Tokyo Damage Report


That day at ten AM, in the interrogation chamber, with its inadequate charcoal stove, the Detective’s cheeks whitened, not from the endless cold but from stress, as he said to me, “The interrogation officially ended last night. Thanks for your cooperation. Now the prosecution is moving on to the next stage. I’m submitting a report which concludes that you had to have acted alone. I think you are a bewildered young man, you got carried away by the current political situation and the left-wing activity. Today is your last day here in the Metro Station, so if there’s something you want to say to me, say it now.”
“I am willing to throw away my body in the service of honor and righteousness. I have already achieved my objective, so I am at peace with myself,” I replied. But almost instantly I recalled that morning’s dream: the execution ground where witches are hanged from the fir tree. And I had a vision that, when I left the Metro Station, the guards were going to take me there.
Out loud, I said, “Have President Sakagibara or Mr. Shigeru been arrested or otherwise harassed?”
“I can’t answer that,” he said. “But I can tell you your Elder Sister was forced to resign from the Army Hospital.”
I thought of my ugly and neurotic Elder Sister: no one would marry her, and now she had no job. How could she survive? My mood darkened: Elder Sister was the only one in the family to remember my Seventeenth birthday, and I wound up attacking her. I was never a good younger brother, and I’d like a chance to apologize to her.
 In my mind, I vividly pictured the American hanging-ground once more – but this time from a first-person perspective. Great crowds of people enthusiastically milled around as the witch-hunters strapped the noose around someone’s neck, and that someone (perhaps me?) was yelling apologies to Elder Sister.
Around two PM, a car came to take me away. Not to the American witch-hanging-tree, but to the Tokyo City Family Court for a hearing to determine my punishment.
But until that hearing, I was going to be transferred to the Juvenile Detention Center. “The JDC is no joke,” I reminded myself. “Even hard thugs get the blues there.” But on the other hand, I wasn’t going to the gallows after all. But on the third hand, my period of ‘special treatment’ was over. They’ll probably throw me in with common delinquents, I thought.
I was assailed by fear.
 “All the worst bullies, kids that have been hitting and humiliating weaker kids since kindergarten, are packed into this building like ants in an anthill! I’ll be knocked out and stomped on almost instantly. My uyoku ‘magic’ won’t help me here – these little hooligans don’t have respect for anyone. They might even call The Emperor “Em-chan!” . . .they might even do it while farting!!!! What a disgrace it will be to get bullied by such people!”
I recalled the moment, after my Deed, when the men in suits came dashing past the still-snapping cameramen and wrestled me to the ground, pinning my arms behind me and choking me. No doubt JDC would be like that, but forever. For the first time since my arrest, I began to contemplate escape!
But I soon realized that my uyoku ‘magic’ must still have been working on the adults which ran JDC, for I continued to receive special treatment. The warden personally met me to explain the rules. A weak-looking assistant stood by his side, making notes on a memo pad with a filthy pencil.
The Warden spoke; “Answer commands briskly, have a good attitude. Likewise, do not make any plans to escape or commit suicide.”
Then I was led to the dormitory, where I was given a private room – my first taste of the sheer amount of ‘uyoku magic’ which pervaded the JDC.
Just like at the Metropolitan Police Station, I was protected from the general population. JDC was a place in which the patterns of childhood repeated themselves – if you were, as a youngster, likely to get beaten up on the playground, your past would follow you like one of those dreams where one is being chased by demons and can’t escape. And so, in JDC, you’d once again get beaten up, and treated terribly. Since I had been a short and scrawny child, I’d almost given up hope of surviving JDC.
And yet, here I was, with first-class accommodation, and peace and quiet in which to meditate all day.
I felt peaceful and blessed. Every ten or fifteen minutes, a guard was supposed to peer in the peep-hole, but he’d just write “No abnormal behavior” and take the opportunity to relax and have a smoke instead, so I was almost entirely left alone. The afternoons drifted by quietly like a slow, oily river, and I gradually came to know the peace of mind which had defined my existence at Ashiyaoka Farm.
“At that time, I too was one of the pregnant creatures, and like them, I’ve already ‘given birth’ to my Deed.  Everything is so tranquil now – it reminds me of the Jean Francois Millet painting so beloved by my father. Almost too quiet –  like my belly is empty and I’ve got a bit of post-partum depression.”
Nonetheless, I was bathed in a river of quiet tranquility as the days went by: this was probably the most quiet and trouble-free time of my whole life. Like I had climbed into a canoe and was leisurely floating downriver, this river of slow oil. . .
First I was a quiet boy, then , a youth who dreamed, and of course finally a person-who-is-capable-of-assassination.
And now, I was the tranquil man, who sat in the traditional Japanese style, as evening draped itself over Tokyo Youth Correctional Facility Solitary Confinement Room Number One.
