Tokyo Damage Report

What is SEVENTEEN??
 
When we last left our hero, he was exiled to the shed in the backyard, and his last remaining friend – Gang, the stray cat – had abandoned him. How can it go downhill from here?
 

There seems to be some kind of scared white piglet inside my head that fills me with weakness and worry. One minute I’m conscious of the inner piglet’s worry, and the next I’m worried about what society and other people think of me – the way they always look at me with their contemptuous stares. I sometimes become paralyzed with this self-consciousness. Then my body parts start twitching and moving of their own accord, impolite and un-coordinated. I get so embarrassed I want to die. In fact, my mere existence – no more than meat with a soul – makes me so embarrassed I want to die.
 
 That's why I'd like to – if possible – live alone in a cave like a crazy Cro-Magnon.
 
I want to erase the eyes of everyone who looks at me. Otherwise, I'll have to erase my own eyes. I don't think Gang ever gets self-conscious. He's only aware of his own muscle, dirty fur, bones and poo-poo. So he never blushes when people stare at him. Although, perhaps somewhere in his powerfully built and battle-scarred head, he must have hopes and dreams. What is a cat's nightmare like? At the most it could only be a jumble of vague black-and-white images. By the way, the things I see in my own nightmares would make you pour sulphuric acid in your own eyes to blot out the visions.
 
As my eyes adjusted to the darkness of the shed, the piles of trash around the cot took on the forms of terrible ghosts and spirits. In fright, I shut my eyes, but I was even more frightened of falling asleep. Before sleep could claim me, however, I had a sudden attack of terror: the fear of Death itself. I became nauseous. Honestly, Death is my greatest fear; every time I think of it, I want to vomit so much I clutch my chest and abdomen helplessly. I think it's not Death itself but what I imagine happens after Death: spending who-knows-how many millions of years as an unconscious "zero." You'd have no choice but to tolerate it.
 
This world, this universe – and other universes as well, I suppose – has existed for millions of years, and will continue to exist for millions more. So the thought of spending the rest of the universe trapped as a "zero" – it might as well be an eternity! When I consider the limitless expanse of time that awaits me after my death, really it pushes my fear to its outer limits.
 
When I took my first physics class, the teacher talked about the rockets that were being launched into space – floating out there forever. Teacher described the limitless nothingness the rocket would pass through. No worlds, no people, no nothing. Then Teacher explained what would happen in the end if the rocket traveled forever, never wavering from its straight line: it would finally end up right back on Earth. When I heard this, I fainted.
 
Apparently I was also screaming and shitting myself.
 
By the time I realized what had happened, I could feel the eyes of all the girl students on my filthy body. Even more, I could not dare confess the reason for my fainting: my all-consuming dread of the infinite cosmic nothingness of death!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111111
 
Instead, I desperately tried to convince them that I had merely had a nervous breakdown.
 
Since then I haven't had anyone with whom to share my true feelings. Just like in my nightmares, I've become alone, floating through cold and endless space. Incidentally, in my dreams, I'm always conscious of the stars that I pass in my endless solitary voyage through space. At least the dead are not conscious of their eternal solitude. Whoever is inventing these dreams is certainly as creative as he is malicious, I tell you!
 
At any rate, lying there in the cot, I tried desperately to think about something else. I remembered a newspaper article I had read, saying that Michiko was about to wed the Crown Prince. When I read it, it made me imagine Michiko flying away from me on a rocket-ship, bound for an impossibly distant star, through the black void of space.  Reading that article, I cried, and my body trembled with dread. Why was that, I wonder?  Maybe it was like reading that she had died. I have Michiko's picture on my wall, and prayed that she would marry me one day. But my tears are not from jealousy, oh no. I'd also read an article about a young boy who threw stones at the Prince and Princess’ motorcade, and that also made my heart grow heavy and weep. Incidentally, I also have Michiko's picture hanging inside my closet. That night, I dreamed I myself was Michiko, and I was the stone-throwing boy. Why is that, I wonder?
 
