This place, Pure Heart, stood tucked away on a tiny street in this sleeping town. i found it by accident. The owner who introduced himself as "Master" looked Indian, but was really Japanese. His wife, cute, mixed drinks as he chopped vegetables. They had an assistant, Mayumi, who I immediately took a liking to. I wanted to know her story and would. I drank beer there three times a week and Master always overcharged me. He never kept a bill, but always seemed to guess at the price of my evening. Sometimes one beer would be 4,000 yen. "Table charge," he would say, and smile. I never complained. He treated me right while I was there. Most of the time I was his only customer. I wanted to see Mayumi as much as I could, every night of the week if possible. It was getting that bad. Master would listen to anything I said and nod and nod. He would talk on in Japanese and I would feign understanding. We got along that way, smiling, talking, laughing and misunderstanding but never admitting. "9,000 yen." "Two beers?" "Hai."
In the Blind