playing videogames and reading manga after school in Hiroo; pretending to be child serial killer Tsutomu Miyazaki‘s victims by acting as singing chopped off heads at a pizza shop in Azabu; making our nightclub debut at the age of 12 at JavaJive in Roppongi (my first drink was called “Peachtree Fizz”); fighting off shit-talking Japanese school girls on the Chuo Line on the hours-long commute to high school; warding off illegall immigrants selling fake telephone cards; dancing, shooting hard liquor, and eating ramen until the break of dawn.
None of this would have been possible without my partners in crime:
Alyssa. We didn’t invite her out to Roppongi for the longest time because she was Miss Goody Two Shoes in middle school (plus she was student council president). Alyssa is notorious for instigating the Kogyal Garbage Lady Incident in Shibuya in the winter of 1994. Now, she’s a web designer, an elementary school teacher, and a YouTube celeb also known as Hapaloha.
Yuka. This girl spoke perfect keigo (polite form) since she was a wee little kid. So impressive! She always knew everything about boys, music, travel, and fashion. Provocative yet sweet, she now works at a boutique in Dubai. Yep, Dubai.
Lara. She’s the only one who never went through an awkward growth phase. The two of us danced naked on her grandma’s roof, made “spoons” at summer camps in California, and wrote an impressive repertoire of songs–including what should have been the theme song to Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. A month ago, we got stranded in the ocean in Hawaii, but we both survived, and she’s back at her fashion/interior design/homemaking gig in Tokyo.
Mai. She had the funkiest clothes since the 1st grade. And she’s a really good singer/songwriter. Once, for a middle school geography exam, she wrote lyrics to La Bamba that recited all the Central American states from south to north. Now she works at J-Wave, where she interviews Keanu Reeves and Morgan Freeman and other hot shots when they go to Japan. And she’s still a crazy good singer.