Gris-Gris, an online journal of literature, culture & the arts

Junko Miyashita

by Robert James Russell


She stands in the doorway twirling her fingers in the air above her head as if it’s some universal signal I should recognize. I tell her I don’t, and she stares at me, lips puckered, leaning against the door frame, robe half-open, exposing a slit of milky white skin. I ask her if I can come in and she says no, giggles, then moves out of the way and tells me okay through a thick accent.

Inside it smells like perfume and I see one wall lined with posters—Watcher in the Attic, Ichijo’s Wet Desire, Woman with Red Hair, others—and a large bed covered in brightly-colored silk pillows. She points to the posters, smiles and says, “I love Junko Miyashita.”

“Me too,” I say, and then she takes me by the hand and leads me to the bed where she kneels and proceeds to run through a list of do’s and don’ts with prices attached. She catches me studying the movie posters, fascinated by them, and tells me for ten dollars more she will be Junko for me, that she met her once, many years ago.

I give her the money and she counts it, hiding it away in a small box on the nightstand, and then lets her robe slip to the floor, revealing her body, smiling and waiting for a reaction, but I can’t tear my gaze away from the posters. From those eyes looking right through me.