Black Passenger Yellow Cabs: The Solo Performance. (The Doodu Pit)

“Steve?”

“Yes mummy?”

“A want yu to clean the two bicycles spic and span this morning.”

“Yes mummy.”

“A don’t want you to leave not even a speck of dirt when you are finished cleaning them.”

“Yes mummy.”

I live on top of a church on a commune of 4 buildings, with mummy and 50 other women. The church is in the centre and there are is a tenement next door, owned by the church. Mummy and I share a little bed. We share a room with Sister Henry and old, blind Sister Aspy. I don’t know why, but the doctor cut off her two legs. Mummy and the other church sisters are always making me do something for them. They call it chores. I call it child slavery. If it’s not cleaning Sister Henry and Sister Forbes bicycles, it’s sweeping the yard. If it’s not sweeping the yard, it’s going to the shop. If it’s not going to the shop, it’s going to the shoemaker. If it’s not going to the shoemaker, it’s going to the market.

“And whatever you do, don’t go over next door today.”

“Yes mummy.”

“You are to stay right here when yu finish cleaning them. Yu hear mi?”

“Yes mummy.”

“Alright, I’m gone to work. Don’t give any trouble today.”

I hurry up and finish cleaning the bicycles. After I finish cleaning the bicycles, I run straight to next door. I know they’re hiding something from me. Grownups are always trying to hide something from me.. (BEAT) Now I have to go pee. I don’t want to go to the toilettes near our room, because Sister Henry or somebody else will find something else for me to do. I run fast through the side gate. I like going next door. Some people in that yard are not Christians, they are worldians. At least that’s what mummy calls them.

“They’re jus’ living for dis worl’ but they will soon end up in a lake of fire.”

I like going next door because I get to hear music that’s not Christian music.

 

“Good morning Ms. Chambers. Good morning Ms. Ena.” I dash around the house corner to the toilette.

“Steeeeeeeeeeve! Don’t go round dere!”

Right in front of the toilette there is a rusty square sheet of corrugated tin. It is big like a manhole cover. I’m going too fast to avoid it. Once my barefoot touches that rusty tin, my foot bottom will split open, blood will come rushing out, I will have to go to Children’s Hospital and mummy will beat me for disobeying her. The rusty tin collapses under my foot and I drop into this big, black hole, just like Alice in wonderland. I land, plop in this mooshy greenish brown stuff. My feet are deep in the moosh up to my knees. I’m sitting in it. I’m sinking in it. The wall is round. It’s far away. The wall is moving. No, big drummer cockroaches line the wall. They are moving. I frightened them when I fall in. Now they’re flying around, plenty of them. They’re hitting me in the head. I can hear their little footsteps. They’re crawling on one another.  It’s very very stink in here.

 

I’M IN THE DOODU PIT.

“Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! Tek mi out. Somebady tek mi out!”

“Jesus Christ! Steve drop in the doodu pit.”

“Tek mi ooooooouuuuuut! Somebady tek mi out. I’m sinking!!!!” I’m up to my waist in doodu. I’m sitting in everybady’s doodu: Ms. Ena’s, Ms. Chambers, all the children in the yard, Sister Hudson, the skinny old lady in the yard. I can see paper mixed with the green/brown doodu.

 

“Tek mi ooooooooooooooooout!”

I can see the square hole I fell through. The sky is blue blue blue. I can make out Ms. Ena’s face. Many people from the neighborhood are looking down on me.

“Somebody soon come for you. Brother Claire, Steve drop in the doodu pit.”

I’m still sinking. Now I’m way past knee deep in doodu, I’m chest deep in mooshy, slushy doodu. I’m 6 years old. I’m going to die.

“Somebady tek mi ooooooouuuuut! Tek mi oooooouuuuuut!

Brother Claire is a deacon in the church. He’s on his belly outside. He drops pieces of cloth tied together through the hole. “Stop di cryin! The more you cry, is the more you move. And the more you move, is the more you sink! Hold on to the cloth!”

