My Home is My Castle
Think my home looks like a temple? Many have said so.
It’s called Tetris Palace. Whoever built it had high hopes and a low budget. Terminal is like that. But don’t be fooled, this is no holding tank for bottom feeders. People here have hopes, dreams and dignity. They work hard, make sacrifices to make them happen.
I don’t need much. Like my head, I keep my living space uncluttered.
That’s coffee. When was the last time YOU drank real coffee? Remember I’ve got Brazilian blood - and connections.
A shot before you leave?
I know you stayed the night. You watched me and Azusa make love. Then you crashed on my Sofair, awoke to the sound of the hovertrains moving back and forth across the sea. You saw the mist lifting. Osaka in the distance, stirring like a huge grey mudfish beneath its blanket of orange smog. Even on a clear day you CAN’T see forever.
But in Okinawa you can. That’s we’re going, me and Azusa. See those PlasmaPix on the wall? They’re 2020 Japan Travel Bureau classics. Okinawa still looks like that - coral reefs, jungle, waterfalls, mango forests, fresh fish.
Real fish! Not farmed or fattened on steroids.
And that island there, the one with the rivers snaking to the sea, that’s Iriomote. They call it the “Amazon of Japan.” That’s where we’ll start our own bike business for tourists. Got 21 stud-wheeled Cyclones in my workshop ready to go.
A small problem of money to ship them stands in my way....
Azusa? She’s a pedicab driver. Owns her own TriWheeler. Many here work in Osaka and commute across the sea and she gets them to the terminals on time. She left here before dawn.
“How about a lunchtime maintenance?” she whispered in my ear before she slipped from my arms.
“I’m out of oil,” I said.
She plunged her hand between my legs and gripped me with her long, brown fingers.
“But I’ll find some,” I promised.
“That’s my mechanic.”
Then she was gone, out into the misty dawn.
Spring arrived that day. My second in VeloCity and my third since the Earthquake.
Madame Oe’s wall garden in the capsule building next door bloomed. She grows Instant Orchids. They say she’s a retired kimono seamstress. Used to work for the big kabuki houses in Osaka until a wealthy costume designer brought here to work for him. Azusa’s pedicab uniform is her design - her “second skin.” Her male customers love it when she’s stands on the pedals. They tip her good.
But I can never work all those zippers.
I know, I know. And I’m a mechanic.