The security guard eyes me suspiciously as I approach the counter. He’s seen me for the past three months, two weeks and four days. “Namae?” he says. “Lolingusu-san,” I reply. My name is a rolling labyrinth of R’s and L’s. I am not Yamamoto-san or Tanaka-san, or even Sumisu-san. I am gaijin, and nothing more.
I sit down at my desk and smile at the secretary, who greets me with the standard ohayo. Her name is Takahashi-san. I don’t know her first name. No one knows anyone’s first name. I stare at her ass as she walks by, searching desperately for some folds under black pants, tantalizing clues to ease me into my workday. She usually wears a thong on Mondays. She wears panties on Fridays. Today is Monday.
I think about what it would be like to fuck her. To run my hands across her skin, like the moonlight, and caress her small, nearly absent breasts. To smell that scent that all these women seem to have, like lavender and snow. I wonder if it would be like all the Asian pornography, where the woman’s ecstatic moans sound more like embarrassed squeals and star-shattering screams start even before the sex does. I’ve had sex once since I’ve been here, with a girl from a bar. She was blonde, American, and smelled like cheap beer.
My boss appears. His rapid Japanese rends my fantasies like bullets, each word destroying a fragment of what keeps me sane. I only comprehend half of what he says, but it doesn’t matter. “Memo” and “report” mean the same thing in both languages. So does “sexy”; they say “I’m going” when they’re coming.
My living quarters are as mundane as my cubicle. I eat ramen tonight. I have it sent from home because they don’t have the right kind here. The television is worthless – news, soap operas, and anime – low quality. A music video appears on the screen. Notes flow nervelessly from a young girl’s lips, and her eyes, dazed, fix on a flushed sakura, a cherry blossom, falling feather-like into her upturned palm. Is this what they long for? What keeps them going in the face of indestructible idlenenss? I extinguish the television and the lights, and fall asleep, wishing there was a cherry blossom outside my window.