Saturday, April 24, 2004
it happened fast

I'm by myself and in my favorite bar in Kobe... it's crowded. I'm not sure how I got there, but Mr. Y is there, pouring the drinks as usual. There's a glass of whiskey in my hand, but I don't feel drunk. Things are hazy, though.

What I do notice are three foreigners at the far end of the bar, probably Americans. I hear them talking, in loud voices, in obnoxious English. They all look young, and their comments, mostly derogatory and racist remarks about Japan, reflect their lack of respect and class. The tallest is dressed in designer clothes; I dub him Backstreet Bastard. His two friends get the names Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum. They all look like AF catalog model rejects. I don't like them; especially Backstreet Bastard... I don't have a firm reason, but then again, maybe I don't need one. They spoil the atmosphere of my favorite bar. Backstreet Bastard notices my maddog.

As he walks by me toward the bathroom, he gives me a blatant bump with his shoulder. It's not subtle and I stare at him, eyes narrowing and I feel my jaw start to clench. We make unblinking eye contact.

"What's wrong, you little Nip? You gonna do something?" The words come out in a sneer as he laughs, turning to high-five his friends, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum. Cocky. As his head turns back from his friends to look at me, I can feel the control inside me snap. I can tell he's about to throw a punch as his arm drifts back. My reaction is instanteous.

Quickly hawking my throat, I spit in his eye and as he reflexively blinks, I throw a hard cross with my right hand that catches him square in the nose. A small pain shoots through my knuckles, but it's nothing compared to the pleasure I feel at the sensation of his cartilage snapping under my fist. Instead of calming me, the pleasure feeds my growing anger. My blood begins to pump and I can hear the throbbing in my head.

thump. thump.

Not content with just a single punch, I re-cock my right hand again half away, driving another shot into his face, like a piston. He's reeling backward now, but before I can land a third, I can feel somebody grab my right arm. It's his friends. Another hand flies out from the left, and I instinctively duck, but the punch still catches me above my left eye, opening a cut in my forehead. I spin counter-clockwise, using my left elbow to hit Tweedle Dum in the chest and break his hold on my arm. Being in-between two people trying to punch hurt you is a bad idea.

Man, this is what I get for drinking alone.

I grab the nearest object, a glass ashtray from the bar, with my right hand, which I crack into Tweedle Dee's face. The ashtray breaks, glass shattering everywhere. Tweedle Dee falls down, grabbing his face, his cries of pain muffled by his hands. Kinda like watching Jack Nicholson as the Joker in the finale of "Batman". Maybe he got glass from the ashtray in his eye? Like I care... my mind is already thinking of ideas to finish the job. I can feel the cut on my forehead bleeding now and it just makes me more angry.

thump. thump.

Backstreet Bastard and Tweedle Dum charge at me simultaneously and I immediately dash for the door. By now, the people in the bar are starting to crowd around, shouting... too bad nobody looks like they want to intervene on my behalf. I don't want to cause more damage to my favorite bar, so I run out the backdoor to the alley, knowing they'll follow. As I run out, I snatch with my right hand a three foot steel pipe that Y uses to bring down the shutters when he's closing the place. This is war in the concrete jungle and I'm gonna make sure I'm the monkey with the meanest stick in my hand.

I hear Backstreet Bastard and Tweedle Dum right behind me, barely a couple feet. Good. About a couple yards away from the door I suddenly stop and pivot, swinging my fully extended arm out, pipe in hand, exactly at head-level. It'd probably be easy to duck the hit, except Tweedle Dum has failed to give himself ample distance to be able to stop in time and avoid it. I hit with the sweet spot of the pipe, the very end, right to the side of Tweedle Dum's big head. There's a loud thud, and the pipe is ringing in my hands as Tweedle Dum crumples to the ground, stunned. My heart starts pumping even faster.

thump. thump. thump.

Backstreet Bastard, complete with bloody nose, has closed the distance and lunges at me. I feel a flashback to high school kendo practice, where an enemy lunge is negated by a short and quick dodge backward. Once the dodge is completed and attacker is over-committed, there's an immediate short dash forward to counterattack - all within the space of less than 2 seconds. Bastard is surprised when his tackle misses the mark, my body not exactly where he guessed it to be. He's off balance and flailing. My little hop back has put me out of his reach of his armspan... and out of my normal armspan reach too.

Except for my friend, mister steel pipe.

