2019-05-26 - Central Park Tourist Trap


Dazzler meets a tourist who must have a really bad tour guide.

Log Info:

Storyteller: n/a
Date: 2019-05-26
Location: Central Park

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Theme Song

Sunday in the Park


Midnight, Central Park. There's still plenty of people milling around, though far less than during the day. Tavern on the Green is always lively, too. The weather has been very agreeable, which tends to bring folks out. One of them is currently sitting on a bench not far from one of the damaged areas.

Hiroto sits there, staring at the rope and what lies beyond, calmly smoking a cigarette. The smoke rings around his dark head as he watches, well — seemingly nothing in particular, though the troubled look on his face suggests he is not simply here to enjoy the relative peace and quiet. He's currently dressed in a classic black trenchcoat over a white button-down shirt, tucked into black trousers, conservative black loafers on his feet. His posture is very straight as he stares off into space.

Alison emerges from the 'Artist' door of the 'Tavern on the Green'. The same door they take their trash out. She had a gig this evening which went well but now it is time to find somewhere to crash for the night. Dressed in boots, fishnet stockings, short shorts, and a t-shirt, it is just as well it is summer. A backpack is worn and in her right hand she carries a guitar case. The teenager sings happily to herself as she walks towards the bench where the strange man sits…and smokes? Who does that anymore? "Hey" she greets cheerily. "Waiting for someone?" Alison looks over beyond the ropes. "See something?"

Hiroto's head turns, startled, as he looks over at Alison. Hard to say if he was shocked out of his reverie, or just surprised that someone is talking to him and coming his way. He gives her a thorough once-over, but it's neither suspicious nor appraising. Perhaps he's trying to understand her on sight? "Good evening," he greets, bowing his head a little, then looks almost apologetic. "No, I was just…watching. The area is dangerous, sometimes, and I thought…" He cuts himself off and stands up, grinding out his cigarette on the sole of his nice shoe, then pivoting his body so he's facing her more properly. "You are a musician? There are so many talented artists in this city."

"More a singer than a musician" Alison grins, "Though you should hold back on the 'talented' until you hear me. Unless you did…sound travels pretty far from the Tavern." She offers her hand, seemingly unbothered by strange men in the Park at midnight. "Alison. Yeah, the area is dangerous. Hence the rope that a two-year-old can jump over. Though the stakes might put them off. Wooden stakes. Are they expecting vampires?" She laughs at the idea but, hey, this is New York City. "If you know it's dangerous, why are you checking it out? Looking for a little action?"

"Forgive me. I suppose I assume you are talented, if you are playing in the Tavern," Hiroto says with a smile. He takes the extinguished cigarette butt and drops it in a small, silver container of some sort he's just taken from his coat, then replaces the contraption back into said coat. Isn't he hot in that getup? If he is, he makes no sign of it, instead taking her hand and giving it the kind of firm handshake of someone unused to shaking hands. "My name is Hiroto Shimizu. I'm pleased to meet you." So polite. When she makes the vampire joke, he laughs as well, then makes a small sound at her question, glancing back at the disaster area. "I just wanted to be sure no one was endangering themselves." What is he, some sort of undercover policeman? Then he looks at her and smiles again. "I suppose it is silly. One can't always be on watch for such things."

"Japanese? You're a long way from home. One day I intend to be big in Japan. Maybe have fans send me dolls of me, that kind of thing." Alison sighs. "One can always hope, right? Yeah, I guess if I play at the Tavern I'm not too bad. Are you a cop? Guardian angel? No, you don't have the red cap. Could still be a cop though." She doesn't seem too concerned if he is; her tone happy and intrigued. "Love the coat."

"Ah…yes, I am Japanese," Hiroto says, smiling a little more, and chuckling appreciatively at the mention of the little dolls. "You wish to be famous? That is a hard road, but you seem like you have a lot of spirit." It's definitely a compliment. Then he shakes his head vigorously. "No…I am not those things. Just a concerned citizen." Which isn't quite true either, but not exactly false. He glances to his coat as she comments on it. "Oh…ah, thank you. I suppose I do not need it in this weather, but I like it as well." He indicates her outfit. "You look like a rock singer. It works well on you."

