Ikebukuro Noire

Extract from ‘The Two-Bit Player’ by Raymond Chandler (Part 4)


Part 4 of #TheTwoBitPlayer

My footsteps thumped on my skull like they were telling my brain to keep the noise down. My brain turned the music up and thumped back.

I woke up while I was walking. I knew less about how I got where I was than a Hollywood cabbie collecting a fare from a tourist. My stride was like a cheap escort’s coat: longer on one side and not flattering to the legs.

The street straightened itself up and another Sega club stepped out in front of me. Wherever I was, it was no coincidence.

My eyes were trying to be reasonable with the multicolored lights when the multicolored shadows butted in, “Hey, bud.” The voice was like the pockets of a cheap escort’s coat: deep and gritty.

“You looking for Charlie?” said some thug.

“No — Tim.”

“Who’s Tim? You mean Mary Jane?”

“No — Tim.”

The bum’s temper was like the cuff of a cheap escorts coat: fraying. “Look, pal, tell me what you want.”

I tried one last time — “Tell me where to find Tim.” — but the request was like the collar of a cheap escort’s coat: turned down crudely.

More gravel: “Let me spell it out for you, buddy: You get yourself O-U-T unless you wanna step round the corner and I’ll hand you your A-S-S.”

Suddenly the trail was as hot as a police officer’s liquor supply. I tipped my hat and stepped round the corner….

Photographer and writer covering Tokyo arcade life – the videogames, the metropolis and the people