasses of wine and pitchers of beer. Now, it was time to celebrate all those who came here to honor them.
Well, okay, and a petite young lady with inkwell eyes framed by some stylish glasses is something to honor too.
As the newlywed bride readies the camera after recovering from her disbelief, I just look into the young bachelorette before me. Yes, I’ve been married, divorced, re-married and now managed to get this far in life.
Doesn’t mean you have to forget what it was like before all that.