Tragedy of a Trailblazer

The man looked impossibly sad and lost, a ring pierced his frowning brow, he clutched his skinny latte, leaning forward on the student canteen sofa. Sabil could see life had cheated this man; he had set out on his journey through the years with optimism, and fate had rewarded him with mockery. He had the appearance of someone who had clawed his way through life, battling the powers of darkness while fate chuckled from the shadows.

“What happened? What happened to you?” asked Sabil, wanting to reach out and comfort him.

“You see that?” the new acquaintance said, rolling up his sleeve and showing the Japanese characters that snaked down his right forearm.”

“Nice,” said Sabil dutifully.

“When I got that done, no one had Japanese characters. Just me. I was a pioneer, a trail blazer. But now? Now everyone has them, so they call me a sheep, an uninspired copycat. But I was first. They copied me.”

The weight of his bitterness weighed heavy in his words as he said again,

They copied me.”

Sabil made a sympathetic noise in his throat and thought for a moment.

“And of course that would be considered cultural appropriation now,” said Sabil. The man’s horrified gaze said it all.

9 thoughts on “Tragedy of a Trailblazer

  1. hahaha, nice 🙂 I always wonder when i see non Japanese people with those types of tattoos whether they’ve done plenty of research beforehand to make sure they don’t say something like ” protein bookmark always fly, driving instructor goat” or worse.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Ha! I now really really want a tattoo that says ‘protein bookmark always fly driving instructor goat’! But in English, cos it’s delightful 😀 !

      Liked by 4 people

  2. Great story and twist at the end.

    Funny how the human mind works – because even if this is fiction, presumably, it happens all of the time in life. Makes one wonder why we always want to feel like we are trailblazers, champions of the undiscovered and secret … appropriating or assimilating, and then with a grand flourish – “TaDa!” …. really odd and kind of silly. But there we have it – human nature.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Maybe we desperately want to be trailblazers because we mostly aren’t at all. Mostly we (and I include myself in this) are pretty well behaved and follow the herd, because it’s easier. But you’re absolutely right, human nature IS odd and kind of silly.
      (it is fiction btw) 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I agree with you completely. And I include myself in the herd too. Which is a point of contention within myself …. but such as it is, it is.

        Liked by 1 person

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