"Thank you" Alison replies to his compliment, along with a little spin and a curtsy. "It's all in the image, unfortunately. I could sing like an angel but people want the whole show, you know? I like to put on a show. Spirit I have. Spunk as some people call it. Hmm, a concerned citizen sitting on a park bench next to a dangerous area at midnight. Yep, that's pretty concerned…or should we be concerned about you?" she giggles. "It'll get warmer, so, yeah, you'll probably want to lose that coat" notes the teenager who is wearing barely anything. "Have you been in New York long? Seriously, if you paid a tour to sit here by yourself, you should get your money back."

"'Spunk,'" Hiroto repeats, chuckling a little. Delighted. "I like that. You certainly do stand out." He actually flushes a little when she calls him, well. Concerning. "I'm sorry, I don't mean to be…strange. But I was passing through, and I thought…" The trenchcoat-clad man trails off, brushing a stray lock of hair from his eyes, and shakes his head. "No, I haven't been in New York for very long. I am still learning about the City. Where are your favorite places to go, Alison?" Hiroto considers her. "Someone like you must know many interesting places."

"Though I have learned that you never say 'I have spunk' to an Australian. Down there, spunk means sperm. They're a weird mob" Alison laughs. "Hey, you're not strange. Not by a long shot. And who wants to be normal, right? I mean, there's a whole 'town' full of mutants not too far away. Ain't nothing wrong with that and nothing wrong with the folks in there. So you've moved here to live? Cool. I hope you like it and, yeah, there are more interesting places than here. What are you into? Music? Art? Ballet? Exotic dancing? Sport? Where are you staying? Hotel somewhere? Look at me, Little Miss Questions" she giggles.

Hiroto colors a little more at the 's' word. The other 's' word. "Yes…Australians are an odd people," he agrees. Then he finally sits on the bench again, indicating for her to join him if she wishes to. "Do you know the mutants? I have not met any in this city…that I know of." He sighs and places his hands on his lap, one on each thigh. They lightly form fists. "I'm not sure I will live here permanently, but for now I am here. I have a room and it suits me fine." Hiroto smiles again as she giggles, quite genuinely. "I do like music and art, and ballet too. Sports are very exciting. I mean to get to a Yankees game, sometime." He nods towards her. "What about you? What do you do when you are not performing?"

"I probably know some mutants" Alison admits as she takes off her heavily laden backpack to sit on the bench. "But with that whole Registration Act thing, and the riots, and the violence, not many of them advertise it. Even though things are supposed to be better…it's not. Not really. It's too dangerous to 'come out'. I guess that's why they stick together in that neighborhood. That…ghetto." She is much more relaxed with her sitting. One leg up under her body as she turns to face him, elbow on the back of the bench. "You didn't mention your thoughts about exotic dancing" she teases. "When I'm not performing, I'm practicing performing. Writing tunes. Doing choreography. Roller skating. Skateboarding. You know, the cheap stuff. Been a long time since I went to the ballet. Or a baseball game. You should totally go see a game. They might even win. Stranger things have happened."

Hiroto nods, his brow creasing as a frown replaces his smile. "Yes, I suppose it is accurate to call where they live a ghetto," he murmurs. "It is sad. I wish they could feel free to live and be as they choose." But then she's teasing him again, and yes, he does blush a little. Seems the shy sort. No, he doesn't answer the exotic dancing question. "Wow, I was right — you /are/ talented." He is smiling again, though his smile is always subtle, not really fully or radiant. "But you are young. It is a good time in your life to try out many things." Then he muses, "I thought the Yankees were a good team. Is this wrong?"

"I do a lot of things, doesn't mean I do any of them well" Alison laughs before a nonchalant shrug. "I do, of course." Oh, she will find out about exotic dancing somehow. It is becoming a quest. "Life is about doing things. Who wants to sit there and wait for it to end? The Yankees haven't won anything since 2008. They're good at letting you down. Maybe they should get a couple of superheroes to play for them? Seems to be plenty of them around New York. What do you do, Hiroto? When not on dodgy tours."

"One gets good at things by doing them," Hiroto says, nodding. "But it sounds like you've discovered this for yourself." He smiles again. It never quite reaches his eyes, but nothing about his smiles seem insincere, either. Some people just have sad eyes. "Oh, I see. I didn't know." Hiroto sounds disappointed to hear the Yankees haven't done well for a while. He lets out one chuckle at the superheroes line. "Most of them are too busy." A glance over at the disaster zone before them. "…not all of them, I suppose." He straightens up a little at her question. "I am mostly here as a tourist, but I do teach martial arts on occasion, to bring in some extra money."

