Here in Japan the Host/Hostess club remains ever popular as a valid form of social interaction. Paying to speak to someone might sound absurd, but if you step back to look at most societies as a whole, we are always paying for our human experiences. Congregating at bars, coaxing each other into intoxication long enough to not be lonely, and short enough that nobody vomits. It’s a delicate balance that is sometimes just easier to pay for.
I just finished working, stop in a Kawasaki station Krispy kreme with nose full of snot and eyes watery with tears. I order a chocolate glaze with rainbow sprinkles. I forget how to say some words and smile the stupid foreigner smile, the Japanese lady gives me the stupid Japanese looking at stupid foreigner smile back. The boy sitting next to me is reading a book. We both sit at a countertop facing the clear glass wall that separates us, the donut eaters, from the rest of the train station’s frantically moving passerby’s. The boy’s face remains profile with spikes of hair gently floating in his face, I will never know if he is as cute as I imagine him to be. A man takes a seat to my left, he has three donuts and a coffee on his tray. I wonder if he too will be eating his feelings, if so, he seems to be having a worse day than me.
We went across the street to the Pink Pony, a small candlelit restaurant overlooking damp and rainy Ludlow street. The owner, a fat and angry French man named Lucien, came over with lively glasses filled with champagne. Everyone drank, except for me, who hung my head low into a plate of buttery mashed potatoes while staring down Daniyol, the tall dark stranger, and the pretty blonde sitting much to close to his right hand. When I crawled into bed later that evening I found him on Myspace and sent him a message, “Want to go out on a hot date?” I asked. I didn’t hear back from him for two months, two more months that I spent working at the shitty restaurant while having secret uptown walks with Aarun Dahling.
I parked my bike outside on the green metal railing, spitefully and directly in front of the “No Bicycle” sign. I was, naturally, on time, and my managers lagged behind texting me from a taxi cab. I leaned casually against the stone parking garage wall, watching people enter the bright new restaurant from across the street, hoping that in my pink fluffy jacket and garter leggings I might be mistaken as a Roppongi prostitute. Then I would have the satisfying privilege of announcing that I in fact hailed from the United States of America.