Holding the pipe above my head in classic kendo jodan kamae (high guard position), I swing it down in an overhead blow. The pipe in my hand sails in a rainbow arc, at a diagonal angle, straight toward Backstreet Bastard. I'm yelling as he leans his head to my right, but it's too late. I catch the look of horror on his face and I feel my teeth grit, visible as my lips pull back in a grimace. The rage is swelling to a crescendo now and I throw the entire force of my body behind the hit. It lands perfectly between the point where his thick neck connects to his shoulder and there's a sickening crack as his collarbone snaps.

My grimace is now a malevolent smile, putting the 'grin' in grimace. I exhale through my clenched teeth, my breath visible in the night air. Maybe it was unfair that I'm armed and they weren't. Like fair really matters in a 3v1 fight.

thump. thump. thump. thump.

In pain, Backstreet Bastard falls to his knees to the ground, bent over forward. His friends are nowhere in sight and he's clutching his broken collarbone with his right hand, while propping himself up with his left hand. With his head bent over, I feel suddenly inspired to be pretend I'm a kicker in the Superbowl. I imagine there's 3 seconds left on the clock and it's 50 yards out, team down by 2. Moving toward Backstreet Bastard's bent form, I make a big step, planting my left foot, and cocking back my right leg. My eyes are fixated on his head. I ain't gonna pull a Charlie Brown.

3, 2, 1...

The worn black leather of my shoe drives into his face as I swing my leg up and twist my torso into the kick - I'm going for a big field goal. The force is excessive; the resistance to the hit wasn't as strong as I anticipated, and Backstreet Bastard's head violently jerks upward. Mid-pose, foot in air, I contemplate I must perhaps look to outside observers like one big, gay, Riverdance reject. But not just any Riverdance reject... I'm a Riverdance reject that has just sent about 3 or 4 of Backstreet Bastard's teeth flying into the gathered crowd, with a liberal splash of blood.


The blood from the cut on my forehead now touches down into my mouth. It's salty and guess what... so am I.

thump. thump. thump. thump.

Backstreet Bastard is now fully laid out on the ground. Probably less than 5 minutes have past since everything started, but time isn't exactly a major concern at the moment. He's bleeding pretty bad from his mouth and his shoulder. My hand drops the pipe and in seconds, my mind is processing the events.

Throughout my life, I've been taught to believe that violence and hurting others is wrong. That killing is wrong. But it doesn't matter now. All I can suddenly feel in the pit of my stomach is pain, my own pent-up sorrow and hurt. There's a dead feeling of broken dreams, lost hopes and it feeds the rage; the rage demands more. I should stop and walk away now; there's nothing left to fight. But I'm not going to.

As I stare at Backstreet Bastard's face and my eyes narrow, I can see his face change...

I see the faces of the your junior high and high school teachers telling me my schoolwork is mediocre while every brown-nosing classmate pulls an A+. I see the faces of whispering and pointing classmates when they see me, the geeky Chinese kid from the honors class, walking slowly in the hall. I see the faces of the rich kids who never worked for anything in their miserable lives and they're still ahead. I see my driver's ed teacher, with his racist comments and fat body, telling his stories about how he went to Vietnam and knows all about "my kind". I see the faces of the scholarship committee telling me the scholarship won't be awarded to me because I don't have 281 extra-curricular activities on my record like 'cheerleader' or 'president of the student body' or 'principal's pet'.

I see the faces of the professors denying me a recommendation for the best internships because I don't fawn over their tenured, crusty egos during office hours. I see the faces of HR corporate whores saying during the interview that I'm a shoe-in for the job and never calling me back or returning my phone calls. I see the face of every soccer mom driving an SUV cutting me off in the lefthand lane on the freeway.

I see the faces of the police officers giving me a speeding ticket when every car is going the same speed, but hey... my car's plates aren't from Oregon and I'm not white, so I must be criminal.

I see the faces of every person who asked me if I spoke English or assumed I wasn't born in America. I see the faces of the people who gave Native Americans diseased blankets, who sold slaves, who passed the Chinese Exclusion Act, who put Japanese Americans in internment camps, who assassinated King and X, who murdered Vincent Chin, who looted Koreatown businesses in the riots, who adopt children from Asia and raise them to hate their own people.

I see the faces of the doctors who told me my father would recover in a week and that life, of course, would go on.

I suddenly see that life as I know (and have known it) has a face and today, right here and right now, it's Backstreet Bastard's. I'm starting to breathe even harder.

thump. thump. thump. thump. thump.