"I thought that anyone who could travel from Japan to New York on holiday, wouldn't need to make extra money like that. Ooh…how much do your lessons cost? I mean…" Alison rummages around in her shorts to pull out an old, worn wallet. Peeling it open, she checks the contents. "If it's less than thirty bucks…" She looks over at the damaged areas of the Park. "You seen the actual Disaster Zone yet? People live in there, even though they shouldn't, and no one has done a thing to fix it. Certainly not the superheroes. Not sure what they're busy doing. Sorry for all this grumpy shit, I should just welcome you to the United States of America!" She even moves to give him a hug.

"It's never a bad idea to create more funds," Hiroto says. "One never knows when a circumstance will change." Rather mysterious payment. He gives her a gentle smile. "For you, I will teach you for free. You should conserve your money for the things you need. Do you truly wish to learn?" He follows her gaze out to the Disaster Zone, opening his mouth as though to comment on it…and then there she is, hugging him. Hiroto makes a startled sound and attempts to hug her back, his hands lightly touching her in return. "Ah, thank you, Alison…that is very kind of you."

"Hey, all countries and cultures should get on, right?" Alison grins as she releases him and sits back in her place. "You'd teach me for free? Seriously? That would be awesome. I could incorporate it into my dancing, maybe. Do a cover of 'Kung-Fu Fighting'." She may be kidding about that last. May. "When did you want to start? Now? I mean, sure, it's after midnight, but what else is there to do?" A roll of her eyes. "Okay, there are other things people might be doing, but not here."

Hiroto nods. "Yes, of course I would." His eyebrows raise a little at the kung-fu bit, though. He might not know it's a song. "I have picked up a little kung fu, actually, but my expertise lies primarily in kenjitsu and jujitsu." Another laugh. "Do you really want to start now? I would teach you. The early beginning of training could be boring, though, I warn you."

"I don't do boring" Alison grins as she jumps to her feet. "Which means I'll make it exciting, not, not do it because it's boring." She adopts what she thinks is a martial art pose, which she probably got from the Karate Kid since it involves standing on one foot and taking the 'shape' of a crane. "Are they Shaolin master twins?" she asks innocently. "Ken and Ju Jitsu. Famous in martial arts? Maybe we shouldn't mock Barbie's boyfriend so much. Anyway, I've got the pose. What's next?"

Hiroto just gives her a nice, polite smile. Yes. Keep smiling, Hiroto. He also gets to his feet, slowly shrugging out of his trenchcoat, which he drapes neatly over the arm of the bench. "The first step in any martial art," he says quietly, "is to stand correctly. Before we get there, you should tell me: would you rather learn a martial art with a weapon, or would you prefer to use only your body?"

"Hmm" Alison muses as she stands on her two feet once more. "Maybe just my body and then a weapon later? I mean, unless the weapon can be a guitar case, I can't really carry one around. I'm pretty sure you can't have a sword strapped to your back." A little giggle. "Do they do martial arts with guns? Oh…what was that Keanu movie that had that. Was it called Gunjitsu? Damn, that Jitsu family are something special. Okay, all ears about my position."

Hiroto neglects to mention that yes, sometimes he walks around NYC with a sword…not this night, though, so there is no katana to offer her. Not that he would have given a beginner a live weapon, anyway! He nods and says, "Yes, I think we should start with jujitsu. 'Jitsu' means 'art' or 'technique,'" though he says the word more like 'juhtsu,' "and 'ju' means gentle. I have never heard of 'gunjitsu'…I don't think it would be possible." He frowns. "We call the correct stance in any martial art the 'shizen-tai.' Let me first demonstrate." He closes his eyes and shifts his posture, so his feet are shoulder-width apart, toes facing forward, and his arms slightly in front of his thighs with clenched fists. "It is important to center yourself in your body. Can you try this?"

"Wait, it was Christian Bale, not Keanu Reeves. Easy mistake" Alison corrects about her gunjitsu comment before a little pout at it not being real. Every term he tells her, she repeats softly under her breath until she gets it right. Alison watches him intently as he adopts a pose. Being a performer who needs to learn complicated choreography quickly and accurately may be an asset here. She duplicates his stance with ease…even without a wall mirror in front of them. "Like this?"

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