原宿ブルース 1998BOOTLEG

–PREVUES OF COMING ATTRACTIONS–

The image fuzzy–warm and blurry with the edges bleeding. The sound warped. Cult-classic foreign flick Harajuku Blues on VHS. Subtitles provided.

–TAPE HICCUPS AND SKIP SKIP SKIPS–

A woman–on her back, stunned. A girl over her–standing, also stunned.

A body on the ground–not stunned just stick-stiff.

Blood still pooling, the woman up for air. Sound hissing through the speakers–fever pitch singing.

“Holy–”

–IMAGE TEARS/SUBTITLES UNREADABLE–

The woman slapped dirt off a shoulder and leg and checked clothes–clean. She looked at the girl.

Not clean. Blood splattered across a cheek and sleeve. Hard to tell in the dark of night in an alley but not impossible.

The girl frozen, cold like winter because it was winter.

Over to her, the woman slapping the gun out of the girl’s hand and kicking it to the side–it slid across the blood and red streaked into a rusted bike and trashbag–hidden now.

The woman said “Holy shit.”

The girl blinked and said “You okay ma’am?”

“Not your question to ask.”

“You were the one in trouble.”

“And you were the one who just shot that guy in the fucking–You okay?”

–IMAGE TEARS/ANSWER MISSED–

“Next question. Shit. Fucking–you really just did that–who the fuck are you and how the fuck did you find me?”

“Me? I’m a call girl.”

“You’re a what?”

“You called–now I’m here.”

The woman lowered her head and shook it and saw the body and put her hands on the girl’s shoulders and pushed away and to the side and dark–so dark it was noir.

“I didn’t call–I guess a scream is a sort of call–okay fine–I called, you’re here, you sneaky little–and you are?”

“Momo.”

“Nice to meet you Momo.”

“Hi.”

“Lucy for me, if that’s even one of the matters at hand right now, which it really shouldn’t be.”

“Lucy. You’re American?”

“American? Fuck you, I’m from–”

–IMAGE TEARS/SUBTITLES UNREADABLE–

“–doesn’t matter, what matters is we need to get the fuck out of here. Okay?”

Momo nodded and said “Okay.”

Then Lucy pushed Momo and they hopped over the bleeding body and out the alley and into the lights of a main street to a crowd.

–IMAGE AND SOUND TEARS/SCENE SKIPS–

%6DOKIDOKI, inside, Lucy and Momo perusing clothes. Bright pinks and brighter accessories. A song from the soundtrack–Tetsuji Hayashi’s Loving in the Rain off the 1992 album POP x ART.

Lucy held up a rainbow top. Momo shook her head no and Lucy put it down.

Momo asked “Have you heard of FRUiTS?”

“What, you hungry?”

“FRUiTS Magazine. It’s a fashion magazine based here in Harajuku.”

“I’ve seen the fashion here. Weird hair, weird colors–don’t know how you managed to make the concept of color weird but if you were wanting a medal well then you got it.”

Short beat and then Lucy asked “That what you’re springing for?”

“Maybe. Yes. That okay?”

“Momo, with one bullet you gave an asshole a second asshole on his fucking face. Of course it’s okay.”

Momo smiled–slight.

Lucy eyedballed an oversized Mickey Mouse blouse and winked–Momo said “No no.”

“Pick something because when the cops or whoever start looking for us–we won’t look like who they’re looking for. And being in Harajuku and all, we can blend in by standing out.”

“Your Japanese is very good.”

“And I know that’s Japanese for ‘I’m surprised a foreigner can speak Japanese at all.’”

“‘Your Japanese is very good.’”

Lucy beamed and said “I have a degree of proficiency.”

“How much?”

“A degree. Studied in college. Never liked my hometown and I wasn’t about to get into milking cows or herding sheep rest of my life. Figured I’d get farther with my tongue than my hands.”

“How far did you get?”

“I’m here now. And so are you. And about a street over from where I just was is the corpse of a drunk asshole stranger who was coming on way-way-way too strong–now leaking shit out of the second asshole you just gave him. So you can say I’ve gotten very–very fucking far.”

