Identity theft, redux

You are walking down the street drinking a beer.

There is nothing unusual about this: Since having become unemployed, it’s been pretty much a given that if you are walking down the street — hell, if you are engaged in any ambulatory act whatsoever — you will be drinking a beer. Today’s beer is a sweet, hoppy microbrew, a splurge from the bargain-basement stuff you’ve been imbibing recently to save a bit of coin. You take another sip, savor it.

menuAnd that’s when you notice Mr. Charisma bicycling toward you.

You’re not on close enough terms with Mr. Charisma to call him a friend, but he’s at least an acquaintance. He’s a bit older than you, married with a third kid on the way — but with his dashing blonde-haired, blue-eyed American looks, he’s still got charisma to spare. He’s a good deal more charismatic than your jaded and bitter ass, that’s for sure.

Mr. Charisma is pedaling while talking to someone on his cell phone. As he approaches, you hear that his conversation is in English. Again, there’s nothing too unusual about this; he and his wife communicate mainly in English, and his Japanese is still a bit shaky.

The two of you make eye contact. Mr. Charisma lowers the phone to his chin and calls out to you.

“You doing all right?” he asks in Japanese.

“Doing great,” you reply, reflexively, in Japanese.

“Keep fighting the good fight,” he says. Again, in Japanese.

And then he goes back to his phone conversation.

In English.

He pedals past you toward a nearby intersection. You take a sip of your beer, cock your head a bit to the side.

And wonder just what the hell that was all about.


11 Responses

  1. Have you read ‘Botchan’ by Natsume Soseki, if not you should. I only ask because of all the pseudonyms you create for your co-workers 🙂

  2. I’ve read some of Soseki’s stuff, but not Botchan, so I’m not familiar with his nicknaming conventions. Me, I just call it like I see it; most of the time, the nickname for the person in question pops into my head without any thought required. 🙂

  3. Fushigi da na~

  4. I thought you were going to clothesline the guy.

  5. Where was Mr. Man heading on his mamachari? A booty call?

  6. That sounds like one confused guy…..

  7. Next time, it happens…take out your k-tai , then tell him to go f__k his mother, snap a pic of his expression and walk away laughing. Slide the phone back into the pocket and hit him with a “How you doin…alright?….I’m just messin wit ya dog, keep it real aaaaand I’m OUT!!”

    #1 Finish beer
    #2 open another beer and post that priceless expression on this site.

    I’m laughing just thinking about it. 😉

  8. “he’s a good deal more charismatic than your jaded and bitter ass, that’s for sure”

    haha, I love it

  9. Mr. Charisma is actually a decent guy. I just don’t do the charisma thing; I’m too busy being ornery.

  10. Ornery…hey Butthead, he said ornery…hehehe
    Well told…
    I’m with billy…if there is ever an occassion that calls for a clothesline, that was one.
    And if you need a beer and in Yokohama or thereabouts some night holla at me yo (-;

  11. PS- Every time I hear the word “Redux” i think of Updike’s “Rabbit” one of my favorite fictional characters

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