Saturday, April 7, 2007

Story of Miu

Miu, 16, likes living in Tokyo because as a Japanese American she never felt she fit in her surroundings quite as well when she was growing up in the Washington D.C. suburbs, the only Asian in her class, although there were a few other Asians in her school whom she avoided the best she could, so embarrassing was it to be reminded of how she looked, how she stuck out _ the straight black hair, the almond slant gook eyes, dark, not blue and airy like the others. And the pale yellow sallowness of her skin, almost a khaki tone, sand of the desert, dried fruit rinds, not translucent and crystalline like a Botticelli painting, like the others. Miu used to sit in the foggy mist of the bathroom, scrubbing her arms in the tub, hoping/praying to turn white. Here in Tokyo, her skin turns suddenly a normal color. It caught even herself by surprise. If she wears her Ne-net clothes, and sits crossing a frail booted leg on the sidewalk-railing of Harajuku, lazily watching the street peddlers and Costume-Play teen-agers, she knows she blends in. So perfectly. She doesn't even need to keep her mouth shut. She studied Japanese in high school so actually she can speak Japanese quite well, as long as she keeps her sentences short and simple. Boys even try to pick her up, as though she is any other Japanese girl waiting for such advances, honey milling inside sweet, pungent but colorless. Back in the U.S., the boys who bothered to desire her were those with a fetish for Asian women. It was sadly obvious. They were the ones with a string of Asian girlfriends, one after the other, and in her neighborhood that required some searching. When for whatever reason, they broke up, she'd find out he had hooked up with yet another Asian girl. Being Asian was a brand. A categorization you could never escape, especially in how you attracted the opposite sex. Dating Asians was out of the question, Miu says, because there were only two or three Asian males for miles on around, and they were always fat or ugly, or had a white girlfriend. Miu made a point to come out to Tokyo just to get away. Her story continues....

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