I’m trying to stop crying. I can’t wipe my eyes or my nose. There is doodu on my hands. I hold on to the cloth. I’m going up out of the doodu pit, covered with everybody’s doodu all over me. I’m not going die. I’m going back through the hole I fell through. I’m back on dry land. My feet are on solid ground instead of solid waste. Clumps of everybody’s doodu are all over my body. The yard is full of people. How did the news travel so fast?  Even Ms. Tomlinson and her children from way down by the seaside are here. I can never go to school again. I can never go anywhere again.

“Doodu boy, you’re lucky.”

That is what my name is now: Doodu Boy. Mummy is here. Jesus! I’m dead now. I should’ve just died in the doodu pit.

“Thank you Brother Claire, thank you so much. My son owes his whole life to you.”

“Is not me Sister D, is the Lord yu have to thank for that. Believe you me, it could have been much much worse.”

“Praise the Lord.” Mummy marches me over to the only cistern in the yard. She puts a hose on the pipe and starts to hose me down from a distance.

“Tek off your clothes.” She mixes Pine Sol and Lysol in a bucket of water. Now she’s washing me down with a rag. No, she’s scrubbing me down. It smells like Children’s hospital.

“Why are you so disobedient? Didn’t I tell you not to come over here?”

The scrubbing is over.

“Stay right here.”

She leaves and comes back with her handbag. It has long straps. She starts to beat me.

“Why, are, you, so, dis, o, be, di, ent? Ay? WHY?”

I’m dancing around crying. Ms. Ena is begging her to stop.

“Don’t beat him, after what he just went through don’t beat him Sista D.”

“He deserves it, his ears are too tough. Do, you know, how, much, you, made, me, worry, about you?”

“Ay, yes mummy. I’m going to be obedient next time. Mummy, mummy mummy!”

“Don’t mummy me. Stop the screaming.”

Mummy drags me back to the church yard. She hauls me upstairs and sends me to bed even though it’s almost lunch time. Wow, that was scary, I’ll never disobey big people again.

 

 

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A New Chapter: Black Passenger Journals

Journal Writing - Thoughts from Black PassengerWith the roller coaster ride that is the republishing of Black Passenger Yellow Cabs still ongoing (follow my Facebook feed for up to date info on that), I’ve had less to write about on these pages for some months.

However, a new writing class that I’m undertaking right now asks me to keep a journal every day, so I thought why not share these entries with my much-appreciated readers and keep you up to date with my current thoughts on life, writing and, well, these first entries should give you the idea…

JOURNAL: SATURDAY JULY 16TH, 20011

So I’m taking this writing class and I’m supposed to write every day. I’m supposed to write a journal. But how do you write when there’s nothing to write about? Usually I write when I have a story in mind, some specific plot. I don’t have to have it all planned out from beginning to end, but I have to have at least some idea what the story is about. But this is different. I gotta write, basically by the seat of my pants. Oh well, it can’t be that bad. But it most likely will be about sadness and unhappiness. ‘Cause that’s pretty much been my feelings since coming to LA a year ago and especially since the tsunami-quake in Japan in March. It’s sad that I can’t be there.

I’m always absent at the wrong time. I’m always not there when my help is needed.

It’s like my house is on fire and I can only watch it on the internet. Can’t do anything about it. I’m 7,000 miles away. Can’t even volunteer. Can’t even take any pictures or shoot any videos. I know I shouldn’t be thinking about photo opportunities in the disaster, but I do. And no, I don’t feel guilty about it. I get off on natural disasters. Since I was a kid. I get off on large scale disasters. I’m pretty sure it has a lot to do with the death infested environment I was raised in. Every day someone, someone from the church, or some animal, some goat or dog or chicken was always dying. It’s like every Sunday I was on a funeral excursion. And they were fun. I got to leave the shanty and travel to the countryside.

My obsession with death and dying started going off the charts when I turned 40. And I mean really, it became like an obsession. What the hell is that all about?

