I know only that I want to buy what is left of a chicken after you take all the good stuff out–its husk, that weeping shell of a bird, made forcefully to part with sections of itself it once enjoyed so much. I Want The Carcass, though such a word makes me think only of the dried-up creatures of a desert, left to get tough and crispy under the sun, passed up by even the most starving carrion-lovers. In Japanese this construct, this thing, is called “gara,” or “kara,” depending on if you find it referred to in one alphabet or the other. I want the tori‘s gara, the tori no gara. The bird’s rent hull, beat.
I want to make chicken noodle soup for my useless, damaged woman, who is sick more often than Garbage Pail Kids and who is currently a heap of sputum wadded up on our couch, soiled with the stank crud of expired tissues and yet-virile germs. But I do not want to half-mast this shit, no. This is no time for mourning but rejoicing! I am interested not in thine bouillon, thine consomme, thine stocks and bonds, thine broths and willy waters. I am to do it up, pound the collagens and fats and marrows of the world into delicious submission, bent to my every whim–I am Man! all sternum and stockpot, boiling from within. Essentially, I want to bubble this dead bird’s old frozen skeleton in a pot of water with some vegetables until it leaves delicious liquid for me, which I will turn into soup. It is a process older than recorded history, to be replicated in my tiny kitchen.
In the grocery store, the name of which transliterates, despite their most earnest English-focused intentions, to what an average American would pronounce “Gooroomay Shitty,” I wander around what is ostensibly considered the meat counter before accosting a man unloading some fish. He ushers me to the area where, for two-and-a-half bucks, I can take home the last remaining vestige of a life.
I will not explain the process of soup-making–the arcane chants required have no place in this text. What resulted after about five hours of incantations, however, was revelatory. Rendered into being from only the mysterious processes of cell growth and the gnashing of teeth, the magmatic stew shook the foundations of taste itself, delivering unto us most divine providence. Also I made some fucking noodles from some flour and eggs word son.
CURIOUS JAPANESE THINGS OF THE WEEK
– 9% Chu-hi, a flavored, lemon-lime soda which happens to contain twice the amount of alcohol as exists in my blood stream
– Rock band “Galileo Galilei,” which has nothing to do with the dead guy of the same name, and other Japanese bands with totally normal band names: RADWIMPS, Mr. Children, HALFBY, Pia-no-jaC, Bump of Chicken, FUNKY MONKEY BABYS, and Flumpool
– Today’s sushi roll, which was the size of any normal sushi roll you’d get in the states, only I got it at a convenience store for a buck twenty five, and it was filled with mayonnaise and teriyaki chicken
– The year-long Japanese language class I’ve been taking, which is over now, and which has left me with the knowledge to probably pass the lowest-level Japanese Language Proficiency Test (N5), even though I still sound like a mentally stunted piece of corn when attempting to engage in conversation
– The Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo’s newest handheld video game system, which has sold something like a million systems in its first week, and which you can still not actually find to buy anywhere, and which I still have not seen anyone using in the wild, and which I am just trusting actually exists despite the lack of visual evidence
– The bizarre subgenre of television programming that seems almost solely devoted to young, mostly attractive women stepping into various onsens in Japan and then shouting in ecstasy KIMOCHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII
END OF CURIOUS JAPANESE THINGS OF THE WEEK
Dear Nomaday reader,
If you routinely find yourself hard up for the garbage these fingers churn out, this week could likely be one most satisfying. Not only is this very Nom hittin’ the tubes, but N-Sider plays host to a multitude of new articles I’ve written. Of course, I am only capable of tricking myself into continuing to write by deluding myself into believing that angry reflections at a week in Japan are considered actual writing, and also that spewing forth pointless humor about video games targeted at a niche audience and understood by only a fraction of that audience is worthwhile. How is your family? That is nice.
The downside of writing things that I enjoy writing is that The Novel, which has barely changed in years, continues to languish un-worked-on. The very real possibility that I will never be depressed enough again to work on it is harrowing, and so I have devised a series of actions to be carried out in an attempt to depress me. In order of execution: insult all of my co-workers, verbally renounce the acknowledgment of any number of gods, beat Jessy to within an inch of her life, use my cat as a punching bag (and later, a pipe cleaner), and perhaps grind the bones of everyone I have ever loved into a fine paste which I will use as sandwich spread.
But instead of getting started on that list I am writing in a virtual journal read only by a mysterious, unknown constituent, and eating string cheese, both of which make me about as happy as I can get without purchasing rare, semi-pornographic merchandise. Worthy trade-off? I guess. For Now