COME IN TOKYO

LUNCH AT THE UENO HARD ROCK CAFE

Even before her ass hits the seat shes bitching about her birthday party, how she had to sit there while everybody danced around singing Happy Birthday. Behind her head three midgets are running across video screens stark naked. Thankfully her boyfriend isnt into negativity. Im spared the usual laundry list of foreigners complaints: How crazy things are in Tokyo. How expensive. How nobody speaks English. Vintage pop rock pours out the overheads: Prince. Bruce. Blondie. An oily black leather Elvis belting Blue Suede Shoes. The tables are so close you cant help overhearing your neighbors, no matter how loud the music. A single foreigner beyond earshot is marking essays and filling in grade sheets. Lousy Birthday and her boyfriend are discussing Mexican food and deciding what to drink. By now Ive finished my burger and fries. I think about lingering over a Diet Coke refill. He starts bragging how much you can make teaching private English lessons. My headache suddenly gets worse. I decide to head for the zoo. Ueno, Thursday, 01/19/06