from arrowhead - Monday, August 01, 2005
accessed 1526 times
It was dusk and the sun set off a glow, even in Roppongi. I was going to visit a Brazilian friend that I had previously lived and worked with before I was so rudely...
It was dusk and the sun set off a glow, even in Roppongi. I was going to visit a Brazilian friend that I had previously lived and worked with before I was so rudely thrown in the slammer. Her image was embedded in my memory--her golden hair, straight and flowing the length of her spine, her almond eyes, pools of wonder that I got lost in, her full, luscious lips that I had loved to nip crimson and had whispered Portuguese endearments...
I could easily recall her gestures--the easy sway of her hips when she walked, the girlish movement that swept her hair back at the shoulders, the way she crossed her legs--so exotic with feminine fluidity...
But it was all over now. I wanted to see my friend one last time.
I walked into her apartment. It wasn't as I remembered. She had new blue carpeting, a glass coffee table, 35 inch flat-screen, stereo, and a bed.
I announced my presence with, "No more mattress, huh?"
Her 5.2 frame jumped up and she wrapped her arms around me warmly. I inhaled her hair, the scent so familiar, like lilacs and summer. I hugged her back; she'd lost so much weight. She was thin as a rail.
I grinned, "How are.." she kissed me mushily on the mouth, "you?"
I tasted strawberry lip-cream.
"Good, good." She smiled widely and I realized how much I'd missed her.
"Wow, the apartment looks much better now."
"I know. You see all this?" She waved her arms around, "Customer buy for me."
"Anyone I would know?"
"No, this one," her eyes got as big as saucers, "he's fucking rich, fucking rich!" She counted on her fingers, "MasterCard, Visa, silver, gold, platinum...I introduce you." She lit a Virginia Slim. "Where you go? Everyone so worried." Yeah right. My Nigerian boss' just worried about all the money he's not making.
"I was in jail."
She leaned forward, "Noooo! For what?"
She threw her head back, "Hahaha! Well, welcome back. You like this air now, huh?" She waved her arms around, "This freedom air. I arrested too. Long time ago but for this same thing as you; drugs."
"Yes. Really not nice. Did you go to Kasumigaseki jail?"
"Yeah." I sat down wearily. Just thinking about it made me tired.
"Me too! Did you meet big, mean tanto-san?" (warden)
I shook my head.
"Ahh. Because you are shyo-nen." ( a minor)
"Lucky you. But you are out now," she brightened, "We have party! When you start work again?"
"Um, I'm not..."
"Tonight? Oh, Daniel be very happy to see you. You call him?"
"Yes, I did call him because he owes me money. But I'm not going back to work there."
"Why?! You need to. You know bitch Claudia, she say so many bad things about you. Her and Kim, fucking bitches. You need to work if only one night just to shut up bitches."
"No. I told you. I'm done with that."
"Only one night? And we sleep together after, you and me."
I grasped for another subject. "You got so thin."
"I know I'm skinny."
"Are you still doing drugs?"
"Yes, now maybe one month, nothing. What about you?"
"I've been in jail. What do you think?"
"But now since you get out of jail," she jumped up and rummaged in the kitchen cupboard, "we need to do."
I wanted to. I wanted a hit really, really badly.
"Come on. I be very lonely if I the only one."
Her phone started ringing. She ignored it. She took the white pills and dropped them on the table.
"We do one each and you say bye-bye to Roppongi, like America say, with bang!"
I looked at the pills and nothing else mattered. I looked at the temptation which robbed me, sentenced me, left me alone behind cold bars. And I wanted it. I hated myself then--my weakness, my desire. "No."
She whined, "Sayuri. What is wrong with you? You won't do for one-chan (older sister) Teka?"
That's when I got mad.
"You said you quit. Did you quit like you said you quit three months ago? Two months ago? Teka, listen to me. I went to jail. If I ever get caught again I will be in jail for 10-20 years. And you're here in Japan illegally. Do you realize the situation your in? Do you realize how dangerous this is?"