 And why can I not close my eyes from, why can I not escape from my constant dread of impending death? I hugged myself in the darkness and grimaced. But the dread I felt today, in the shed, was doubtless the worst terror-attack yet. I was covered in sweat. I prayed that someday soon I could find a girl, could get married. Even if she was unattractive. Just to have someone there in bed beside me, someone compassionate to watch me as I slept and prevent me from dying.
 
Aah, but how can I escape this omnipresent dread? I thought to myself. What if, after dying, my body did not cease to exist, but instead was like a withered twig which was part of a giant and thriving tree which would continue to exist forever? That wouldn't be so bad, I abruptly realized. In that case, I could stop fearing death. But in this world, I have nobody.   Filled with anxiety, I doubt everything I see – perhaps because I can't comprehend how the world works. And I feel like everything I desire is beyond my grasp. The world belongs to other people, and I can't do anything I want. No one is on my side. I'm a left-winger, so if I joined the Communist party, then I'd have a community at last, wouldn't I? But just now I'd used the best arguments of the top Communists, and been totally defeated by my near-sighted, loser of a nurse sister.
 
It seems the Communists control the world, but I can't control myself in the same way. I don't know anything. I'm like a little twig who doesn't have the capability to find a huge pine to help him withstand the eternal winter winds. And as long as I still have even small doubts about the Communists, it wouldn't do to join them. And this frustration just makes me more neurotic still. Besides, what would the Communists want with a runt of a boy like me, who gets beaten even by his near-sighted, ugly nurse of a sister?
 
 Oh, how I wish someone in this big world would come along, clearly and decisively, and offer me a mission worthy of my passion! Despairing of my weakness, I flopped back down on my filthy cot, and rummaged through the blankets searching for my sex organs. Distractedly I played with my bo-ki. Tomorrow is the ‘tracking test’ which will determine who gets placed in the Advanced classes. Also, for good measure, the PE class will involve a hideous 800-meter run for some reason. As I contemplated tomorrow, I felt a vague sense of dread: If I self-satisfy a second time today, surely I will be too tired tomorrow, and the race will turn into a disaster. However at least for now I deserve some small respite from my night terrors, and self-satisfaction was my only option.
 
Outside of my bedraggled shack, the big city growled in the night. The summer night revealed its essence in the dirty street air which seemed worn-out. From a distance, the smell of birch trees stimulated my muscles and mind – waking me up just enough to fully feel the ocean of dread which was sweeping me inexorably into the following day. I’m a really pathetic and lonesome Seventeen, I thought to myself. ‘Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to youuuu,’ I said, touching myself. ‘Congratulations, noble sir,’ I said. ‘Why, thank you, humble servant.’ I replied: ‘And would you be so kind as to fondle my crotch?’ ‘It would be a pleasure, Mr. Seventeen.’
 
 When participating in obscene activities of this nature, one must imagine something sexual. This time I imagined Mother and Father naked, groaning and huffing: Uun, uun!! Both of their anuses are pressed directly on the already stinky and damp futon. I was gleefully enjoying this image when suddenly a thought occurred: I was not born from Father’s seed, but rather I was the product of Mother getting gang-raped. I didn’t doubt that Father knew this from the start. This could completely explain his relentlessly cold attitude towards me. But as I neared orgasm, peach blossoms bloomed all around me. The onsen (hot springs bath) overflowed with invigorating water. A gigantic, Las Vegas-style light-show displayed its gorgeous radiance just for me. All my fears, doubts, anxieties, lonliness, alienation and angst melted away. Aah, aah, I want to orgasm as long as I live! How happy that would be! Aah, aah, always always orgasm! Aah, aah, aaaah, the launch of semen onto my damp crotch area! The lonely and pathetic Seventeen groans and huffs on his birthday: Uun, uun!!! And there in the decrepit shed, Seventeen began to weep his post-coital tears of shame.

 

How bad is the school placement test? What are Japanese high schools like, circa 1962?  And is the "chirruping of the mickle insekts" sexy, poetic, or just plain dirty? Tune in next time to find out, on Tokyo Damage Report – the website that isn't going to post anything about punk or  visual kei for A MILLION BILLION YEARS.

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1 Comment so far

  1. Alex July 2nd, 2010 12:54 pm

    favorite segment so far, really enjoying the translation too.

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