Wednesday, July 18, 2007

James Bond on Kissy Suzuki

from You Only Live Twice.

[James Bond is preparing to infiltrate the mysterious Death Collector's castle, with its garden of death. He's been deposited at a nearby island which will be his base. He is staying at village of Japanese shell divers. He is staying with the young Kissy Suzuki and her aging parents]

The sweat began to pour down Bond’s face and chest into his bathing pants. Kissy undid the kerchief round her hair and leant forward and mopped at him gently. Bond smiled into her almond eyes and had his first close-up of her snub nose and petalled mouth. She wore no make-up and did not need to, for she had that rosy-tinted skin on a golden background – the colours of a golden peach – that is quite common in Japan. Her hair, released from the kerchief, was black with dark-brown high-lights. It was heavily waved, but with a soft fringe that ended an inch or so above the straight, fine eyebrows that showed no signs of having been plucked. Her teeth were even and showed no more prominently between the lips than with a European girl, so that she avoided the toothiness that is a weak point in the Japanese face. Her arms and legs were longer and less masculine than is usual with Japanese girls and, the day before, Bond had seen that her stomach was almost flat – a beautiful figure, equal to that of any of the star chorus girls he had seen in the cabarets of Tokyo. But her hands and feet were rough and scarred with work, and her finger-nails and toe-nails, although they were cut very short, were broken. Bond found this rather endearing. Ama means ‘sea-girl’ or ‘sea-man’, and Kissy wore the marks of competing with the creatures of the ocean with obvious indifference, and her skin, which might have suffered from constant contact with salt water, in fact glowed with a golden sheen of health and vitality. But it was the charm and directness of her eyes and smile as well as her complete naturalness – for instance, when she mopped at Bond’s face and chest – that endeared her so utterly to Bond. At that moment, he thought there would be nothing more wonderful than to spend the rest of his life rowing her out towards the horizon during the day and coming back with her to the small, clean house in the dusk.

He shrugged the whimsy aside. Only another two days to the full moon and he would have to get back to reality, to the dark, dirty life he had chosen for himself.


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