To read Fool’s Odyssey from the beginning, click here.
Chapter One: April Fool’s Day (Continued)
Previously: Newly arrived and oldly lost, the Fool spent a fitful night in a London B & B.
Is it morning?
Is it morning?
Oh, God! Oh, Hell!
Eat breakfast. You know, “Break your fast.” That’s English. Hah, hah, hah–
I clambered down six flights of stairs to a bed-and-breakfast basement
with good-morning-yellow wallpaper and orange marmalade and bangers and eggs
(W.C. Fields voice: Ah, yes, runny little pools of cholesterol)
and something like Tang,
and sexless white toast,
and tea he-he,
with fourteen Arabs, and one Japanese fellow.
Yoshihiro Tsukura practiced his English on me
while I dangled on the brink of eternity.
Is this it? Is this culture shock?
Is there life after breakfast? If an egg falls in the forest–
What’s that, Yoshi?
No, there are fifty states.
No, no, Puerto Rico’s a…
I don’t know what it is, exactly, but it’s not a state.
Yoshi was studying to be a big-time politician–law, business–
IQ of 748 or something,
but maybe that was in yen.
One day he would be the Minister of the Something-or-Other in Japan,
and I’d go and visit him,
and they’d drive me around in a Toyota limousine,
and everyone would cheer and throw corn flakes on me
and give me hot baths and walk on my back
and good God I’m in London, England
and I don’t even know why I’m here
and someone said something to me in my sleep last night
and I don’t know who it was
I mean, it might have just been me,
but then again it might have been–
That day the first of my fantasies began over tea:
“Yoshi!” I thought,
“You clever little Japanese person!
You had it all figured out, didn’t you?”
Life was an adventure, a game of gain.
Sell things, buy things, capital loss, capital gain—
The pound’s the thing.
It’s got the dollar by the collar!
O buck, where is thy sting?
I began to dream, began to figure figures and schemes.
With a belly full of bean juice my mind began to perk.
To read Fool’s Odyssey 7, click here.