“Chink pigs die!” I still vividly remember those words spoken by my sister’s Japanese husband. At the time my Japanese was not as fluent as it is now, and those words were the first ones I learned when I arrived in Japan. So it’s true, you always learn swear words more quickly.
Some other Japanese words that I still vividly remember was when he called my sister “shallow, materialistic, gold-digging.” He had a special nickname for my sister. When I heard it for the first time, both me and my mother thought it was a nickname of endearment, like darling, sweetheart, etc. Only later did I learn that my sister’s nickname meant “Anal Slave”.
Initially, right after my sister married her Japanese husband and moved to Japan, my mother and father were of course very proud and bragged to our neighbors about the extraordinary wealth their son-in-law had, “He can buy all the potatoes in our farm! He has a TV and a computer in a every room!” Even though there were still strong lingering animosity between China and Japan due to World War II, money trumped all. Whorish and money-loving, some might say, but others just see it as practical. Besides, well, at least initially, her Japanese husband was indeed not only wealthy but very generous to my sister, even when she was still working in the Red Chamber. And whenever our neighbors walked by our house, which was by then a brand new three-storied house, they pointed and wagged their fingers and said, “This is built by the japs,” with many shades of jealousy and envy.
Sometimes they would also go home and berate their own wives: “Why are we not as rich? We have daughters too! Why don’t we send them to work in the big cities!” Everybody knew what kind of jobs my sister and many other poor peasant Chinese girls did in the big cities. It was an open secret … that my sister was a prostitute and catered almost exclusively to foreigners, mostly Japanese businessmen.
There was even a period of time when everybody in our province was actively planning to sell their daughters into brothels to make money, and human trafficking of girls was such a huge problem that the government had to intervene to put a stop to it. Even though prostitution is technically still illegal in China, it’s literally everywhere. Everywhere.
“Sister is doing this so you can go to college one day,” my sister told me. “Sister’s life is hard, so it can be sweet to you. You must not let me down.”
During those periods of time I tried my best to focus on my study, to prepare for gaokao, the college entrance exam, the hardest test in all of China, one that will determine one’s life for the rest of their lives. Those that make through it, will be on top of the world, and will be able to move to upper echelon of the Chinese society, and those that don’t, will forever be relegated to inferior positions in life.
But sometimes life just throws a curve ball at you that there is no way for you to prepare. My father had become very arrogant and some into a fight with the relative of a local official. He was emboldened because, he felt, “My son-in-law is a foreigner,” and so no one dared to touch him, but he forgot that he was still living in China, and in China, officials are like gods while a poor peasant like him were as worthless as an insect. No sooner had he done the deeds, he was arrested and detained without a trial. My mother had become very scared and tried to go to the police station, but being uneducated, the only thing she knew how to do was to make a scene and soon she was arrested for disorderly conduct. The lucky thing was that my mother had been released a few weeks later but our dad was never to be seen again. Rumor had it that he was being set up, because he had previously offended the officials at the One Child Policy Program, who held a grudge against him. And in China, there is the expression, “Officials take care of other officials. They are connected like open ducts.” If you offend one official, then another official from a totally different department will try to get back at you when they have the chance.
In the meanwhile, my mother—though she was often abused by my dad, she also realized that she could not go on without him, in a male-dominated society—did something that she was going to regret for the rest of her life. She went straight to the prefecture district above ours for an appeal and she told them that her husband had been wrongfully imprisoned and the officials were using the incident to take revenge on something that had happened before, even with allegations that the officials of the One Child Policy program were trying to rape her. Her stories were even published on newspapers. Except that she didn’t have any evidence. The details were blurry, but soon the newspaper ran articles that she had fabricated the entire story. Stories even further reveal that my father had sold his daughter into sexual slavery, and not only that, but he was involved in blackmailing, kidnapping of women and smuggling them to Japan for sex work. “It was all part of the scheme,” my mother to this day fumes. “If he had that kind of ambition, he would not have been that poor.” In an authoritarian society, with no independent press, simple poor folks like us had to take whatever the authorities throw at us, with no recourse. Not only did she not save her husband, but our family had become the black sheep of the entire village. Everybody shunned us. We had nowhere to go. That was when we decided to join our sister in Japan.
Alone, abandoned by her premonitions, fleeing the chill that was to accompany her until death, she sought a last refuge in the warmth of her oldest memories.