She frowned. "I'm young. Only 23. I don't want to get married...cook food...have children." She waved her hand dismissively, "Bullshit."
"Exactly. You are young. So what the fuck? Your whole life is ahead of you. Why are you wasting it?" I was embarrassed; I didn't mean to be so harsh. I wasn't her mother.
"Why you angry at me? What I do?"
I could tell she was hurt.
"I see Sayuri, my good friend and you just get angry at me."
"I'm just trying to help you."
I can't believe I just used that line. I hate that line.
I pleaded, "Why don't you go back to Brazil and live with your family again. Get on with your life. Roppongi is shit. You said so yourself."
"My customer, one who buy me this stuff say he take me away. He take me all over the world. I go with him, yes? Make Sayuri happy if I go with him?" Oh Lord, she's serious.
I didn't know what to say. I turned away from her questioning eyes. I lit up a Marlboro Red.
"How long have you known this guy?"
"Oh, about 2 weeks," she prattled, "Very nice, very rich."
I studied my cigarette. "I don't think that's such a good idea. I wouldn't trust a customer."
"Then I stay in Roppongi. This what you want?"
"Teka." I exasperated, "what do you want to do with your life?"
A smile slowly spread across her face, "Have funnn, babyyyy!"
She jumped up and started dancing, spinning around in her soccer jersey, laughing. I signed with defeat.
I looked at her. God, she was beautiful. Even in just that stupid soccer jersey she was making me horny. I admired her long, bronze legs. I looked from her calves up to her toned thighs... from riding this new customer no doubt. I looked away, ashamed at my thought.
She pulled her hair out of her face and tugged me by both hands. "Ok. We don't go too crazy, just little crazy. We do lines? Ok?"
Why the hell not? I was beyond caring. I feigned reluctance, "Ok."
"Hahaha," she laughed triumphantly. "I knew you don't quit. You like me Sayuri, we don't quit. We can't quit."
"Just give me the damn stuff."
We did the lines quickly. The rush wasn't slow in coming; it brought the blood to my head, with it an intoxicated, deep-tickling buzz. It was like stepping out of my skin and diving into a waterfall.
She put on Def Leppard's Pour Some Sugar On Me . It had been our song. She pulled me up to dance with her and we did till we were panting and sweaty.
We collapsed on her bed, giggling with mirth. She wiggled out of the jersey, and then turned towards me resting her head on her elbow.
"So you come to club tonight?"
She was comfortable with her nakedness. Like I once was.
I cleared my throat. "Yes, I need to collect my money."
"Oh," she giggled, "Claudia and Kim will be scared to see you."
I felt my body respond to her, I was getting wet. "Umm, why?"
"You are so stupid sometimes, Sayuri. I don't see how you number one when you so nice to bitches! They hate you. They scared that you work again and take their money."
"I told you I'm not going back to work, I just need to pick up some cash."
I tried to concentrate on her eye-brows. "Umm, who's number one now?"
"Claudia. But she still don't beat you." She poked my nose.
I asked, "What about you?"
She cupped her breasts in her hands and lightly squeezed one, "Number one: this is you." Then squeezed the other, "number two: this is me."
She had given me the larger, fuller breast. I looked slowly down, following the golden curves of her body, lingering at her shaved pussy. Maybe it was the cocaine, maybe it was the fact that I'd been in jail, but she looked delicious and I wanted her. And she knew it.
She smirked and slowly put her sharp, lacquered, long-nailed finger in her snatch, it came out wet, her nail all shiny. "You want taste?"
I could smell the moistness. Damn her.
That's when her phone rang. She ignored it.
She put her finger in my mouth. She tasted salty and piquant and familiar.
She teased, "More?" Damn right I want more.
Instead, I said, "Aren't you gonna answer your phone?"
She sighed and went to retrieve it. I rolled over and stared at the ceiling.
What was I doing? What the fuck was I thinking? This was crazy. I got off the bed and did another line.
"I'm going to the convenience store," I told her, not bothering for a reply.
