Roppongi Soft Parade
Installment number one from the fearless Asian tour of Habeas Mentem
Below the terminally chic Roppongi Hills, where overpaid ex-pats, the commissars of
the Globalization juggernaut mill at crowded yuppie bars like the Heartland,
lies the ultra hip GaienHigashi-dori Avenue. This street caters to urban
humanity of all persuasions and is crammed with a craven hodgepodge of young
jet-setters, Estonian strippers, stylish office girls looking for a gaijin
hookup, filthy rich currency speculators coddling Geishas, uniformed workmen in
helmets that recall Godzilla movies, and relentless Nigerian touts, who work
the entrances of non-exclusive bars. Yes, a street full of bad vibes and total
rip-offs for the unwary. But if you keep your eyes open, and your wallet in
your front pocket, an enjoyable urban safari can be had; a taste of the
future—once the entire world can afford seven dollar frappacinos . . .
In between the two-storey Excelsior Café (the Japanese copy-cat Starbucks) and the
Freak Brothers head shop (which displays a life-sized plastic alien grey
smoking a large joint), stashed unobtrusively in a recessed archway, Jesus and
friend Iizzy have a little card table, where they are selling 2C-T-7, 2C-E,
DPT and several other psychedelic phenethylamines and tryptamines I can't
remember. There is also a small yellow plastic bottle next to the little
baggies, labeled "E". But Jesus's friend, Izakuto (Iizzy for short), says in
Japanese it's shit, and no, it is not MDMA.
I point to a baggie labeled 2C-T-7 in clear blue print. "So that's legal here?"
"For now," says Jesus, "In a few months it will be banned, perhaps." The two
didn't seem to be very perturbed about their narrowing prospects for drug
sales. "English guys come here and buy everything we sell," says Jesus, casting
a glance at his wares.
I was a little excited to see a dazzling magenta sign for 5-MeO-DMT.
"Wow, I thought that stuff was illegal in Japan," I exclaim, ever the dope
"Yes," says Jesus,"a little while ago they made it illegal. But Iizzy and I made such a
good sign. It's decoration now." Iizzy wears a thick Rasta cap, nods and
smiles, but does not speak English. A Japanese head. Jesus is tall compared to most Japanese and seems to be shaking. Limbs twitch of their own accord. When Jesus
talks he doesn't really look at me. His mind is definitely elsewhere, possibly
another star system. I'm thinking he's not a good poster child for these
substances. I decide I'm not buying tonight.
"What's your favorite?" I ask. Jesus points distractedly to the 2C-T-7 compound.
"I'm a writer," he says, "I use these things to open, open, open."
"What do you write about?"
"Nature." The word sounds incongruous in this welter of grasping humanity and scum-sucking
global chain stores. Rapongi feels like Manhattan. Only I've never actually
been to Manhattan. But I'm sure Manhattan would feel like this.
"You like Burroughs?" he asks off-handedly.
"Yeah, but his thing was heroin," I say, scanning the smorgasbord of psychotomimetics in
little white baggies.
"How about Tim Leary?" he asks.
"A big favorite; I have read a few of his books," I murmur, but I don't want to take up too much
of Jesus's time, since I'm not shelling out any cash for his philters. Bowing
politely to the two salesmen, dealers of dreams, nightmares, dizzying hot
flushes and OBEs—keys to the bestiary of the human psyche, I make my exit.
Leary and Burroughs: fun names to hear dropped from in Japanese...
A nice guy, that
Jesus, possibly on a come-down from an all night scopolamine binge, which may
explain the tremors... but with all those different "research chemicals" on
his little card table I had a bad feeling for him...Is it me or should no one
under thirty have more than ten varieties of untested mind bombs to choose from
at any one time?
But before I can digest the pith of this sudden and unexpected drug bazaar, a plain
woman, whom I initially took for a kindly, middle-aged housewife, lost and in
need of directions amid the chaos of a Friday night in Roppongi, comes up to me
and suddenly flashes a twisted grin, "Message-y?"
She wants 20,000
yen (~$182 u.s.d.) for a blow job. I laugh incredulously and start to move on,
but she knocks into me, grabs my arm, and spews gibberish at me as I walk,
refusing to take no for an answer. But a few words uttered in a firm tone
convince her to leave. A mere block later, I see her walking merrily in the
company of another prostitute, laughing like a school girl, the memory of that gaijin
tightwad long erased...
Tags : japan roppongi psychedelic
Rating : Teen - Drugs
Posted on: 2005-10-07 00:00:00