When my mother told my sister about her plans to move to Japan, my sister was very, very upset, and my mother was angry at her for not being understanding. “Your father is dead. The whole village thinks he was a rapist and a murderer. Nobody in the village even talks to us anymore. You have to get us to Japan. Please!” But it all became clear when we arrived in Japan. It turned out that my sister’s husband was a Japanese porn producer. He has been using my sister as a porn actress in their house.
Every week my sister had to produce five pornographic videos, so one video a day for every business day, as agreed upon in her contract, for a period of two years, and if she fail to do so, she would have to repay the production company 50 million yen in lost revenue. She has been given over ten different nicknames or aliases to be used for different scenes and for different producers. The scenes she has been acting in included bondage, enema, anal sex, waxing torture, whipping-torture, gang-bang, no-condom bare-shot, fellatio, amateur, exhibitionism, etc. There were scenes in which she would go to a person’s house, pretend she was his girlfriend, and perform “amateur” scenes under the name “anonymous slut”. In addition to forcing her to performe in pornographic videos, her husband has been renting her out to fans who wanted to have sex with her for a fee. This was also included as part of her contract to “interact with fans”, and whatever amount of “fee” was collected, her husband split between himself and the production company. I felt so pitiful for my sister and yet, when she saw that I was crying, she beamed at me with the sweetest smile, and said to me,”Don’t cry, little sister. This is nothing compared to what I had to endure while I was working the Red Chamber in China. I used to have sex with 200 guys in a single night. My life is good now.”
On the first day my mom and I came to my sister’s house, as we unpacked our things upstairs, my sister was being hogtied, and given an enema treatment in the living room. Then her “Master” dripped hot wax on her bare ass, and she screamed in pain and jumped to get away, he stepped his foot on her face and shouted at her in Japanese. Many years later, as I recollected those events, I finally understood what the man told my sister. “Behave. Endure. Or else your whole family will be punished.”
The next morning, when my mother and I woke up and came down for breakfast, we saw my sister being tied to a wooden post, completely nude, and her husband was shoving a dildo down her throat. My mother started to cry but my sister tried to comfort her and said, “Don’t worry, mommy. It’s all just an act. We all have make a living. It’s no more degrading than being a waitress or a doctor. I will fix you breakfast as soon as we finish shooting this last scene.”
An inner coldness which shattered her bones and tortured her even in the heat of the sun would not let her sleep for several months, until it became a habit. The intoxication of power began to break apart under waves of discomfort.
Being Chinese myself and still in the process of learning Japanese, very quickly I became acquainted with a Japanese citizen of Chinese descent. His mother was Chinese and father Japanese; he spoke both Chinese and Japanese fluently. After being together for nearly half a year, during which he not only taught me Japanese but helped me in so many ways in life, being grateful to his help, I established our relationship as boyfriend-girlfriend, by giving ways to his lust. At the time he was attending one of the best universities in all of Japan; not only was he extraordinarily smart, but very good-looking. I was a recent immigrant to Japan, coming from a rather poor family, living with my mom and sister and her husband, and I felt a tremendous sense of shame and inferiority before him.
In order to maintain a deeply unequal relationship with a man of so much higher social status compared to myself, I never dared to say “No” to him and compromised in every way imaginable. However, I was still traumatized. I told him that I had a previous boyfriend while I was living China, after which, he said, I must confess to him all the sins that I have committed prior to meeting him. He was bothered that I was not a virgin, and to him, “Virginity is very important to a woman. It’s a symbol of her chastity, her purity and her innocence. You lost your virginity to a Chinese man. That is an affront to me as your current boyfriend. It’s a disgrace to my lineage.”
At one time he even lamented: “My poor fate! My girlfriend didn’t even give me her first time. Why is my life so full of suffering?”
I asked him if he ever had a girlfriend before me and without much hesitation or any affectation of hypocrisy he told me he had three girlfriends before meeting me, and then he went on to explain: “But it’s different for a man. For men, there’s no such a thing as virginity. In fact, it’s considered a pride, an honor, that a man is able to copulate with as many females as possible. On the other hand, for a woman, losing her virginity is a disgrace. It’s shameful. After losing her virginity, she becomes nothing but a slut. She is no different than a whore. Any man can now use her as a cum dump. She is seen as dirty as a public toilet in the eyes of men.” Then, he even proceed to show me a picture of a naked Asian woman, bound and blindfolded, with piece of cloth covering her sex, that said “public toilet” on it. He said, “Since you are not a virgin, then you are a slut, and this is the proper way to treat you from now on.”
