Black & White


  There’s a doll in the store.

  I understand the redundancy of such a statement, but there’s a living doll standing in the would-be-lobby.

  From the darling red Mary-Janes up she’s rocking the full gothic-lolita look that’s so popular with the Harajuku girls. Black and white stockings kick start the look, riding thigh high where a sliver of skin and suspender is revealed before her black petticoat comes into play, the ruffles of which bloom and crash about her petite frame, bunching once again at the shoulders. White spider-stitch gloves creep up her arms, their delicate patterns more like a tattoo sleeve than a fabric. A cloth choker that has a miniature timepiece in the middle of it finishes off the look. 

  She’s one of the few Japanese teens I’ve seen to have retained the Asian black when it comes to her hair, but it’s short and styled and nestled amongst the layers rests an Alice bow. Amongst it all is her perfect porcelain face. She kicks off her shoes before stepping up to the hardwood floor, tugging lightly at her pink earphones. She tilts her head slightly to one side as they pop out and fall into the abyss of folds below, her frills swallowing them whole. As Dalton arrives beside me she glances up for the first time and looks at us with wide eyes, as an aesthetic addition or simply shock at the gaijin in front of her I’m not sure.

  “Dalton-san?” the lolita says incredulously, and instantly I’m as stunned as she is. I don’t even have a chance to register my surprise before Dalton replies from behind the counter.


  “This is your store?” she asks, looking around at the bare walls “it is very different to look at now.” We cleared out what little remained of Arisato’s stock. Dalton took most of it back to his place.

  “Yeah, we’re starting a store, me and-” and he looks to me suddenly, remembering I’m here, “Oh, I’m sorry man, this is Suzette.”

  Suzette bows instinctively at the introduction and I follow suit, matching her depth carefully before standing upright again.

  “How do you guys know each other?” I ask, still confused. I can’t begin to imagine where the two of them could have met.

  “I worked alongside Arisato-san previously,” Su says in awkward but wholly competent English, “this once was the doujinshi-store. Dalton patronized us often”

  Dalton laughs at this. “So you’re looking to get your old job back, huh?”

  Su doesn’t so much smile as emote a warmth. Her eyes do most of the work whilst her mouth stays in a practised line of nonchalance.

  Somewhere in the once hopeless depths of our situation shines a light, and its name is Suzette.


~ by Joseph Blame on October 12, 2010.

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