:: Article

Notes From a Neo-Geisha – Eiji and Duckie

By Hillary Raphael.

I mean, wouldn’t it be great if the rich girl was really pretty, too? Eiji hounds me again.

Get me a toothbrush from the vending machine. And a pair of slippers, I say.

Can’t you use yesterday’s slippers, Duckie? They’re still good, Eiji whines.

I like them fresh, I say. If you don’t have the money just say so.

I have the money, Duckie, but I need an extra 800 if we’re going to get Kimchi Noodle Cups.

No, Eiji, we ate that yesterday. Today we get Miso Noodle Cups.

Why can’t you get Miso and I get Kimchi?

Because we’re a team. And I’m the Team Leader and you eat what I eat and you refill my teacup every time you see it empty until I tell you to stop.

Yeah, ok. It’s lucky the tea is free here. At the last place, it was only one free refill, subsequent refills were 50.

Here’s the 800. Don’t forget sticks.


I’m back. Bon appetit.

Thank you. I accept.


Don’t talk and slurp at the same time. Eat silently. It strengthens the spirit.




What if she resists?

Then we hit her.

What if that makes her scream?

We gag her and hit her. Go make sure an otaku doesn’t take our spots. I like to be near the shower stall.

They don’t like that spot anyway. There are no webcams there. Anyway, they stay near the snack machines.

Eiji, what did I say? I said go reserve our spots. Put some manga down on the chairs.

But I got in trouble at the last place for doing that.

That was different. It was a drunken salaryman hot spot—this is manga otaku.


I’m back.

What do you want me to do, Eiji? Help you into a yukata and bring out otsumami and beer? Get it together.

Duckie, I’m scared.

Of what?

The police. What if they come and find us afterwards?

They won’t.

How do you know?

For one, we have no address. What are they gonna do? Interrogate every guy staying at every manga café across the nation?


Right, no. Secondly, we won’t harm the girl. She’ll only be unconscious in a comfortable love hotel, right?


Yes, right. So, after we get the money and she’s liberated, they won’t even be angry anymore.

They won’t?

Angry, yes, ok, but not irate. So, we sit tight here, or someplace similar, for a few days, then we take the cash to Seoul.

Yeah, Duckie, yes.

And we open a lucratively successful maid café there, and live out the rest of our lives in peace.

I’m feeling calmer.

Of course you are, and you have the easy part. Just grab her off the curb.

Uh-huh. You don’t think she’ll resist?

Sure she will, just a little, Eiji, but you’ll subdue her easily.

Can’t you help me with that part?

No, I drive getaway and I’m also the planner.

What is she flails a lot?

She won’t, she’ll flail a little. Look, don’t overthink this, it’ll be over before it started. Here’s 300. Go grab me a pack of Etiquette Gum.

Any flavor?

No, not any flavor. Lemon-mint.

Hillary Raphael holds an MFA in Fiction from Hunter College in New York City where she won the MFA Thesis Prize for her novel, I love Lord Buddha (Creation Books). She is also known for a non-fiction book about the Japanese butoh dance movement, Outcast Samurai Dancer, a collaboration with Japanese culture expert Donald Richie. Her novel Backpacker: New York, Seoul, Phnom Penh, Sapporo, Hong Kong, Vancouver, Mexico City, Maputo, Tokyo, Mon Amour is out now. Read her 3:AM interview and contribute to her backpacker sex project, tokyomonamour.com

First published in 3:AM Magazine: Saturday, September 1st, 2007.