01/10/2008

Alone in Shibuya

I found a good place to sit and watch. From a seat near this bar's window, I can see Shibuya passing me by. Opposite me there's an Excelsior Caffé that I know, from personal experience—and a somewhat obsessional love of good coffee—fails to excel in café. Beside that there's an entrance to a basement bar that's advertising cheap beer. A black guy stands there, waiting for customers, and occasionally breaks into dance. Break-dancing. Moon-walking-robot-style; seriously old-school. In front of him, on the sidewalk, are three men, two black, one Japanese, and it sure looks like they are passing a blunt. The police Koban is about one hundred metres away. Next to the cheap-beer-hip-hop bar is a Zara, and girls walk by looking at the mannequins in the window. It's raining, which is when I Iove Shibuya best; wet—neon reflecting in the puddles on the street. Umbrellas up, shielding the faces of all the girls with great legs, leaving me to wonder just how wonderfully gorgeous they are. Reflected in the second floor window of the Excelsior Caffé is a Big Echo karaoke place—a big reflected echo. Other signs add an expressionistic chaos of colour to the slick wet asphalt; the "Italian Tomato Cafe Jr.," and the "Curry House CoCo" send an aromatic mixture of curry and garlic into the damp air. A girl posts a letter in a tomato-red mail box as couples walk by, and the two girls sitting next to me light two more cigarettes. They are talking about their friend, who "is so beautiful she looks like a foreigner," and I wonder about the different eye's of the beholder, as mine scan the girls out the window, and the beautiful ones are beautiful maybe because they are foreign, to me. A white guy wearing a red-and-white shell-suit is lingering near the hip-cheap-hops bar; red baseball hat worn backwards, he's trying so hard to get "down" with the black guys clustered there. He's weedy, small, dangerous in his intense desire and looks like a dealer, an East London dealer, twitching, nervous and keen. He tries to lure passing girls with his imagined ghetto charm and fails. Now he's leaning alone against a wall. Now he's alone beneath a clear umbrella. Perhaps he works cheap for the hip-hop beer. Opposite him is a smooth black gentleman in a suit-and-tie and the contrast between the two is culturally amusing. The smooth dude is emailing someone on his mobile. The girls next to me have gone. And my glass is empty.

1 comment:

Sui Generis - Me said...

a marvelous description of shibuya! u r a master of descriptive prose!
^_^v