As evening grew into the blackness of night, I contemplated my ideologies, which floated before me like dimly radiant nebulae:
“In the instant before I did the assassination, and in the time afterwards, I never directly faced the question of ‘What shall I do afterwards?’ I realize this now. When I look at my future, what do I see? Death, of course, eventually. But a man without selfishness is also a man without fear of death. I will have a blissful death, because The Emperor Himself will invite me to the afterlife. To the faithful, Fear has no fangs. Even death becomes decorated with the bunting of bliss.
“I am beginning to realize that My death will have the aroma of flowers, the sweetness of pastries. And when I am called to the House of Death, and I look back over my shoulder at this life the only thing I will wave to is my Deed.”
 This morning, I habitually chanted my uyoku slogans: “Abandon yourself, embrace righteousness,” “The selfish person can never achieve true loyalty.”
These both mean essentially the same thing: take my pitiful soul, so full of dread and terror, and throw it away! Throw it in the gigantic furnace of the Pure Emperor, and then you will know the grace and ecstasy, the total absence of anxiety, known only by the Chosen Ones. Your life will be a constant orgasm, a trance from which you need never awake. Every waking moment an orgasm.
Every instant will be an eternity, so when the breath of Death blows you into the next world, your existence will be unchanged.
The instant I committed my Deed, my bliss leapt into the fourth dimension, for I knew I had secured my place in this afterlife! I might already be dead, for all I know: I have achieved a state where there is Zero difference between life and death. since I am sanctified, my body and mind will be the same two hundred years from now, I suppose. Perhaps I have died, and the cell at Tokyo Metropolitan Police Station was a sort of purgatory. That would make JDC yomi (the underworld), wouldn’t it?
Elder Sister had a paperback book once. and there was a line in it which went something like, “Here is the City Beyond Sadness,” which she’d underlined in red. Supposedly that is the slogan written on the door to the underworld. I’d used my short sword to assassinate the Chairman, but apparently the sword also functioned as a passport through the gate. The dancing of my blade was a sort of magic which allowed me to enter this new realm – only for me it was a City Beyond Happiness!”
From some distant part of the JDC, a singing voice reached my ears, and I was instantly caught up in the melody. Oh! It was the same melody I always sang to myself:
Oh Carol!
You can wound me, you can make me cry,
but if you leave me, I will surely die!
Oh, oh Carol, you treat me terribly!
Those guys who are singing my song, they must be the same age as me – there’s probably a lot of fellows my age here. And tomorrow, I already feel like I could make some small contact with them. We could be friends! And when I get acquitted, a huge crowd of Seventeens will throw me a party – and I’ll be in the very center!
As I continued to listen to the song, bit by bit, the old familiar sense of terror began to well up in my chest.
Oh Carol! You treat me terribly! Oh, oh Carol!
I should be a demon of the Kingdom of the Underworld, and as an assassin-demon, I should fearsomely proceed down the most magnificent hell-path. I should be continuing on a path ever deeper, ever darker, to the heart of the Kingdom. But instead I seem to be galloping ever upward, ever more light, until finally I am dragged back in the real world, listening to Oh Carol once more.
What I ought to be hearing instead – perhaps what I AM hearing in the Kingdom, is a deep, dark, masculine growl, saying “Enterrrr your Name onto the Sacrrred Scroll of Misty Ssssouls!!!  Make the Pillllgramage to the Palace of the Imperrrrial Prrrince!!! Offer your Serrrrivices to the Imperial Will for Eterrrrrnity!!!”
I should be taking this fateful Oath, but instead I’m hearing Oh Carol. Oh, oh, ohh Carol. Suddenly the singing voices stopped. Probably they’re getting yelled at by the teacher. JDC was not entirely unlike the outside world: if you sang, you’d get scolded.
For now, I’m exiled from the yelling and jeering voices of the television, from the excitement and violent noise of the cameramen, newsreels, microphones, pictures, pencils, and the whole one-thousand ton weight of the mass media. But someday I’ll be released from this prison, and thrown smack-dab in the center of that violent clamor, that media assault. Aaah!! I just thinking about it made me exhausted. I would probably end up like that depressed old demon of a man.
Once again, I thought of that legendary assassin. In the dark of night, how did he quell the terrors? How could he have endured thirty years? What was his technique? If I make even one mistake, might I not also lose my “assassins’ badge of honor?” And I’d be expelled from the ‘uyoku castle’, dragged out of the ‘uyoku shrine’!!! My Deed was my only evidence that I was the Chosen One, but there was one hundred times more evidence which pointed to me being a boring piece of garbage, a habitual masturbator, an impotent crybaby, an imbecile with a huge inferiority complex, and generally a BAKA dog.
