Tuesday, December 20, 2005
Stupid Gay Writer and Disgusting Sunny Morning
I woke up late this morning so I hurried to get myself a cup of coffee, start Yoyo Ma's Baroque music and begin writing. Between coffee sips and writing fits, I glanced at the sunny day outside and through my window, the same view of the shiny new Beijing TV Tower in construction.
At 9:40am my cell phone rang. The call was from a number I didn't recognize.
"Hello?" I answered.
"Hi. In our hotel we have two girls newly arrived from our hometown. Would you be interested in 开包 openning their bags?" A rather mechanic female voice came through the line.
The connection was not very good. I thought it was some kind of tele-marketing but why would I be asked to offer them service? Could this be the pimp from the five-star hotel who had almost tempted me into prostitution? So I asked, "What opening bag?"
"You know. Virgin girls.” She mumbled.
Oh. She’s asking if I would be interested in popping the cherries of two virgin girls from the countryside.
“Where are you calling from and how did you get my number?” I managed to ask one more question despite my disgust.
“We are in a hotel in Zhong Guanchun (the Silicon Valley of China located in northwest Beijing). You left your number with us once.” She said. Then she finished off quickly, “If you are interested, just give me a call.” And she hung up.
I couldn’t go back to writing after the call. I kept on seeing two poor country girls being locked up in a small hotel room somewhere. Or they could be willingly learning how to do makeup from their mama-son. Either way I felt disgusted.
Just two days ago, I interviewed an old gay man who’s married and paid for money-boy service on the side; I told him that I was starting to understand pay for sex, because the young money boys who came from the countryside looked so happy with the old gay man. For me, the moral absolute began to blur when both sides benefit, even if the good being traded is sex.
But this morning I couldn’t get over the image of two virgin girls from the country. How could one justify in any way selling two girls’ virginity?
Right by my laptop in a pile of junk on the desk laid a business card which was pushed underneath our door yesterday. On the front was the face of a beautiful and demure Chinese lady with the text “private care”. On the back listed the different kinds of massage services they offered.
I dialed their number to confirm my instinct of it being a sex service. After a brief greeting with a sweet-voiced lady, I went directly to the point.
“What’s this Spanish Cavalier service you are offering?” I asked.
“It’s a special kind of oil massage.” The lady answered.
“Special in what way?”
“Heehee, you are a very direct customer,” she giggled. “It’s a massage done with a body part that men don’t have.”
“You mean breasts?” But I could not see how massage could be done with breasts.
“Heehee.” She giggled some more. “Just come over and you’ll know. Not breasts for sure. We have many girls here. You can talk to them about services not offered on our menu.”
“But still, what female part do you use for Spanish Cavalier?” I was obsessed with finding the answer.
“Ha ha,” she laughed out loud this time, “you still don’t know or you are just playing with me? You are a very funny man.”
The conversation ended without me able to find out what Spanish Cavalier is.
I was left dazed by the two phone calls this morning. Sex was being pushed about for sale in this great capital of our communist motherland just like every other commodity, with abundant availability and a market penetration that leaves no stratus untouched. I knew I shouldn’t have been surprised but I was grinding my teeth with anger because this market penetration was ruining my writing.
What’s a civically responsible citizen to do?
I called directory service and got the number for the police station in Zhong Guanchun. A male cop answered the call.
I explained the first phone call to him and asked, “Does your station take care of cases like this?”
“Yes, we do. You said they called you this morning?” He sounded like he’s writing.
“Yes. The number they called from is 13240893699. Do you want to write down my number so perhaps you could call me back and let me know how the case is going?” I offered.
“Hmm. Maybe not necessary. See, we need to first open a case, then we need to verify the phone number. They could turn it off so we wouldn’t be able to verify. Then we have to investigate. It could take a while.” Strangely, he didn’t sound that different from the LA cops depicted in American TV shows.
“But you will investigate cases like this, right?”
“Of course. That’s our job.” He replied matter-of-factly.
After the last call, I wondered what the cops would deal with a case like this. Would they laugh it off because if they really wanted to investigate, cases like this are in plain sight everywhere? Could they be colluding with the pimps? Would I be in trouble if they are colluding? And why wouldn’t they keep my number as a witness of some sort?
Sun is slanting in my study through the window. It’s a rare crystal-clear day in Beijing that reminds me of San Francisco. I feel warm in my well-kept apartment in my well-protected complex that, even though still lets massage service business cards slip through, keeps me at a distance from the harsh wintry reality outside. I wonder what a bourgeois intellectual (my likely classification under Mao) like me could do and whether the situation could be help.
And the only thing I know for sure is, my writing today is totally ruined.