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I ate noodles in San Francisco today. It felt strange, like being in a commercial. The city should have been named CITY. I have become to used to the western naming magic.

I hoped to simply have a week or so to rest and stare at flashing things and eat sweets. My publicist quit this morning–the Italian edition is not going forward and the American edition has yet to show real “legs.” I am not concerned. I wrote for myself–is that not what all failed authors say? Myself and Chieko and a city that is also not called CITY, but would change its name, if I wanted it enough. If I asked the right way.

A girl sat across from me at the noodle shop. How do they find me, these earnest, crazed creatures. She was Chinese. She had bright blue eyes, but they were clearly contacts.

“You are Sato Kenji,” she said.

“Yes. If I am famous you should buy me noodles.”

She did, to my surprise. And said my name in the right order.

“I read your blog,” said the girl. Oh, I said. I knew what was coming.

She showed me her leg, opening her thighs and gesturing under the table in a most lewd fashion. It was on the inside of her thigh.

“I’m not going to have sex with you,” said she.

“That’s a novel approach,” said I.

“Well, maybe, later. Whatever, right? The point is, you know Lizzy, and so do I, and looking at your hands I’d bet we both hate her, so I thought that you might like to play on my side of the fence.”

“What side is that?”

“She wants to keep people out. I want to let them in.” She kissed my hand like she was a gentleman in some old movie. “I have a family here. We are all working together, for the same thing. My name is Xiaohui. I know how to stay in Palimpsest.”

Her eyes sparkled. I’d never seen anyone’s eyes do that outside of a book. And then she said: “Chieko says hello.”

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6 Responses

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  1. enaxor said

    Did you receive the message I sent to you?

  2. No, I did not.

  3. enaxor said

    I have re-sent the message. Maybe they are defaulting to your spam folder.

  4. Perhaps. I have seen this place. It is…gauche. Xiaohui would probably love it.

  5. enaxor said

    Agreed, a bit gauche, but it appears to serve a purpose for those in need of answers. And yes it sounds like the perfect place for Xiaohui. A place where she and her family can accomplish their goal. She says, that she knows the secret to stay in the “City”. Are you sure you want to know? I’m thinking you should be careful what you ask for, you may get it, but at what price?

  6. enaxor said

    One more intrusion if I may, and I’ll hopefully not bother you again…Did Xiaohui mention where she’s seen Chieko? Was it in this reality or the alternate? Did she meet her in a dream or did she have an encounter with her here on this side of sleep? Which Chieko was it? I’m fairly sure I know, but I’d rather not make that assumption.

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