After much arguing, as my whole face flushed deep red, he went on to say, “You did not give your virginity to me; you have disgraced yourself and your whole family. You should atone for your sins.”
Despite of my continued deference and submission to him. gradually, I came to discover, he became even more obsessed with my previous boyfriend. He asked me in great detail about my sex life, and made me swear to him that I was telling the truth or some disastrous events will unfold upon my family. He seemed especially infuriated by the fact that he was Chinese, even though he himself was half-Chinese. One time he told me, he felt disgusted by that fact that my previous boyfriend was a “dirty Chinese man.”
In order to punish me, “because you have sinned against me,” he said, I would need to obey him absolutely, and ever since, he started making me call him “Master” (主人様), and stopped referring to me as his girlfriend, but used such names as “bitch,” “slut”, “slave”, etc., even in front of his friends.
One day, he demanded that I have the words “Chink Slave” tattooed to my body, with the tattoo session videotaped. “Go to the tattoo shop. Take off all your clothes when you get the tattoo. I don’t care who sees your naked body. You are not a virgin, so you shouldn’t care anymore. Get the tattoo artist to videotape it or have yourself videotape it and then send the video to me.” I wanted an explanation and he said “I love to see the painful expression on your face as you endure pain and torture to demonstrate to me your absolute devotion to me, through your painful and humiliating act of mutilation, in the form of this degrading tattoo.”
Ever since, I have ceased to feel any sense of dignity as a human being in front of him. I have been transformed into his property, his slave. He even brought a dog collar and a leash for me to wear at his home.
I was his full time servant, maid, and sex toy. I cooked, cleaned, washed his clothes and complied to his every depraved, perverted sexual demand imaginable. Saying “No” was never an option and if I ever showed the slightest reluctance, he would administer punishment to me, each one more terrifying and more deviant than the last one. To give you an example. He once had me tied and flicked his fingers on my eyeballs to teach me a lesson about obedience. Afterward I had trouble seeing straight for an entire week.
One time, he and his classmates came to our apartment and apparently I had said something that offended him—perhaps it was an impolite use of a pronoun, since at the time my Japanese was still conversational and not fully fluent, and in Japan, being impolite is considered a grave offense, especially for someone inferior to offend someone superior—he told me to slap myself in the face. I was highly embarrassed, being in front of his classmates and I told him I couldn’t understand what he was saying. Once his classmates left, he threatened to report me to the Japanese Immigration Bureau for immigration fraud and have me, my mom and my sister all deported back to China. In order to appease him, I knelt before him and slapped myself hard across the face. But in stead of pleasing him, as I had expected, he then said, with the querulous touchiness peculiar to Japanese men, “So you did understand me. You have lied to me once again. You are a very typical Chinese. Dishonest, full of fraud and deceit, just like your whorish sister and mother. Go wait for me in bed. You need more punishment tonight.”
Living with him had become pure torment. Like a sailor who sat in a small boat in the boundless raging sea, surrounded on all sides by heaving mountainous waves, I quietly suffered and endured in the middle of a world of horror, as though I was asleep in a nightmare from which I was never able to awake. The initial love and romance that I had so cherished had been turned into hell fire. The sight of his naked body filled me with trepidation and fear as he repeated his assault upon me and I felt disgusted, I felt angry. I felt raw emotional hatred when he ejaculated inside me.
I tried to leave him, but he said if I ever leave him, he would commit suicide. He said he had fallen in love with me, in the deepest love he has ever experienced. He could not possibly go on living without me, he told me, with a sincerity that made my heart melt and my blood coagulate.
In the days that I escaped from his apartment I shut myself in my bedroom in my sister’s house and wept an inconsolable weeping that lasted for days, the cause of which I had kept well-hidden from my family. I had always been raised to be a cordial and warm-hearted person, but deep inside I always had a solitary and impenetrable heart which I had allowed no one to peer into … until I met him, that is. No one else was ever able to understand me. No one else in the world. Repeatedly I told myself those lies as my tears melted into my pillow case. On a rainy afternoon, as my mother and her friends—a group of Chinese women all married to Japanese men—chattered away in the dining room on the most recent gossips, gradually I lost the thread of conversation and slipped into a delirious netherworld of melancholic dreams and a sudden attack of anxiety overcame me. I walked across the dining room, and into the bathroom at the end of the kitchen, and locked myself inside and, in the midst of trying to cover my hysterical crying, I lowered my head into the toilet and started to drink the water out of the bowl.
