You can support this video series by purchasing a copy of Domo ArigaDIE!!! It helps keep things going. And, if you’re in the mood for a crazy ninja adventure, it’s sure to wet your whistle.
Afrirampo rolls off your tongue in reds. All treble. You tremble, pour more red paint over your face, become bird. Become laughter. Become feather-tongued in the UFO club.
You’re in Higashi Koenji. The comedians practice their howling monologues in the park by your small apartment. You live three minutes from the train station. That’s prime real estate, but you’re apartment is literally a stove, a wall-mounted desk, a wall-mounted bed, and a window overlooking a parking lot. Room to squeeze in. A good room to sleep in.
So, instead of ducking your tongue in feather-flowers, you and Afrirampo head back up to the main street (the one that leads straight to Shinjuku) and turn right at the intersection across from the station. Walk down cobblestones to the yakitoriyasan. There, the two of you will eat as much chicken as you can. Chicken gristle, too. Months later, you’ll drink slow-drip coffee at the coffee house of the man with 10,000 records. You’ll grow in that neighborhood. Somehow, that neighborhood is everything about Japan to you. It’s simultaneously the setting of your book, a place that doesn’t exist, and a second home that will exist within you for the rest of your days.
The comedians do voices at night in the park. They speak loudly in funny voices. The UFO Club is closed tonight, but the convenience store is open and lit. It’s always open and lit.
Your tongue is too red.
And now it’s time for your friend to arrive. She’s riding a white bicycle. It’s way too late for you to be awake.
One doesn’t really sleep here. You flap your wings, hobble home.
But I didn’t tell you about Afrirampo? Their energy lurks in Domo ArigaDIE!!!. They write songs like how I write my stories. Their songs seem to start off as tiny meditations on a theme or a loop, something carried on the air. And they open from there, they expand from there, they twist the theme to a mutated state from there. But their songs always retain spirals of beauty and a certain elegance. Is it a violent elegance? I like the way that sounds. That sounds like something I’m going for in my own writing. Yes, violent elegance. On the page. Inside of your ears. How your mind makes sense of a comedian cackling in the dark, his back turned against you. He’s facing a stone wall.
And he won’t stop laughing.
So you wait for him in the dark.
It’s worth it.