Saturday, December 22, 2012

{BLIND} by Kyle Hemmings


He’s the otaku, the self-proclaimed near-sighted dork, who works in IT. Bishamon. Lives in a glass menagerie that sometimes goes upside down. Loves Shojo Manga: Sailor Moon, Sailor Mercury, Sailor Mars, Sailor Jupiter, Sailor Venus. His glasses make him look thick & forgetful.

Efficient in repairing networks, but too awkward to come out of closets. 24 years old & there’s some ambiguity about his virginity: lost, found, reborn, taken by a prostitute paid for by a friend?

That night everyone was drunk. Who knows. Blame it on corrupted R.A.M. He’s in love with the girl from Accounting: Chiemi. A smile on the fly. The fantasy of a summer fling with a flower print cotton dress. Legs, sexy, innocent curves. She’s elegant lust. Reminds Bishamon of this young film star in a Kung Fu movie—saved her family’s honor by using flying leap kicks & seducing a dishonest politician, old with a pointy beard brushing his navel. In the film, she left him in bed, dead of a heart attack.


The co-worker, Junichi, takes Bishamon to a bar in Golden Gai, ramshackle walls with movie posters from The Wild one, The Good, the Bad & the Ugly, Taxi Driver.

They spot Chiemi sitting with another girl, both nursing drinks. Junichi prods Bishamon to sit & talk.

Flustered, Bishamon says Hi; the girls offer them seats at their table. The music is so loud that it obliterates thought. Bishamon & Chiemi talk about how the Tokyo Exchange will someday crash. They talk about Japanoise, or her favorite film, Godzilla vs. Biollante. By the third Mai Tai, Bishamon asks Chiemi what is her family name.

The half-smile turns into a thin unwavering line. “My family name is Mina.” She studies Bishamon’s one eye that never moves. She never asks why it stays fixed.

“Mina?” says Bishamon.

“Yes. Mina Sota.”

“Mina Sota.” He mumbles this while looking up to the ceiling.

“Minnesota. You know. U.S.A.”

She inspects Bishamon’s face for signs of an epiphany—like, This is what I tell jerks out of the loop. A smirk & she signals her friend. They say Good-bye, rise & leave.


Chiemi in bed with the head of Human Resources, Mr. Yamashita, married, a body builder. She tells him that this is one of the best affairs she has ever had. Later, she makes a joke about “this nerdy guy in IT" who has a crush on her. She says she can’t imagine doing it with him, not even for money. Later, she admits that she sometimes misses her husband working overseas as a paralegal in Minnesota. He became fed up with her infidelities.

Mr. Yamashita passes her a joint.

They both stare up at the peeling ceiling of a love hotel. He tells her that he is sorry about all the people in his life that he has raped.

“I don’t just mean physically. Mentally too. You have to … or else. You become a victim.”

Chiemi, under the sheets, looks at him & smiles. She tells him that she can’t stand guys who have no confidence. No wimps. No suckers.

Later, she admits the average life-span of her affairs is about two months.

Mr. Yamashita tells her that she sings like a bird.


At home, Bishamon draws a manga boy & girl. He writes in the bubble over her head—“I don’t want you.”

Bishamon's manga-boy thinks: I will wait you out. Mina.


Chiemi joking on the phone to her friend, Yuki: Just wasn’t into it. I was blowing this guy in the bathroom, and I just left him there hanging. I told him I couldn’t go on. Just wasn’t into it. He was nice about it. Even gave me a twenty. Sweet. Older guys can be cute. & boy, can they get jealous. Then, guess what? His zipper gets stuck. I tried to help him. Think I hurt him. Like Ouch! You crazy bitch.

Later, she says to the girlfriend that this nerd from work, named Bishamon, has a crush on her. She says even though he has never called her, she sometimes thinks about him in a kind of icky way, like watching elephants do it on animal planet.

"So why hasn't he called you?"

"Because he never asked for my number. Not that I would give it."



Her favorite nut is pistachio. She hates bedbugs & guys who write poems.

Bishamon likes starfish & girls who can spin yarns. Loves movies built around a lost silver magical ring or a deck of mysterious cards. He loves haikus & tankas. He's even tried to compose some.

He never had a decent blowjob.


She & Yamashita are speeding down some winding hill. They are both high. The day is sunny. She is giving him head while he drives. He has said on occasion that it is so good for egobuilding. He becomes so relaxed that he misses a turn. They are flying in the air. The ocean is very far below. Chiemi looks up. She closes her eyes & wishes she had wings. The last thing she remembers is that she never learned how to fall with proper etiquette. She screams.


Bishamon removes his artificial eye, inspects it. He lost his real eye in an accident when he was a kid. He imagines that the artificial eye can tell him secrets. The secret: Close your good eye. Chiemi is a sweet bird who will someday fly into your bed.

Kyle Hemmings is the author of several chapbooks of poetry and prose: Avenue C, Cat People, and Anime Junkie (Scars Publications). His latest e-books are You Never Die in Wholes from Good Story Press and The Truth about Onions from Good Samaritan. He lives and writes in New Jersey.

This Zine Will Change Your Life previously published Rinko by Kyle Hemmings. Check it out.

Street art by JOS-L
Photograph by Adam Lawrence.

Athens-based Dream Boat released their debut album, Eclipsing, this month. 

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