Evening was nearing and the streets were just starting to crowd. People were jovially talking and smiling. I needed to clear my head, instead it was swimming in an ocean of Teka and coke.
I had marched here, claiming mission of mercy for my fruit-cake, junkie of a friend and instead, I was the junkie. And I couldn't resist the sweet temptation of Teka from her audacious childishness to her Brazilian cunt.
I felt guilty, like Judas. I couldn't even be true to myself.
I argued--even strippers need friends. Then stop using her and be a friend, damn it. But you already knew there was nothing to be done. What did you expect? You knew where she was, because you've been there before. No amount of coercing or talking would do a thing. If she was going to change she'd have to do it herself. You are powerless.
I felt weak and dirty, the taste of her in my mouth now soured. What had compelled me to return to this cesspool? I shakily lit my cigarette and inhaled deeply.
I looked around...it wasn't just Teka, it was...this, all this. I would miss it--the easy money, the shameless flamboyance, the self-glamorous life-style, the sex, the alcohol, the narcotics-- and I couldn't ever have it again...ever.
The full knowledge descended on me and I wept in disgust and bitterness.
I returned to the apartment numb. I sat at the table. She was lounging on her stomach waiting for me, her voluminous bum in the air.
"Come." She patted the bed.
"No." I said frostily, "let's just talk."
She was puzzled. "There is something? Someone?"
"Yes," I lied.
"Oh." She put her jersey back on and sat with me at the table. "I know you never like pussy all the way." She said contemptuously, "you love dick too much."
"I guess I do."
She popped a pill in her mouth and drew her knees up defensively against her breasts.
"Sayuuuuri." She shook her head, "You disappoint me."
That choked a laugh in my throat, "I disappoint you?"
"Yes, you are too soft."
"Well, maybe I like being soft."
"So what you do now? Go get education, good job and children?" she sneered, "You think you be happy then?"
"Yes, I do believe I'll be happy; happier then dancing naked for men. Teka, you won't be beautiful forever."
"Why do you say these things to me?"
I could hear accusation in her voice, "Why do you come back to hurt me, Sayuri?"
"Because you're better then this. You deserve better."
The words sounded hollow in my ears. She laughed, clearly amused. I wanted to slap her.
"I am sorry," she said cordially.
"Sayuri, you know? You make me so happy. Tonight, I want you give me big hug when you come in club. You be nice to me, ok?"
"I have argument with Kim. She's so stupid. She say, 'Sayuri is my friend. Not your friend. I know her better then you.'"
I snorted, "Kim was never my friend. She's two-faced. You know that."
"Yes, I know. That's why when you come into club you ignore her and give me big hug and kiss and be happy to see me, ok?"
"Teka. That's just stupid. They're not worth it. They're stupid bitches remember. Who cares what they think."
She wouldn't let it go. "You do for Teka one-chan, (older sister) ok? Be nice and give big kiss."
I pitied her then, I pitied myself, I pitied myself for pitying her. "Yeah, ok."
...and Judas betrayed the Son of Man with a kiss.
I walked into the smoke-filled club. Friday night was in full-swing. I was high and drunk. I just wanted to collect my money and get out of there.
Teka was talking to some other Brazilan girl. I went forward to give her the hug and kiss I promised but I was stopped by a large pinstriped Nigerian.
"Sayuri-chan!" My former boss growled. "It's good to see you." I went to shake his hand.
"Sayuri-chan, we're like family." Yeah, right. "Give me a hug." I gingerly did.
"How are you? We missed you. Tell me everything. Come sit down with me. Lisa, Lisa," he called the waitress over, "get me Hennessey and Sayuri-chan a screw-driver."
He still knew my drink. We sat at one of the tables near the entrance.
Teka looked at me, I waved but she turned her back to me.
"I was surprised to get your phone-call." He smiled knowingly, "So how was jail, eh?"
"Horrible." I was embarrassed, "not an experience I want to repeat."