Fascinated by an immediate reality that came to be more fantastic than the vast universe of her imagination …
I was confounded by my own behavior at the time. Looking back now, I think—according to my psychologist, and this was her analysis of my behavior—it broke out as an reflection of my repressed urge, to be the public urinal that my Master had always intended for me to become, and so when I saw the toilet in the bathroom, the image of myself as a public urinal flashed before my mind and I acted in accordance with my repressed urge.
I could not bear the taste of disgust in my mouth, but I persisted. I drank the entire bowl of toilet water and I was filled with an eerily confused feeling of pleasure and rage, as an unbridled satisfaction for humiliation overcame me. After I drank the water I started to lick the ceramic rim of the toilet and made a point to lick up every speck of dust and refuse. Big drops of tears rolled out of my eyes and touched the ceramic and I licked my own tears. I thought I had realized at that point that he was the only man who deserved this show of degradation. I thought I had come to the conclusion at the time that the image of him peeing into the toilet at another location was transubstantiating to me the warmth of his bodily fluid through the aquatic savor that left a humiliating aftertaste in my mouth and a sediment of peace in my heart.
I could no longer resist the longing and sadness. After two weeks I went back to my tormentor to apologize to him knowing full well that he had more deviant torment awaiting for me when I returned. He told me that I must beg him like I would beg for my life. I crawled before him in the lobby of his apartment complex and I kissed the ground that he walked on without a care in the world that I was making a scene and strangers were staring at me. In his intoxication of rage he sought to aggravate still further the wounds that he had inflicted upon me as he dragged me into the men’s room and ordered me to drink his piss. I did as I was told, but then, after put his semi-erect penis back into his trouser and zipped up his fly, he said, “As a descendant of the honorable Japanese lineage, I cannot possibly keep this degrading promiscuity with a tainted chink who had lost her virginity to a non-Japanese man.” In a harsh and cutting tone I told him it was he who had been threatening me with suicide if I didn’t come back to him; it was he who had been begging me to come back; it was he who threatened to kill my parents if I didn’t come back; it was he who had threatened to report me to the Japanese Immigration Bureau; it was he who made me swear that mother and sister will all die horrible deaths if I didn’t do as he demanded. Drunk with this melodrama, he began to hit me all over my body as I could not deny the satisfaction of seeing the amazement, the anxiety, the grief, the rage, and the mirth that my unconventional courage to defy him for the first time in my life caused him to lose his temper and, perhaps soon, his sanity, and the resulting punishment that I deserved and received transformed itself into a translucent alabaster of hatred and love in which I was lost and of which I’m still incapable of communicating into the English language, despite of leaving Japan eventually and coming to live in the United States for the rest of my life.
“Repent and suffer for your sins”—that was his motto for me. An unending need for redemption. A perpetual list of sins for which I would never be able to atone for in an eternity. Because to him, I would never be able to fully atone for my original sin, that I was not a virgin when I became his girlfriend. So I must repent and suffer and obey his every command, comply to his every degrading and humiliating demand.
In order to prevent me from leaving him again, he started to videotape all of our sex sessions and he said, that if I ever tried to leave him again, he would have all those videos sent to my family, my classmates, and shared on the internet. In total, there was more than one hundred such videos in existence, including videos of me drinking his urine, being whipped, licking his feet, etc. I thought back to my sister and I felt that through what had been happening to me had made me infinitely more connected to her than ever before. Deep in the burrow of my heart, even though I pitied my sister, I, perhaps, had also looked down on her because of her profession, but, at that point, I realized. I was no better than her. I was perhaps even worse! Because I was not being honest.
His level of sadism was rising in parallel with his adrenaline level. After I went back to living with him, he said he had more plans for me, and beaming with pride, he told me he would have my nipples pierced and studded with large golden rings, to punish me for being an unchaste woman. In his notes I found that he also planned on having my nose pierced and put in a septum ring. “Then I would have your vagina sewn together so you would never be able to cheat on me again.” He even showed me pornographic videos in which those procedures were being done to other women, and I shuddered at the thought that one of those women would turn out to be my sister or my mother, and he told me, he wanted to turn me into one of them eventually.
