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Saturday, April 19, 2008



It’s a balmy spring Wednesday night outside. I’m in Kuri to Risu (“Chestnut and Squirrel”), a lesbian night held every Wednesday at a bar in Shibuya (kuri-to-risu being the katakana form of the word 'clitoris'). I’m talking to Fumi-san, a through-and-through Tokyoite in the sense of knowing what’s what. Pizzacato Five. Wolfgang Tillmans. A soul DJ by the name of Takahashi. How China’s mentality is too staid to really lead the 21st century and how it will be a conglomeration of China, the US, India and the EU. How places such as Canada, Scandinavia, and New Zealand, where I’m from, have been identified from statistical research as the very places where the degree of social freedom breeds the kind of creativity that having a voice in the 21st century will require.

I’ve had a couple of bourbons and am onto a G&T Vicki bought me. She ordered the barwoman’s special “Chuocide,” a reference to Tokyo’s most suicide-prone Chuo railway line. There’s a little African boy running round who is the soul of everything energetic – doing near-handstands, engaging with everyone in shouts, punches, and giggles - an MP3 DJ who gets me, lounging against the wall, to move every time she changes songs.

Come close to midnight Vicki and I are ready to leave. We head out with the woman from the Dominican Republic who, inside, had told me how much it differed from Jamaica in having been non-Anglo – and how it was the first place ever colonized by Christopher Columbus.

I say goodbye at the Tokyu Toyoko station and head for my bike. There’s a band playing, so I stop and take a vid (see above). I cycle back to Shinjuku from Shibuya – takes about 20 minutes. It’s almost midnight on a Wednesday but Shinjuku is, routinely, mobbed. I stop at Mister Donuts. Order three donuts from the black guy in Japanese, exchange glances on the way out, cycle home in the fleshy midnight breeze purposely not thinking about the morrow.

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