Deborah Yamaguchi

December 6, 2010
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DEBORAH is a middle-aged Japanese woman. She lives alone in a small house on the outskirts of town. She is a kindly woman who means well but who also exhibits some highly neurotic qualities. However, she is very hospitable and would personally extend herself to maximize the comfort of her guests. Although she does not have many friends, she values greatly the few she does have.

(Stands up, gestures toward meticulously placed living room arrangement) Please, have a seat. No, not over there, the wind stream there’s a bit awkward—too much buffeting—and I’d so hate to cause you discomfort. No, not over there either. Well, that’s okaaaay I guess, but I’d much rather prefer if you sat over there? Oh, why don’t you move the pillow a bit—turn it perhaps just twenty degrees counter clockwise? A little bit more? There, that’s fine. Perfect. Comfortable? Good.

Would you like a Thin Mint? I just bought them yesterday afternoon… I do so love helping those sweet little girl scouts. So clean and polite, why can’t all children these days be so well-behaved? (extends plate of cookies) Sure, sure, help yourself — (hurriedly retracts them) you did wash your hands, right? With at least twenty seconds of intense scrubbing? I sing “Row, row, row your boat” whenever I wash my hands. Come on, we can go wash and sing together. Of course I already washed my hands, but there’s no such thing as too clean, you know. Just have to remember to scrub the knuckles, scrub the palms, and definitely to scrub beneath the fingernails. Heaven knows what lives there, right? Such a nasty thought. (shudders visibly)

Are you sure you don’t want to wash your hands? Are you absolutely positive? The kitchens’ right there, you know… Well, yes, Purell works fine too. (watches as other character pulls Purell from her purse) It kills 99.9% of germs, and that’s nearly perfect. Just 0.1% off. I do wish it was a nicer number, say, 100.0%, but beggars can’t be choosers, right? Yes, yes, that’s a good sized dollop—rub it in ‘till it’s dry now, don’t want to take any chances. 0.1% is risky enough as is.

Now that your hands are acceptably clean, please, please, do help yourself—take as many as you want, it’s for a good cause. Just be careful not to get any crumbs on the carpe-- oh! I just saw one fall. (stares at spot where crumb fell. Looks up and pretends to ignore it) But that’s quite alright. (fingers convulse involuntarily) Don’t trouble yourself, I’ll get it after. Yes, it’s fine. (casts a side glance at crumb, then forces a strained smile) Perfectly fine. No, it doesn’t bother me… Or maybe just slightly… (allows gaze to return to crumb) Here, let me just—yes, now it’s all better. (bends down, picks up crumb, places on paper towel. Folds towel neatly and places it on the coffee table. Breathes an audible sigh of relief) I’ll keep the crumb on this napkin here and just vacuum the area later. I don’t want any of those nasty cockroaches coming, if you know what I mean. Such horrible creatures!

But enough of that—where’d you get that top? I think it’s perfectly adorable! Wait—you did buy it online, right? I mean, you didn’t actually buy it at one of those stores, did you? (eyes widen in horror) Did you ever think about how much people must’ve touched that top before you? Hundreds, thousands! (sits up straighter, alarmed) All rubbing their oil, dirt, sweat, grease into the fibers, so deep you can’t get them out... (arms flail wildly in the air, visibly distressed by the thought) Oh dear, all that grime rubbing into my sofa... Maybe you should stand? (immediately presses hand to mouth, obviously shocked at what she just said) Oh, no, I apologize—how rude of me! No, no, sit back down—please do. Please, I’m so sorry. There, that’s fine. Perfect. But if you don’t mind me saying, I really do always order online. Minimal contact with foreign objects, if you know what I mean. So much cleaner, I think. Maybe you should consider that next time too, I do think it’s a much better decision.

But honestly, that color blue matches perfectly with your eyes—I think it’s so lovely. If you don’t mind me asking, is that eye shadow that you’re wearing? I think it’s beautiful, but… it’s slightly risky, is it not? You use such sharp objects to apply the product so close to your eyes, and you do know that your eyes are the part of your body most susceptible to contracting infectious diseases right? Vanity is fine, but is it worth the risk of infection? Something to think about, dear. I’d hate to see you blind.

Oh, you have to leave now? (face falls in disappointment) But that was such a short visit… You will come back again, right? Sometime soon? I always have so much fun with you! I do hope you enjoyed yourself… You did, right? Perfect. Please, feel free to come back anytime—anytime at all. Just call first.





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