Whenever I think back to those things that he had said now, I still feel delirious with fear, anticipation, and trembling, and yet at the time, I remember, when I looked at him in disbelief, I saw nothing in his face other than an ineffable joy which seemed to have come from paradise. I realized that my torment and degradation had brought him a super-terrestrial joy, that his morbidly sadistic, depraved treatment of me brought him nothing less than a voluptuous pleasure corresponding to an immortal and compensating glory that glowed in his face. For him, my suffering was his ecstasy.
Despite the numerous times that he had threatened me with suicide, it was me, I thought to myself at the time, “who will succeed in killing myself.” One time, I tried to commit suicide by slitting my wrist. My second attempt was by overdosing on sleeping pills. I dreamed that I woke up in another world.
“Mommy, baby want a hug.” I still remembered the text he sent me that morning.
“Baby, mommy will atone for her sins once and for all tonight. Mommy will receive her ever-lasting punishment tonight and be finally cleansed of her sins.” I woke up, text-ed him back and committed suicide.
And then I fell asleep again, and then I reawakened again, albeit for a few short moments, long enough to hear the creaking of the wooden floor, and to open my eyes to stare at the shifting kaleidoscope of darkness, to savor, in a momentary glimmer of consciousness, the sleep of death which lay heavy upon my flesh, the whole of which formed a part of my entire being, and whose insensibility I soon found myself return to share.
It was too lonely in death, the yearning for the living so intense in death, the need for company so pressing, so terrifying the nearness of that death within death, that I ended up loving life, holding unto life so dearly as I held unto my mother’s arms.
… so the desire which directs our actions descends toward them, but does not reach back to itself, whether because, being unduly utilitarian, it plunges into the action and disdains all knowledge of it, or because it looks to the future to compensate for the disappointment of the present, or because the inertia of the mind urges it to slide down the easy slope of imagination, rather than to climb the steep slope of introspection.
Sometimes as I lay awake in bed, I could see my father being tortured in prison, except, when I got closer, I realized it wasn’t my father. It was my sister re-enacting the scenes of torture in her porno. Sometimes I feel as if I was dead and and I went over to the other side of the world and over there I talked to my sister and saw her still making pornos in Japan.
We all sort of knew in the back of our minds that the marriage between my sister and her Japanese husband was a sham, not in the sense that they weren’t having sex or making money, or that there was no genuine love, but in the sense that whatever love there was it has been plastered over and strengthened or, perhaps, ill-founded by money and an unbalanced power dynamics. After she obtained her permanent residence in Japan, she divorced her husband and, of course, her husband wasn’t happy. He cursed at her, cursed at my mother and me, because, according to I know, he had given a substantial sum of money to my sister, and even had given her a residential property; not only that, but my sister had made millions of yen from the Japanese pornographic company, but that, apparently, wasn’t enough for her; she sued the company for exploitation and the company decided to settle the case and she got another lump sum payment. So our family was once again able to live a relatively comfortable life all thanks to my older sister who has always been the breadwinner of our entire family.
In the three-year period since our family moved to Japan, not only did we repay our debt, but my mother and sister—infused with an entrepreneurial spirit that would later shock and awe my white American boyfriend, when I retold my story to him—started our very own brothel in the red light district of Japan. The front operated as “Chinese Massage Parlor”, the walls outside featured beautiful and scantily-dressed Chinese girls kneeling on the floor and smiling, and once you go in, you would be led to a large hallway with ornate decoration like a five-star hotel, and you would hear the catlike feminine voices of girls eagerly cajoling customers to have sex with them in broken Japanese interspersed with constant bickering in Chinese.
“Good blowjob. Master. Me. Give blowjob. Good blowjob. Master. Very comfortable for you.”
Customers are politely referred to as Masters.
“Little Jin, you are so desperate. Haven’t you had enough dicks to suck last night? Let me have this customer, will you? O-Master. Me. Good blowjob. Me horny. So horny.”
“Hey Jie-jie (old sister), talking about me being desperate? Looks like you are more desperate than me since you haven’t had a customer in the last two days. With your looks you would be standing in the street flashing your pussy at strangers and still no one will be wanting you. Ha! Me. Master. Me.”
“Eh! Bitch. O-Master. Me cheap. Me full service. No condom. Bareback. O-Master.”
“Jie-jie, you might as well be offering yourself for free. Me. No condom also. Master. Me. Shaved pussy. Master. I show you now. Master.”
