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An incident in hong kong.

They wanted to see me at eleven-thirty, pm.

Room 700. The Intercontinental Hotel in Kowloon. A suite overlooking Victoria Harbour. Across the water the vertical towers and slums of that great illuminated Island. Hong Kong Central.

Dark fluttering shadows of Filipana maids falling to their deaths from the upper floors. Fecund airs issuing from the swirling dark pools of waste that washed through all the cities sewers and waste pipes, venting here and there. Flesh collectors patrolling the harbour during the day, feeding their pretty dip nets with hands and heads. Bubbled up to the surface.

Black-eyed men in their thousands, skinny skitterish men looking at western tourists like small hungry dogs watching a bigger dog’s food. Their Asian smile. Expat wastrels, boozed down – melted. Gibbering their wants and dreams in bars nobody cleans. They live in hovels.

Chinatown Large in 2012. Two sets of rules to obey.

He remained in one room, she sat with me in another.

A girl of about twenty-five. Every time she crossed her legs they whispered an inexpressible intimacy.

Josie.

He gave me the dates I needed, his grandfather’s time in Australia. A man of the early gold fields come to prominence in South Australia in 1948.

Goodbye.

Midnight.

The lift to the lobby was as silent as the Chinese man who was there when the door opened for me. Biggish fellow dressed in a suit and cashmere sweater, no shirt. He was smiling at me.

And even when I looked over at him he maintained the smile, this Buddha man. Then he leaned over and plucked at my shirt. Just gently at the sleeve. Said something in Mandarin and finally looked away.

The lobby.

So I reached over and took ahold of his suit lapel, rubbed it up a little between my forefinger and thumb – like a good jewish tailor  – and said ” Nice fucken suit sport. ”

Nobody can stop this, I have the narrative.

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