Uncomfortable Japanese sashimi

Photo by Dennis Wong

And so, the drama from yesterday continues.

When Japan picked up the phone she was greeted by a very distressed American.

“Philippines is going to your place today, right? Ask–ask her why she hates me.”

“Are you going to cry?”

“She did me dirty. That shit was hurtful! I mean, you know, I’ve been friends with her for years and suddenly she hates me? What the hell? Is it–is it because I’m weak? But I’m not though, right?”

“Please don’t cry.”

“And China?” America made a noise that sounded caught between a growl and a gag. “She goes for him, of all people? It’s because he’s hot, isn’t it? Is China sexier than me? Japan, be honest.”

“Hold, please.”


She slowly brought the phone away from her ear and hung up.


Chew chew chew chew. Pop.

Japan felt an urgent sting just below the skin on her forehead and she twitched.

“America is a fool,” Philippines said. “Just completely silly. He’s a bigot who thinks he can do whatever he wants!” Her hands only left her pockets to make dramatic motions.

“I feel that is perhaps a generalization, but that aside, your criticism can apply equally to China.”

“No, no, no. China has some problems, okay? But you know what America is doing? He’s trying to put his troops everywhere all across Asia.” Chew chew. Blow. Pop. Japan felt that sting again, this time in her cheek, right below the eye. “He treats us like we’re dogs on a leash. I hate that.”

“He’s simply trying to protect democratic interests in Asia–”

“Exactly! He calls it that, but what he really wants is to dominate the region with his big, fat military. Idiot.” Philippines added, “Him, not you.”

“I would disagree. I don’t feel that I am being dominated and, furthermore, China has actively displayed his own military force–”

“I like you, Japan. I really do.” Pop.

Japan blinked. “Thank you.” They just sat there looking at each other for a while. Chew chew chew. “Oh. That was–? That was all you wanted to…? Okay.” Japan paused to tuck bangs behind her ear. “Here is the thing… I like you too. I just want to be sure that you do not plan to push America away completely, especially since he has been a reliable ally for so many years.”

Philippines just shook her head. “He’s putting you up to this isn’t he?”

“I’m sorry?”

“Yeah, yeah. He’s making you say all these praises and stuff about him so he can win me back.”

“No, no, that’s not–”

“Did he threaten you? What did he say he’d do? Turn Tokyo into a military base?”

Horror drained the color from Japan’s face. “Oh, god no–”

“It’s okay, Japan. You don’t have to lie anymore. I can see it in your eyes. The genuine, non-American truth. It’s there.” Pop.

As Japan sat there staring off past Philippine’s shoulder, one question echoed in her mind like the hollow clanging of a gong: What have I done?

Finally Philippines spit her gum into a napkin. “Anyway, want to talk money?”

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