Business Time


* * *

  The two of them, my friend and the Yakuza sitting opposite him, eventually settle on a percentage. Dalton called him out when he tried to extort us for a couple more digits than our friends at the Pink Palace and Inafune – instead of punishing him for such insolence – apologizes for trying to get away with it. Today has been full of surprises.

  We all stand at bow and shake hands at the end and it’s as if we weren’t just shaken down by the mob. As they’re all getting ready to leave the silent boob-poker asks us our rates and whether he could book an appointment with Mitsuki later that evening.

  “Consider it done,” Dalton says as I’m unlocking the door for the rest of them, “and of course; you guys ride free.”

  He looks pleased at this. Even Inafune smiles.

  Inafune’s surrogate voice, unprompted, turns to us as his colleagues are leaving.

  “We collect on the first every month.”

  “Right,” Dalton says, nodding.

  “And if you guys have any problems, here is our meishi.”

  “Thank-you,” Dalton says, taking the business card.

  “But don’t waste our time,” the man continues as he hands me one as well.

  “Of course,” I say. My only addition to the entire conversation.

  “hajimemashite, Genterumen. Sayonara,” Inafune says from the door before disappearing through it and into the dark car waiting outside. We both bow as the Yakuza leave and don’t stand up again until the door has closed.

  “Holy crap,” Dalton says as we stand up in the strange new silence.

  “I know,” I say, still shaken slightly from the meeting, cordial as it was.

  “The Yakuza thing we’re big fish,” Dalton says unexpectedly “that’s so cool”

  I look at him with an expression of amazement.

  “Our definitions of cool are fundamentally different.”

~ by Joseph Blame on November 17, 2010.

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