"working on my faults and cracks..."


All the good girls are home with broken hearts

It's quarter after one in the morning. I'm in Osaka. A block away from the hostess bars and okonomiyaki stands, is a media cafe called "Popeye." It reeks of bad hygiene: hair tonic, week-old cigarettes, cheese curls, and computer dust.

I just got done at a takoyaki bar, where I had beers, shared stories, and critiqued Cindi Lauper lyrics with a number of fairly drunk Kansai gentlemen. "Time After Time" is not her best work. A tipsy Kansai agrees. I am still a lightweight. They invite me to their home to continue the party. Now, Kansai people are best-known for their good humor, dumb-assed dialect, and their impeccable hospitality, but still I decide that random strangers' homes is where all parties go to die. And sometimes get raped. I tell them I already have reservations at a posh hotel whose fancy name I have totally forgotten. They fall for it.

Anyway, back to it being quarter after one. I've removed my shoes, brushed my teeth, and had my Au Latte. I'm in #36--one of dozens of tiny 4 x 6 cubicles in a twenty-four hour internet cafe. Equipped with an old Victor television, a slow-as-shit computer, and a reclining leather pimp chair, they're perfect for killing a few hours, spending the night on a tight budget, or partaking in a spot of risky afternoon delight, if you're as adventurous as all the tabloids lead you to believe. It feels like a gnome hotel, without locks on the doors. Or a nice cubicle hell. Or maybe just cubicle purgatory, but without the TPS reports. Frampton is here, and he concurs.

Cubicle #35 is snoring. #37 won't shut the hell up about the game he is playing. And the keys on my godddamn kkeyboard are sssticking.

My thoughts return home, for the umpteenth time this week. And then to the broken plaster in the ceiling. This makeshift hotel reality, where wristwatch digits move in slow-motion, bleary eyelids grow heavy, and cheap cup noodles and chicken nuggets come from the same vending machine.

Tomorrow, we'll prowl Nipponbashi for video games. Not Nihonbashi though, because this is Kansai. And not "nihonjin," but "nipponjin," because this is Kansai.
*Waves middle finger east, towards Tokyo*

If people are supposedly having sex in these cubicles, does that mean I'm hypothetically excused from an unintentional bronx cheer or two? I mean, if I fall asleep, who's to say it won't happen? Just wondering. Whoa, the seat reclines. Sweet.

It is 2:00am, and I miss home. I'm going to bed.

Oh...That was easy.

* UPDATE 5/8 *

This particular post started out as more informative, but changed direction when I decided it was time to pass the hell out. Luckily, CNN has said everything I was planning to say. It's a much more interesting read than I'd ever be able to muster.

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