Cherry Blossoms (pt.1)
At 19 years old, I decided to become a gravure idol in Japan and create erotic DVDs. This was not an easy journey. Here is part 1 of what brought me there.
Pale petals from fallen Sakura trees washed over the street. It’s funny that withering flower petals were enough to make up for the aesthetically displeasing McDonald’s and cheap ramen lunch spot. I tried to drown out the pitter-patter of a toddler kicking her feet. She wailed with awe and her mother snapped a photo of the moment as the cherry blossom petals burst in front of her. It seemed like only yesterday my mother and I had done. I blocked any feeling of disillusionment and brought myself back to my mission.
12:00 PM Blue Sky Manor Apartment 826
I made my way to a small apartment building looking for my destination. Each unit had a different sign on it, advertising small businesses inside. It was my task to find 826 and keep calm. My heart snug in the pit of my stomach, keeping me company. I kept a smile on my face. It kept me from dying of anxiety. The door was adorned with a periwinkle sign card that read Mist Talent Agency. “This has to be it,” I muttered to myself. I searched the bottomless pit of my purse, fingers first, and felt around. I wafted through the plastic of empty snack wrappers, and crumbs from said snacks. Finally, I found my cushion makeup. The mirror shone a light into my eye from the sun behind and I pushed the cushion into the cream. With a few pats, I smoothed it over my acne-scarred face covering blemishes and fears alike.
After I knocked a stocky man opened the door. His eyes scanned my body like a barcode. Quick enough to be covert yet with an intensity that would make me uncertain.
“So…you speak Japanese, right?’ He motioned for me to sit in the living room.
“Yes, I’ve lived here for a bit now.” I naturally went into auto-answer.
The man was relatively silent as he went into the kitchen to get paperwork from the printer. I sat in the little room alone, processing the decor. I tugged on my blue Jean textured dress hem. The grating of the fabric between my fingers offered some grounding. The table in front of me was nicely decorated with a doily-like table cloth. You’d think it was your grandma’s house but the walls were adorned with scantily clad young women.
“What makes you want to be a race queen?” He strutted back into the room with a stack of papers in front of me.
“I’d like to do gravure. I’ve been doing idol stuff for a while and I know a lot of girls do gravure…I guess I could try being a race queen as well.”
The man reached to a DVD case beside him and showed me the cover of a young woman wearing thongs.
“The gravure we do is pretty risqué. Are you fine with that? You’re not with a talent agency right?”
My heart, which had made my belly her home, began to quiver. I wasn't OK. “I’m sure I can come around.”
“You don’t sound too sure…Look, maybe you’d be OK to work with. We just can’t have you turning up and complaining or something.”
He didn’t know that my comfort had been long neglected. She had been battered and forgotten long before that day. I dropped the hem of my dress and brought my hands to the side of my thigh. My thighs pierced with my nails digging into them. The sting of rejection still hurt more. Rejection in entertainment wasn’t new to me. I tried to fill the void with an endless cycle of faceless men and expensive handbags but I was always left unsatiated. It was now or never.
To be continued…