I was seized by panic, like the flurry of activity in the heart of the big city- I screamed and jumped up, hurling my body at the walls again and again, finally throwing myself down on the ground and making beastly noises, before finally collapsing altogether and moaning, ‘No, no, no! Don’t do this to me! It’s all meaningless! The Emperor has abandoned me forever! Don’t do this to me! Don’t do this to me! Don’t exile me forever from the dirty outside world! Give me the death penalty! Do it now! Call the executioner!!”
The artificial, inorganic lights came on, breaking the darkness into pieces and scattering it. The light was encased in a sturdy metal housing, and my bed sheets could be turned into a sturdy rope, I realized. At that moment, my panic dissolved with a ferocious speed, like clumps of snow melting in hot water, leaving behind only a faint, hazy mineral odor.
I heard someone running in the corridor. Nimbly, I jumped up, facing the door, assumed the traditional sitting position, and composed my face in a quiet smile. The guard viewed me from his peep-hole with a suspicious, confused expression.
I sat quietly, breathing very shallowly so as to conceal the raggedness of my breath, savoring the flavor of this, the final revelation of my short lifetime:
“I should commit suicide!
“It’ll be my final shock to the bestial mobs of society.
“I will spend eternity as a ‘fresh green shoot’ on the Imperial Tree of Life, so I don’t fear death. Being forced to live out my whole lifetime is more dreadful by far! I’ll kill myself! After ten minutes, when the guards leave.
“If I can endure ten more minutes, using all the strength of my ‘true uyoku soul’ to do it, then I can die honorably and live forever, having totally completed my transformation into the Chosen One, Son of The Emperor! 
“If it’s just ten minutes, I can endure any kind of mighty pressure, any kind of fierce terror! Because my ‘uyoku castle’, my ‘uyoku shrine’ will never crumble!
“I will enter the magnificent womb of His Highness The Emperor, and the vast universe contained therein! This universe is a pitch-black ocean, where I can drift like an as-yet-unborn baby, forever unconscious, basking in the radiance, the golden and rose-colored, the magnificent unearthly purple radiance, ahh!!
“The Emperor Has a most luxurious womb! My Emperor! My Emperorrr!!”
The Officer, instead of peeping in once every ten or fifteen minutes, was now watching me steadily.
In my hysteria and bliss, my vision had acquired remarkable new properties: on the insides of my closed eyes, I was now able to see Heaven’s Gate looming in front of me, with the gorgeous splendor radiating from within.
I can’t go in there yet, the Officer is still watching me. Yet, thinking furiously, I can see clearly the implications: if he continues to watch me like this, he’ll be late for his rounds to the other cells. So that’s why he’s watching me so intently now – because next time around he won’t have time to spare. My face, which he was watching so intently, with my eyes closed, my color starting to turn pink, streaming with sweat, beginning to drip off the tip of my nose, in a deep trance both blissful and frenzied, .. . this must be what he sees.
When I heard his heavy footsteps receding down the corridor, I leapt to my feet and commenced my activity.
I took my cotton sheet and with a heroic sound, tore a sturdy strip off of it and created a narrow loop. A wire noose would bring a quicker death, but this humble cloth seemed somehow more gentle. The sturdy metal housing of the light was at the correct height. Tomorrow, the laborers will no doubt be called to remove the suicide-enabling housings from all the cells. They’ll have to struggle fiercely to remove them, because they’re as solid as mountains.
Using toothpaste, I wrote a message on the wall with my finger, my passion rising in my chest savagely. I felt like I was about to explode with energy – my body felt ten times its normal weight; ten times its normal size. So I wrote with a giant’s energy, making enormous golden letters, while listening to the guards down the hall calling out peoples’ names, and the young men answering the roll call. 
Horiguchi? Hai!
Yasukawa? Hai!
Oomoto? Hai!
Miyake? Hai!
The other Miyake? Hai!
Sakata? Hai!
“Banzai! Long life to His Highness The Emperor! May I die for Him seven times, and return to fight yet again! “
My eyes could no longer see the letters I was writing – they burned so fiercely with unearthly heat.   I saw His Highness appear as a mightily roaring jet airplane, glowing golden in the black sky above the United Nations building.
I would float in the internal tide of the Imperial Womb, as black and vast as outer space! I would become a virus inside Him! Tears of pure happiness caused His image to reflect a million times like a fun-house mirror. It’s 8:05. in fifteen minutes’ time, my pure uyoku soul will have completed its transformation into the Chosen One. My ‘uyoku castle’, my own ‘uyoku shrine’! Oh my Emperor! Oh my Emperor! Oh, oh, aaaaahhH!!!!!
Seventeen, eternally plunging downwards, splashing into the dark nebula of the womb of his Pure Internal Emperor, his body forever jerking; a sorrowful expression on his face! Death finally captured him at 8:18. The serial child molester in the next cell heard the faint moans of orgasm and was moved to tears. Exclaimed the child molester:
“Oh, what have you done?
Beautiful, beautiful Seventeen…”
The middle-aged guard who came to cut the body down could smell the semen.
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