Hiro pressed the flat of his spatula into his omelet making it sizzle. Then he flipped the omelet into the air above his head. Fast as a lighting flash he unsheathed the short blade at his hip, slicing the omelet twice before it fell perfectly into the plate that seemed to appear in his outstretched hand. Hiro took his lunch to the living room to eat and watch some dull daytime American television.
He clicked on the tv and he was disappointed but not surprised to see himself in full samurai armor, an intense, stoic look in his eye, staring back at him. He looked from his TV image to his kimono covered belly, poking it with the back of the fork.
Perhaps coming to America was a mistake.
No, he admitted, it was definitely a mistake.
On TV Hiro drew his sword and and began swinging. A tornado of rushing steel. There were so few real samurai left in Japan when the American corporation came over he had been able to name his own price. In truth he was the only samurai left, not to be confused with the last samurai his American lawyers had been careful to point out, that was Tom Cruise and you didn’t fuck with Tom Cruise.
He took a bite of his cheese-filled lunch. The TV cut away from Hiro’s expert swordsmanship, cross-disolving into footage of a blender and a voice off screen.
Hiro’s voice, he shuddered to hear it say, “The power of a samurai in your kitchen!” a quick zoom on his armored face, “Crouching tiger, frying dragon!” cut to black.
He took another bite. the accent made him cringe. Hiro didn’t sound like that, he went to school in England for god’s sake. It was at Anderson’s insistence that he did the voice, and wear the armor, and use the sword. Samurai were feared for the mounted archery skills, everyone knew that. Stupid Anderson.
Anderson had taken him from his home with the promise of money and honor and look at him now. Fat and eating american fare, his bow untouched for months. You can’t shoot a bow in New York! Hiro had suspected that, of course, but Anderson had assured him that it was fine in Central Park.
“Or if not there,” he said, “Prospect park, or the the scary parts of Queens for sure.”
These too proved less than bow-friendly.
When Hiro confronted Anderson about this he said, “Sorry chum, that’s the way the dynasty crumbles,” and slapped Hiro good naturally on the back, simultaneously pushing him onto the the film set.
The blender infomercial started over. “The power of a samurai in your kitchen!”
Hiro clicked off the television. He poked his newly-gained American belly again. What was he doing with his life?
The door buzzer’s whine filled the apartment. Hiro walked over to the door and pressed the intercom.
“What,” Hiro said.
“Got a business thing to talk about. A new blender. We’re calling this one the ninja. Shooting starts next week so we’ve got to run over your lines.”
“I’m not a ninja.”
“I thought they were basically the same thing.”
“They are not.”
“Well it doesn’t matter. Buzz me up. Come on. Domo, Domo!”
Hiro sighed and banged his head on the door frame before buzzing Anderson up. He had about six minutes before Anderson made it to his apartment. He would have to flirt with the desk girl first. He was a big time movie producer after all, and he’d have a role that was “just perfect for her.”
When Hiro’s hand fell away from the buzzer he knew what he was doing with his life. He opened the door and let it stand just slightly ajar. Anderson would have no qualms about walking in. Hiro took his bow off the wall and stood at the far end of the long hall opposite the door, steeled his resolve, nocked, and drew his bow. He was eliminating a pest.