It’s like my childhood obsession on steroids. I started thinking about death all the time. I guess it was my midlife crisis. I turned 40 and I don’t feel invincible anymore, like I did in my younger days. But the irony is, I spent my younger days, until 35 years old, wanting nothing more than to kill myself. What is going on? A few months before I left Japan for America, I started searching the internet for airline crashes. Then I found the motherload: the Tenerife air crash between the KLM and Pan Am 747s. Everyone died on the KLM plane.

Everyone, I mean everyone literally perished in a massive ball of fire. What must that have been like?

I try to put myself on that flight. No, I put myself on that flight, but I don’t die, I walk out unscathed, brushing myself of like Lee Majors in the Six Million Dollar man. I loved the Six Million Dollar man. I was obsessed with that show. Every time I ran I would make that bionic sound. When my mom sent me on errands to the store, I ran making that bionic sound, humming the theme song in my head. Sometimes even out loud. Whenever I looked at anything, I looked, effecting the bionic eye sound. Even as an adult, I walked out of my seven major car accidents, humming the six million dollar man theme song. It’s only after watching the KLM Pan Am crash over and over and over again, that it begins to sink in that, if I were on that plane, I would’ve been just as dead as those hundreds of passengers.

What were they thinking about at the very last minute? That’s what I wanna know. I want to be there, at that very moment when grim shows up. I wanna talk to him, “hey grim, what’s up? Good to finally meet you, heard lots about you.” But I don’t actually want to go with him. It would be exciting only to meet him. There’d be no thrill in actually going with him, I’d be dead and I won’t have any awareness of anything.

So I worked myself in a frenzy and pretty soon I was afraid to board the plane for that 13 hour flight to San Francisco. I don’t usually work like that, I’m usually calm and fearless. And just as to be expected, I landed at SFO without incident, not even turbulence. Recently I discovered air crash investigations on YouTube. And man, talk about a feast. I can watch episodes about widely publicized plane crashes, the Concorde crash, and scare myself shitless. So I do. I do marathons of air crash investigations. Times when I should be writing, I’m probably watching hours of air crash investigation. In fact, right now as I write, I’m thinking about episodes I could be watching or re-watching. Wanna see the one about the L1011 crash in the Everglades again. Can’t believe that a 12 cent light bulb can bring down a jet. But that was back then, back in 1972. No way that could happen now.

Another thing I started noticing when I turned 40, I’m 47 now, is how fast time goes. Before 40, one day had some 20 something hours in it. It took a full 24 hours to complete one day.

When I got to forty it seems the days, weeks, months, years whip by so fast. One day now has only about 7 hours in it. I am now 3 years away from 50. Fifty! That’s crazy. Fifty is the age for old people. When I was 10, grandma was 50. I thought that that was just an impossible age to get to. It was just some age that was way out there.

I used to look at my grandmother and think, how does one get to be 50 years old? Well, I’m gonna find out in a little over 1,000 days.

As I’m writing these regularly, there will be fresh material for these pages as long as the journal entries continues, so stay tuned.

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Japan’s Island of Neglected Women

Satellite Image - JapanA few months ago, this video interview with Jamie Paquin discussed the bushido spirit of the Japanese male, an attitude that paved the way for the vibrant sexual encounters described in Black Passenger Yellow Cabs: Of Exile & Excess In Japan.

Some exciting news about a new partnership for Black Passenger is about to be announced in more detail on this blog. Prior to that, here’s an extract from the chapter ‘Island of Neglected Women’, the cultural phenomenon discussed in the video and at the core of Black Passenger Yellow Cabs.

“In the spirit of bushido, Japanese men are oblivious to women’s needs, and for them it is most unmanly to strive to give pleasure to their partners. No true samurai would be concerned about whether he brought his wife to orgasm. The entire society is structured around women humbly serving men and, not surprisingly, the bedroom is no exception.

