I’m sick and shouldn’t be out.
Not to mention the looming Master’s Thesis sitting on my Desktop, waiting to have references to Yano and Condry and Aoyagi scribbled upon it. But I had to return a book in Shibuya anyway, and since I’m out, I’ll stick to oolong-cha and eat a full meal from various meats on sticks and pickled vegetables. I loudly discuss the finer points of celery seasoning with the tall Josh of Swedish descent from Minnesota, whom I help land a modeling gig later for a Vespa-riding married couple with their own hipster fashion brand based in Sendagaya. Mr. K with the K. Kimura haircut used to write the meat column for Relax back when the mag was the mag. Takashi from AG is playing host to our poor man’s banquet, and although I’m neither gay nor a hetereosexual female and my standards may be way off, I find him “dreamy.” I tell him to keep up the アンチ体制主義.
Later, I meet a Japanese girl with the same first name as a terribly blond girl I had a crush on in Bavaria back in ’97, and her “bandmates.” Q: Are you students? A: Yes. Q: Oh, where do you go? A: A regular school. Q: You’re in high school? A: Yes. Then I notice that the one dokusha model-ready, half girl and her sister (guitar and bass, respectively) are at this tragically hip opening party with their parents. I ask, how do you rebel against your elders when your dad is the guy in the tight grey suit with edgy high-water pants? She doesn’t really understand the irony of my question, illustrating perfectly the point I’m always making to my 28 year-old friend who wants nothing more than to date a 19-year old: Any self-respecting man in his 20s should find a natural inability to communicate with girls a decade his junior. Plus, I’ve always refused to hit on teenage girls on the principle that my high school self would be appalled I had become “that guy” who was in his 20s and hit on high school girls.
But for a second, let us consider these girls’ reality where “having to go to this thing with my parents” means an opening party for a fashion brand in Harajuku. These particular two seem to be enjoying it, but I talk to Yonehara’s wife later about how their 14 year-old daughter likes manga and nerdy girl stuff as a silent F.U. to the old man. Oh, how my life would have been different had I been privy to such a flashy hipster lifestyle at a young age! I’m sure I’d be happily studying lepidoptererology in Rotterdam or something. All my friends from back home moved out of town post high school, and I would imagine hipster kids do the same — in this case, leaving Tokyo for London or New York or Kanazawa. Or do the Albert Hammond, Jrs of the world congregate down the street and take over, browbeating the kids from Ohio suburbs who yearn to be part of all the stuff they saw on MTV late Sunday nights.
Ms. H goes on about some imaginary term “Japasen” for white indie guys who like Japanese girls. “Gilles Peterson is a Japasen!” she proclaims. They are on the rise.
Later, I’m with real Swedes who pronounce the word “Georgia” like they’re from Macon. Not only do they speak English ultra-fluently, but they’re comfortable conversing in a second tongue in front of each other, which is something nearly impossible for this ever growing numbers of foreign Japanese speakers. Our two guests reasonably try to hit on the cute select shop girls with Viking songs, which seems to be working. I drink orange juice and tell the one social worker at this semi-goukon how her employment will be the “charisma” job of the future.
I manage to not get charged ¥3000 for my orange juice, decline an invitation for bowling, go home listening to Yukari Rotten — an album that would be 100% perfect if it wasn’t all filler. Leaving my bedroom and going out made me feel a bit better. I’m not as stuffed up, and maybe tomorrow I’ll find the will to correct my paragraph on Christianen (1995).