Resolve hardens to cruelty as I leap up into the air, purposely pulling my knees upward so I can drive my feet down into a full stomp on Backstreet Bastard's torso. I land squarely on his stretched out body and it gives way under the impact. I'm guessing I might have snapped a rib or two. I stomp into his groin, twisting my heel for effect, maybe because I don't want Backstreet Bastard to breed. My movements aren't graceful, but then again, they don?ft need to be. He's now groaning even louder, or maybe even sobbing, but I don't care.

My hands are the instruments of my outrage, pounding his face, pounding the faces I see. My vengeful ephipany manufactures a violent euphoria. I want him to fight back, I want him to struggle... but the most he can do is to wave his arms around feebly. The meaning of his gestures are clear: please stop.

There's blood everywhere.

My mouth is alternating between yelling, shouting obscentities, laughing maniacally, and taking gasps of air. The crowd is shouting for me to stop, in English and Japanese. I can't hear them, though. I don't care. I don't want to hear them. There's not a shred of pity in me. A voice screams in my head...

...where was the pity for you?

I should be sickened by what I'm doing, but the anger, the resentment is pouring out now. My reservoir has filled up for so long, that my hatred bursts opens the floodgates, an endless overflow, a torrent. There's no technique to my punching anymore. Just simple, animalistic, primal rage. I relish it, I indulge it. I want to be filmed as a Gorilla extra in Planet of the Apes.

My hands begin to hurt from punching, so I pick up the metal pipe again. I pick up the pipe again because I want Backstreet Bastard to be intimately familar with my pain. I want his visage and body to be a symbol of my grief and my sadness. Blow by blow, hit by hit, I'm an artist of angst, etching my hurts into a fleshy canvas, and at the moment, symmetry and uniformity are not design goals.

The savagery of my pipe-work merges with the rhythm of my blood pumping from my heart, the pounding echoing in my head. I swear my head is going to explode from the pressure.

wack wack... wack wack.

thump. thump. thump. thump. thump.

Mercy has long departed. Compassion has long departed. The pit inside me yawns wider.

wack wack... wack wack. wack wack... wack wack.

thump. thump. thump. thump. thump.

Is this me? I grip the pipe with two hands now. I switch to repeated overhead blows.

wack wack... wack wack. wack wack... wack wack. wack wack... wack wack.

thump. thump. thump. thump. thump.

The feeling is surreal. Backstreet Bastard body has run out of blood. There's a lot of gray and white chunks now.

wack... wack... wack... wack.

thump. thump. thump. thump. thump.

My arms start to tire and the soreness in my muscles is more acute. I stop swinging, but the pipe is still vibrating in my hands from the last blow. The ring is a high, sharp note... a comical contrast to the corpse in front of me.

thump. thump. thump. thump. thump.

My breathing is really ragged. Backstreet Bastard hasn't moved in awhile... not that it matters. I'm looking at his body, but there's not a man laying on the ground anymore. It's a performance piece to me; a pile of meat sauce to others. The physical fatigue of it all is starting to begin, and the madness that first seized me goes from a boil to a cold indifference.

I stand up with the thought of looking to give similar treatment to Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, but everyone has disappeared. I turn to look around, but I can't see anything at all - no bar, no city, nothing. Just black.

It's dark, and as the aggression inside me recedes, there's emptiness. I feel the gaping, hollow pit inside and I feel nothing now except dissatisfied. The pipe is still in my hand, too. But there's nothing else to hit with it.


The sound of police sirens snaps me out of my contemplating and I'm aware that maybe, I've done something wrong and probably illegal. But I don't feel guilty about it all... so I do what everybody does when they hear police sirens.

I run.


akumu dake da yo

Isn't it odd how what movies you fall asleep watching can influence your dreams? That's what I get for falling asleep watching Kill Bill Vol. 1 for a second time before bed.


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in?scrip?tion (n-skrip-shun)n.
1. The act or an instance of inscribing.
2. Something, such as the wording on a coin, medal, monument, or seal, that is inscribed.
3. A short, signed message in a book or on a photograph given as a gift.
4. The usually informal dedication of an artistic work.
5. Jeremiah 31:33

the facts.
name. Gar AKA "that Chinese guy" "Sleepy.McSleeping"
ethnicity/nationality. Chinese/American, 4th gen.
location. Sea-Town, WA, USA Kawanishi, JAPAN
occupation. less-cynical poor grad student
age. younger than you think, older than you know



UnseenGC @ AIM
(myname) @



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