Japanese Manga Woman

Enter exhibit A: Japanese porn, where the man fondles the clitoris mechanically for a predetermined amount of strokes, twists the woman’s nipples as if trying to find his favourite radio station, then inserting, thereafter quickly releasing. A significant majority of Japanese women to whom I’ve posed the question or whom I’ve known biblically, have not had a satisfying sexual experience with a Japanese man and a hundred percent of them who had had no prior experiences with foreigners, exclaimed that they had no idea that sex could be as enjoyable as our sex. As only a small percentage of Japanese women date inter-racially or inter-nationally, this island of extremely sexually frustrated and neglected women, is paradise for the Western sex addict, especially one with a yellow preference.

Further evidence of this deprivation is the presence of host clubs for women. These are clubs patronized by women, beautiful, young and middle-aged, in order to receive attention and engage in conversation and intimacy all for a price.

Only in Japan!

In an interview with one of the hosts in Tokyo, he admitted that such clubs could exist only in Japan, because the men here are so excruciatingly unkind to women.

Japan’s male chauvinist society, the most pronounced in the industrial world and among the most female oppressive in the industrialized world, is directly responsible for socializing the most diffident and unempowered women in the developed and some of the developing world. Brow beaten for hundreds of years, they are generally naïve, unaware of their potentialand possess negative self-worth, instilled in them by their fathers’ and society’s expectations of them, only to be “baby-making machines,” as stated by one of the country’s top politicians in early 2007. His comments caused an uproar among women, who maybe are slowly starting to revolt against their subservient role in society.

With precious little expectations from Japanese men, many Japanese women find being used by Western men – to which they are sometimes unmindful – a far more fulfilling experience.


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Wa: Japan’s Harmony In a Time of Crisis

Japan Earthquake 2011 MapThe blogosphere is awash in astonishment by the absence of looting in Japan, in the face of their worst disaster since the Second World War. From The United States to China, bloggers are confounded by the orderliness of the Japanese, even in such a crisis of hopelessness. And just as Chinese and Westerners are amazed at the absence of looting, the Japanese are shocked by looting in other countries during natural disasters and other occasions.

As a long term resident of Japan, I have come to enjoy this and other characteristics of Japan. And coming from a chaotic upbringing in Jamaica, I welcome the Japanese socialization, which places wa (harmony) at the pinnacle of the most important tenets of that society.


There is no concept more important to the Japanese than that of wa. The thought of breaking into a store and running out with a refrigerator on one’s back would be a major disturbance to harmony. If one’s foot is being stepped on in a train in Japan, in the interest of maintain wa one would not bring this to the attention of the perpetrator, as doing so would make him or her – the perpetrator, that is – uncomfortable and wa would be disturbed. Instead, the victim should just chill, knowing that the perpetrator’s action is unintentional and s/he – most likely he – will eventually discover his or her own misdeed, or disembark the train, whichever comes first.

Japanese TaxiMaintaining wa is especially important given that Japan is more a society of ‘us’ than of ‘me’, where the needs of others are more important than those of self. This requires immense trust in and of each other, without which Japan could never have achieved such rapid economic success. One of my most profound experiences upon moving to Japan was in a Taxi in Kobe on myway to work. I had hailed a cab at Seishin Chuo station to the Japanese multi-national whereI worked. Upon our arrival, the fare was 800 yen, the equivalent of roughly $8.00. However,the smallest bill I had was a 10,000 yen note, the equivalent of approximately $100.00.

Having recently arrived from the US, where – especially in New York – Black Passengers are normally ignored by Yellow Cabs, I was expecting a dramatic showdown involving the police, arrest and possibly deportation. Instead the cabbie simply inquired when I would be finishing work,and instructed me to pay him upon my return to Seishin Chuo subway station. What’s more, he continued by instructing me to pay any cabbie present in his absence.

I was shocked and wanted to remind him that I was black, and ask if he had not been concerned that I would do a runner. This early experience in Japan demonstrated to me the level of social trust that is the norm in Japan. When I relayed this incident to my students, they couldn’t even understand why it was of such importance to warrant a discussion. “Atari mae” (that’s natural orthat’s to be expected) was their response in unison.