–IMAGE AND SOUND TEARS–

Momo coming out from the dressing room. Pinked-out sweater from btab, black denim TOGA skirt, black G.V.G.V. shoes. Lucy–already rocking faux animal print from Dog, cowboy brown BUBBLES skirt, black BUBBLES kneesocks, black Dr. Martens. Accessories AVANTGARDE.

Momo twirled and posed and Lucy thumbed up and said “You look like you could be in one of those magazines.”

“You think so?”

“Why the fuck would I lie about that?”

“I guess. You look good.”

“I look more like the bad and the ugly.”

“Would I lie about that?”

Lucy shrugged and laughed and said “Got me there. Come on–outfit’s on me.”

“Are you–okay sure. Thank you.”

“Don’t worry about it–leave the worrying to me in fact because we’ve wasted too much time in here.”

“Was it a waste if we got something out of it?”

“How about we don’t get into that right now yeah?”

Lucy to Momo, sleeve to cheek. Flecks still there, rubbed away.

Close and quiet–Momo’s mouth–

–IMAGE AND SOUND FUCKS OUT/SCENE SKIPS–

Outside, streets of Harajuku, Angel’s Heart. Lucy and Momo among locals–chomping strawberry-peach crepes.

Soundtrack spinning DRIVING MY LOVE off Anri’s 1983 album Timely!!

Between bites Lucy said “Should have said you were hungry when I asked you.”

“I answered now. That good enough?”

“These crepes are more than good enough. When you say fruits, this is what you should be talking about.”

Chomp–Lucy glassed her surroundings.

Girls and goths–hot pink so bright your eyes bleed. Melted skittles apparel, Hello Kitty patches–chomp–late Kawaii Hours. Fashion royalty, kings and queens, American tourists the only peasants–chomp chomp.

Mouthful, thoughtless, Lucy said “You really do that?”

“Do what?”

“That? Your job?”

“Oh. Yes. It is.”

“But that–there’s no way–that can’t be your only option.”

Swallowed, thoughtful, Momo said “It wasn’t, but life–how would you put it–doesn’t give a fuck.”

A beat–chomp chomp.

Then a group breaking up the costume party with their own costumes. Flashier, as in dragons flashing fangs. The sea of reds and pinks parted.

“Oh shit.”

Momo said “Not cops.”

“Oh.”

“They’re the whoever. Yakuza.”

“Oh. Oh shit. The fuck are yakuza doing–don’t tell me.”

A beat–chomp chomp.

“Momo.”

“Yes?”

“I’ve studied Japanese long enough to know that while sarcasm isn’t common it isn’t as foreign as the Beach Boys.”

“Who?”

“The asshole–the guy you shot in the face–that asshole, was he yakuza?”

“Yes.”

“God fucking dammit–why didn’t you tell me earlier?”

“You didn’t know earlier?”

“On the account of his face–no, no I didn’t.”

“You know now.”

“Thanks Momo.”

“You’re welcome.”

“Now you’re just fucking with me.”

The yakuza maneuvered, Lucy and Momo still. Momo pointed.

“He sees us.”

“Who sees us? One of the yakuza?”

“No.”

“No?”

“My manager.”

A man on the other side of the street. Red–not in digs but up to the wig, pissed. Pointing back and steaming and about to go off.

Lucy said “We’re dressed up, how does he–wait, don’t answer that.”

“He’s seen me in all–”

“That was not sarcasm!”

Crepe to ground, dropped. Hand to Momo’s wrist. Her crepe to ground, dropped.

Lucy and Momo–bolting.

“Why?”

“That seriously a question?”

“Why are you helping me?”

“I’m returning the favor is what I’m doing. Life doesn’t give a fuck, but I do. Faster!”

That was loud. Caught a trigger-happy yakuza man’s attention. Manager already in hot pursuit.

A chase afoot, and–

–IMAGE AND SOUND GLITCH-GONE/TAPE IN TATTERS–

Static.

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