Nagoya Writes

February 14, 2008

Japanese E. Train by C.B. Smith

Filed under: Issue: 2004,Prose,Smith — usbengoshi @ 4:26 pm

Effects in pale green. This has been occupying his thoughts of late. What was it about, this concept?

Where had he picked it up? Perhaps during the obligatory and self-satisfying conversation around the office water cooler, the place where everyone gathered to joke, flirt, or share the details of their individual admission rights to the cult of exercise. To be adequately fit in society, one must follow a strict regime of highly visible exercise routines. If not for their ability to draw complementary praise, their existence would serve no purpose. But no no,  he cannot have heard such a thing there, at such a place of base inquiry.

It must have been

His thoughts swim around a circumference. Confusion and disorder overtake his logical interpolation. The large wall clock pings its hourly greeting. A magazine, some perfunctory writing about art, or music or something? Or was it magicno. That could not be. How could SHE enter into his conceptions?

He remembers that most distinctly, as if it occurred only moments ago. Standing there, against the backlit glow of computer screens, howling dogs singing at the windows, her hands tense, clenched, hair wild and unbound, painted in its length like bark to a tree; the brush was one of softness, luminous luxurious softness. Destroyer was her chosen purpose. Management had given her that role. But in the meantime she appeared soft as cotton slippers.

Wondering how such a thought could occur to him, at this moment of his deepest disgrace , was bringing him no closer to psychological resolution, no further along the course of pain which he had been thrown upon. Yet somehow, the answer lay within the images of this girl.

Oriental fashions. Tantalizing and duly embraced within the element of masculine service. Being there — riding alongside the heated masses, swinging bodies, eyes locked straight ahead, as he sped along with them on their commuter trains — provided him with a rush of sensuous unfamiliarity the likes of which he had never known. Fleeting terrors had stalked him before, wandering around darkened corners, empty rooms, where only the rapid beating of his panic-stricken heart could be heard. In these matters he had correspondence. But the train, the train, that pale green train, surrounded by a multitude of foreign faces, culture, language, all alike but unlike himself. The clash of irony was exhilarating in this fresh new form. Primacy of emotion seized control. And the next thing he knew he was down on his knees, groveling at the rocking floor boards, tugging at the flowery patterned hems of the brightly decorated YUKATA, traditional summer dress of the Japanese female. His mind swam afresh with fantasy. Hadn’t he read that under these garments women wore no others?

Yes, he had. He would swear to that. As if to offer irrefutable proof, at this the moment of his doubt, the train swung left throwing him back, her hanging by the hand strap away, and then, a strong, hot, sunlight rose up behind her, silhouetting at last for his hungry eyes, her unclad form; smooth, curved, a visible cluster of curls peeking in from the valley.

From that sighting, his allegiance was sworn. Now this newest female enters HIS world, where she is the foreign element. And what happens next? She adapts the master’s role, he the slaves. Although, in reality, wasn’t that always the case?

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