Another important cultural tenet in Japan is the need to not be a bother to others. Hito nimeiwaku wo kakenai, or don’t inconvenience others. Looting would be a major inconvenience to others.

It is my strong desire for inhabitants of the West to take a page from Japanese social mores, but I would be joyful if those in my native Jamaica would even take just a paragraph.

 

Stefhen Bryan is available for public speaking engagements, interviews, book readings, and other assignments on the subject of Japan, its society, and the issues of sexual addiction and others that inspired Black Passenger Yellow Cabs.

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Black Passenger Extracts – “Retreat To Kansai”

‘Retreat To Kansai’ is the chapter of my book that will be the pilot episode for the Vook, which we looked at previously here.

Japanese Reggae GirlThis excerpt covers the meeting of a friend playing a surrogate sex role for a Japanese guy who met this ‘reggae groupie’ online. Charged with bringing back graphic footage for him, Chef takes on his sexual mission more than willingly…

“You’re waiting for me right?” he interrupted. To which she greeted him with the typical shy Japanese grin, unlike, he relayed, “a girl who was used to getting hosed down by reggae super stars.” Her personality then was 180 degrees different from her cyber-personality, not as extroverted as had been expected and she seemed to know her way around Kobe very well, leading him to a love hotel. Their conversation was sparse on the wayand though she was shy, she appeared to be on a mission: to enter the dark side.

Japanese Love HotelUpon arrival at the hotel she whipped out her cartoon character infested purse and inserted a 5,000 yen note in the slot, standing with her legs spread slightly apart and her toes turned inward. Immediately upon entering, he attached his lips to hers and commenced peeling away her layers until she stood only in her panties…”

To read the full chapter and more, you can pick up Black Passenger Yellow Cabs in paperback or on Kindle here on Amazon (US link, click here for other countries).

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Sexy Or Servile: What Do Western Men Want In Japanese Women?

Japanese Serving Girl KimonoHow does ethnicity affect what Western men look for in a Japanese woman? Is the archetypal demure and servile female sexier even nowadays?

– – – – – – – – – – – –

Taking another look into the influences at work in Black Passenger, Yellow Cabs, during this interview segment with Jamie Paquin Stefhen answers these questions and his own preferences.

 

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Where Is The Black Passenger?

It’s been a while since my last blog, but I am sure you can appreciate my being busy with trying to bring ‘Black Passenger’ alive through a VOOK (see my previous post on that here).

Book Fair Reading - www.blackpassenger.com

My last book signing was a grand success and I thank everyone for showing up at Book Soup to make it so. Just when I dragged my wife to the signing, so as to be able to read to at least one person, a whole host of people showed up, creating a stimulating environment for almost 3 hours.

If you missed me at Book Soup in Los Angeles, fear not, for behold I will be in Oakland on Sunday February 20 (4pm) with the JAANC. Be sure not to confuse Auckland with Oakland. Auckland is in New Zealand, whilst Oakland is in Northern California. Wouldn’t want you to take a whole day flight to New Zealand, only to discover that you’re slightly off by a few time zones.

Next black passenger reading in Oakland for JAANC - Sunday 20th Feb at 4pm

As to the VOOK, I have begun a campaign on Kickstarter.com to raise some funds for shooting the pilot. So swing by the project to pitch in a buck or two to make it happen.  There are some interesting rewards for your contributions, including a personal reading of ‘Black Passenger’, depending on how far you are from Los Angeles. We have already shot two scenes for the pilot and need to shoot two more, hence the necessity of funds.

So, please follow the links to contribute and for more info on my event in Oakland, California. You can keep up with all upcoming activity on my website events page and signing up for my monthly e-mail update. I said it many many time and will never stop saying it: Thanks sincerely for your continued support.

And remember, my next event is in Oakland, not Auckland.

Support the Black Passenger Yellow Cabs video project

Read more on the Jamaican American Association of Northern California

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