"But a good experience, eh? You learned your lesson, eh?" He continued condescendingly, "Sayuri-chan, we warned you. I told you to stop. And you said, ok, ok."
"Do you?" He chuckled, "You were getting out of hand. We didn't know what to do sometimes."
I felt like a child getting reprimanded by its father.
Our drinks came. He held up his Hennessey and announced, "That our ojosama (princess) Sayuri is out of jail. Kampai!"
"Kampai." I slug the screw-driver back. The other girls were watching now. Teka wasn't though; all I could see was her back.
Daniel pulled out a Marlboro Light. I automatically leaned over and lit it for him.
"So did they treat you well?"
"I'm shyonen so I was alone most of the time. The police asked me a lot of questions. They asked me questions about you too."
He was surprised, "Really?"
"Yeah, questions like, if you gave me the drugs. Are you involved with the mafia, that kind of stuff."
He sat up, "And what did you say?"
"Well, I told them I didn't know anything. That if they had any questions about you they had better ask you."
He relaxed visibly. "That's my girl. So when are you coming back to us?" Why? Never.
"I'm on probation now." I explained, "for a whole year, actually. I can't leave Japan, I can't do most of anything without permission and I have weekly appointment with my probation officer."
He laughed, loud and heartily. "Oh, poor Sayuri-chan. Well, now you know, eh?"
Daniel, I don't need your pity. Just give me my damn money.
"Yep, now I know. Anyways, I came to get the money you owe me," I said bluntly.
He ignored me. "You know, I had to call my lawyer. When you disappeared, I was so worried. So I called my lawyer to call the Roppongi police station. And he said they have an Sayuri-sama. So I knew you were there."
I was surprised to hear that. He actually went out of his way to do something like that for me? Wait, who am I talking to? He was probably lying. What did it matter.
I changed the subject. "How's business been?"
"Good, good. But we miss you. So many customers asking, 'where's Sayuri? Where's Sayuri?'" Some nights I'm sick of hearing your name." I smiled politely. "If you just didn't get caught. Sayuri, why did you do this to us, eh?"
"Yes, yes. It's not gonna happen again." Did I mention I'm high right now? "Now, if you don't mind I'd like my money."
He chuckled, "Ok, ok. You're always so impatient." He got up.
I looked over at Teka. She had gotten up from her seat and was coming towards me. I could tell she was drunk.
She stumbled over on her 4 inch heels, her green pupils dilating.
She croaked, "Sayuri! It was better when you not here!"
Even in the dim, I knew see she was in tears as she spoke the words. I could hear them in her voice, despair beneath the anger. She nearly fell into my arms, the spaghetti straps of her dress falling off her shoulders.
"Shhhh, calm down," I whispered in her ear.
She pulled from my feeble embrace, "Sayuri, I love you! Can you see? When we are together nothing matters. I don't care where we are. You are my imoto. (younger sister) I take care of you." How?! You can't even take care of yourself!
I tried to calm her. "Teka, sit down. You're going to fall." She pulled me to her and gave my neck a sloppy hickey. Customers were watching now.
"Teka." I said firmly, "you need to sit down."
She pulled violently away. "Leave me alone!"
She screamed, "You fucking bitch! You say you're my friend but you're no friend. You are like all of them. Why don't you tell the truth? You are like Claudia. You and Claudia are the same! I disgust you. Leave me!"
Daniel came and firmly took her by the arms and half-dragged her to the back. I stood there dumb like an idiot. Claudia and Kim were snickering.
He apologized, "I'm sorry about that, Sayuri. She's a good girl but you know all these Brazilians, they are stupid junkies. Now if you'll just sign here...."
I did everything mechanically. I got my money and rode down the elevator, I knew, for the last time.
My phone rang. I knew before looking that it was Teka. The hickey stung at my neck. I laughed bitterly at the irony. ...and Judas betrayed the son of Man with a kiss.
The ringing hammered insistently in my skull. I breathed deeply, feeling the chilly air rush into my lungs.
Good bye, Teka. Take care.