First, you might want to read “Intro to GWR”, here.
On Friday, March 11, 2011, hours after The Great East Earthquake struck, I was sitting in front of a Tokyo city hall, waiting for my then girlfriend, Haruki. We were getting married. She was supposed to meet me after work, but never showed.
Almost 16,000 people died that day.
Barry was still crossing cats over behind The White House. On Tokyo subways, newspapers and on Haruki’s parents’ TV, Japanese voiceovers, chime sounds, pictograms, and colorful cartoons framed a brown man that was in charge of Japan’s national security.
The locals thought he was cool, a trend to re-appropriate and exploit.
Despite the Okinawa U.S. base and the other military bases within the region that continue to protect Japan, Obama damn near apologized on behalf of the white men that dropped atomic bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima.
I remember Obama addressing the shooting of unarmed black men as Prime Minister Abe stood adjacent. To strike back, Abe would later address the raping and killing of a local girl at the hands of a U.S. soldier stationed in Okinawa.
He must of thought 45’s win was like hitting the lotto. Invading Chubby Bun Un was imminent.
The Prime Minister flew to the states and almost shook 45’s right hand while he was it holding up, saying “I solemnly swear.” Bowing to Ivanka first probably saved him the embarrassment.
“You won’t like it here,” Haruki told me about living in Japan.
She was supposed to move to the states. We were researching her visa. I was living in San Francisco, working as a secretary.
I had gone through more than a hundred job interviews and the first person to hire me was a black woman, who was the only person of color to interview me. She would become my boss and later regret her incompetent assistant. “I’m about to pounce on you like Donkey Kong,” she said, driving me home.
If you ever toured San Francisco, there’s a high probability that you might have talked to me over the phone, asking for a schedule, unable to find it on the website.
“You have to scroll down to the bottom,” I’d tell you. That phrase was my livelihood. I talked to at least 100 people a day.
Haruki’s parents didn’t support our marriage. They were “worried.”
Her father, trying to explain how I’d be treated here, told me a story about getting into a car accident in a brown Asian country. He was sitting in the back seat of a taxi when it hit a truck. Both drivers said it was his fault.
I reminded him of the story that Haruki told me about him almost getting shot in a cab…in another brown Asian country. The bullet went through the windshield.
Shit is real out in them South East Asian streets.
“Poverty is violence, nigga.”
Haruki’s father’s English is almost fluent. We don’t speak much. That includes sometimes not even saying “hi” when I walk into his house or he walks into mine. Him and my mother-in-law spoil Kantra.
It was my idea for us to start our life in Japan. We had a two-year plan to bounce back to the states.
“The longer we stay here, the less opportunities you have over there,” Haruki would say.
Then Kantra came.
Last year I started regularly writing for LA Weekly’s music section. I got an essay published in Cleaver Magazine. It’s killing me to keep my two big announcements to myself. We’ll both have to wait.
If it wasn’t for Kantra, we’d probably stay in Japan. We know what to expect. I got used to it. We made a baby here. We became a family.
Home has become unrecognizable. I’m afraid of Americans.