published in Volume 1, Issue 1 on January 15th, 1994
Riding the Yokohama night train vertical elevator vehicle voyage measured in minutes not kilometers sit and swallow every breath in silence looking out window at passing neon wave of tsunami consumerism. The invasion is complete. Gen. Adam Smith is victorious. People riding bicycles from ramen shop to video arcade where electronic digital mah jongg is played against silicon brain and human is rewarded with animated semi-nude Japanese girls upon victory and the silicon brain only does its programmed duty. Fellow passengers sit folded hands in lap eyes in lap or stand and avoid glance contact between each of us no matter how many times I look trying to establish eye contact they look away and peruse the ads plastered on wall of compartment of smiling geisha bride or laughing teeth white child but I need eye contact I want eye contact to relieve myself of Western guilt. American guilt born out of two mushroom clouds rising over two cities in '45. Cities untouched by conventional bombing because war scientists were curious about effects of dropping little boy and fat man on unharmed cities. I'm sorry I'm sorry I didn't want them to do it I wasn't even born yet just please let me unload my guilt. We pull into Shinagawa station train load of isolated humans with themselves for company. Walk out in the quiet crowd moving to the exits not reading kanji I go with the flow. I walk around Shinagawa Eki trying to figure out which women have the benwa balls. Raw emotional feeling like a wound or maybe my pecker is showing. See all the lovely madam butterflies flitting away with tiny steps. I feel like a bull in a telepathic china shop. I must stink of violence and insane depravity. Nobody wants to look in my eyes. They just walk around in turtle shells of ray-bans and walkmans shut away in shells of self surrounding them. My shell broke I'm dripping out want to touch somebody I don't have to pay to touch. Want to start yelling in the middle of all this I'm sorry about the war and Commodore Perry giving you that tiny train infecting you with westernization. Instead I walk around feeling like a dirty gaijin with my tentacled flesh creeping up their leather skirts and if I could have only smiled and meant it I'd have been okay.