“Why don’t you go out in public completely naked and beg for people to fuck you already? You desperate little slut. O-master. Please. Me. Me horny. Me so horny. O-master. Big dick. Please.”
Even though they were all prostitutes, they looked down on and ridiculed each other mercilessly. And this was just a very typical conversation that they would have between themselves. Sometimes argument would even lead to them physically assaulting each other.
Many of them were my sister’s former colleagues and acquaintances from Weihaiwei. They arrived Japan on tourist visas and, once they were here, they would start working while simultaneously be on the look-out for potential Japanese men to marry. Many ended up marrying their customers. In about just six months after launching the brothel, there would be hundreds of Chinese girls waiting for customers on every given night and they offered unlimited varsities of sex as long as you had the money to pay for it.
The business operated solely based on referral basis. And for every newly referred customer, the first time was completely free, provided that you must have had a referral from another customer. The guarantee was that, there was no way you would only visit once. When I told this to my white American boyfriend, he was amazed and extremely tempted and even started to beg me to introduce him to the place. Unfortunately, the business was only open to Japanese customers and do not admit foreigners, not even Chinese, despite the fact that the prostitutes themselves were Chinese. When he asked me why, the best explanation I could think of was “It was just because they were Japanese. It has something to do with the national character of the Japanese. They are different in that you can do it with them in this way and trust that they would not take advantage of you or try to exploit it for their own selfish interest. They have to be Japanese for this business practice to work.”
Sweet, gay, innocent moments to all appearance, and yet moments in which there gathers the unsuspected possibility of disaster, which makes the amorous life the most precarious of all, that in which the unpredictable rain of sulphur and brimstone falls after the most radiant moments, whereupon, without having the heart or the will to draw a lesson from our misfortune, we set to work at once to rebuild upon the slopes of the crater from which nothing but catastrophe can emerge. I was as carefree as those who imagine their happiness will last. It is precisely because this tenderness has been necessary to give birth to pain—
I woke up three days later in the hospital with my mother besides my bed.
It was during this period that I reflected upon all that had happened since our family moved to Japan. The pleasure, so long lost, of being with him was intoxicating, and the suffering, from the pleasure of our love, was inseparable; like a pitiless eagle whose beak was rending my heart, and in whose claws my tortured mind was unable to escape for even an instant, love had driven me to madness.
I reflected with shame and a creepy bitter sweetness upon the time he “interrogated” me for my alleged sexual intransigence prior to becoming his girlfriend. He had me sit in a wooden chair, and placed a lamp that was shining directly into my face, while a video-recorder was placed on a table opposite of me documenting everything I said. He was wearing a black police uniform and waving a stick in his hand like it was a sword, then, he asked me “regarding your your ex-boyfriend, the Chinese guy,” he sneered when he said it, “to whom you lost your virginity, how big was his penis? Remember, if you lie to me, you will swear, all your family will die a miserable death. Do you understand?”
And he would continue: “Did you engage in oral sex with him?” And, “in what sex position did he fuck you? You must be completely honest with me or I will shove this stick in your asshole, you Chinese whore.” And, “Look at the camera, and tell everyone that will be watching this, how wet were you when you lost your virginity to your little Chinese ex?”
The interrogation went on and on and I became agitated and horrified with pain at his jealousy at an unknown person—I felt like I was watching an eagle dipping its beak into the bright blood of its prey as I sat there, motionless, being forced to confess to my sins.
After the “interrogation” he would tied me up and have sex with me and he would say things like “My Japanese cock is so much bigger than your little Chinese ex, isn’t it?” My whole body went limp like a wounded deer accepting surrender while his penis was pumping in and out of me. “If you ever lie to me I will teach you the language of my whip.”
“Silly child, why would you do such a foolish thing? The light is right at the end of the tunnel. Do you not remember all the suffering we have already gone through while we were trying to escape from China? There are no hurdles that we cannot overcome now.” The soft and compassionate voice of my mother interrupted the incessant torment of my recollection and my cheeks were refreshed by new streaks of tears.
Many years later, after we emigrated from Japan to America, my mother told me that on the night before my second suicide attempt she had a nightmare, and she dreamed seeing me asleep in my bed, and blood was running out of my body like rivers, and it poured onto the floor, slithered across the living room, the hallway, crept underneath the door and like a flood roared through the streets in broad daylight. Then she woke up and followed the trails of blood to find me laying unconscious on my bed, just as in her nightmare.