My friend from work, DlC pops up and says he will take the camera bag and get everything serviced for me. I thank him and continue outside to the shops. The other thing I had to do was to make some edits on a film. The edit suite was close by and I walk to the small, ground floor office by the docks. I click on the light and power up the computers. Once I see the project on the screen I notice that there’s something missing. At this point its getting late in the evening. The wife back home knows I’m working late, I look at my phone to see if there are any calls or texts from her and there are none.
I continue walking on the street, which resembles a shanty town with people hanging out in their warehouse and garage openings; talking, drinking, smoking. I enter one building which has a chintzy gift shop on the main floor, selling cheap souvenirs. Toward the back of the room is a split-level loft space with a number of well-worn bunk beds and singles like an army barrack gone to seed. There are a number of TVs on various platforms. I walk up the two or three stairs to see that most of the beds are taken by older Chinese people, sleeping off a drunk or drug high, some are just crashing and watching TV due to nothing else to do around midnight. I spy a spot on a lower bunk, the beds are large enough to accommodate two people I now see, and I scoot around a small older lady asleep on the edge of the bed to the inside of the bunk and lean against the wall. At the foot of the bed I adjust myself to stretch my legs out on a box facing one of the TVs, perpendicular to the old woman. She awakes and even though we are not in any way touching she gets up perturbed and says something in Cantonese and pads off. I begin to grow tired and lay back down after turning off the tele. From down the way I hear the lady complaining to the manager. The manager comes over to the bed to look for herself, she herself is a middle-aged Chinese woman with glasses (maybe horn-rimmed?) on a chain and dangling off her nose. With hands on her hips she looks down, gives a shrug and walks back the way she came.
On the bed I pull up some sheets and I close my eyes. I feel someone beside me. I reach out and touch what feels like a female in a short thin dress. I open my eyes and in my arms is a young Chinese woman, probably 19 or 20. She is cute with short hair and bangs. She turns and puts her arm around my body in a suggestive way. She tells me that we shouldn’t be shy and that we should always take advantage of these situations as we don’t know how many more we may get in life. I look over quickly to my phone that’s beside me to check the time, and to see if anyone from home has been trying to contact me. It’s 2:30 AM and I’ve received no notifications. The girl and I begin to kiss and feel around each other. She puts her leg over me and crawls on top. We are rubbing against each other and are both of us are aroused. Our clothes are unfastened, and I want to enter her in this position. She slips off to the side and embraces my penis against her breasts, I am hoping for oral sex. Some voices float over from the bed across the room and I look over and see a Caucasian male with a head of thick curly, blond hair and beard talking to his young children, a boy and a girl. I tap my partner to emerge from under the covers as there are families in the room. I now see the man get out of the bed, it’s the only one lit by a bed-side table lamp. He gets a painting out of his bag that’s around 2’x 3’. The kids hop off the bed to have a look, now they are standing by my bed so I can see the painting clearly. The art is of a tree which has a human face drawn into the top before the branches with leaves can obscure it. Right beside the tree face are two other faces closely positioned as if they are huddling together to pose for a picture. One of the faces seems as part of a cloud and one is of the blue sky. The man explains to the children that the sky face is of Great-aunt Sadie, the cloud their grandpa and the tree that of a dear cousin.
When the family leaves I look to reignite the fire with my new friend. She is now not feeling so randy. Instead she wants to talk and for us to get to know one another. She tells me that she’s a student from China and is very excited about seeing America. My new friend sits up and straightens out her dress. I start to get myself together as well. As she leaves to go into the connecting shop, DlC returns and puts the blue camera bag on the bed. He tells me everything with the camera is good and even scored a few extra SD cards. He opens his hand and drops three light blue cards and one black one into my hand. I put them into my pocket.
I thank DlC again and take my bag and go outside. Once again, I check my phone and no messages or missed calls in the wee hours of the night. Outside the shop/flop house just a property or two down a man is unlocking the door of a small restaurant. He appears to be getting it ready for customers that will appear in a few hours. On the step to the side of the entrance a ruckus is occurring, three or four lobsters are in a war with three or four pigeons. The fight is furious and feathers are flying. The pigeons don’t appear to be typical city pigeon but a little larger and more prehistoric looking, complete with teeth! The restaurant owner makes a comment that the battling crustaceans are a “new pod of lobsters” that have recently come up the river from somewhere south. I leave the fray and walk back to the shop to look for my friend, there I find her continuing to shop, merrily. I ask her what her plans are and hope for an amorous response. Instead, she explains that once it becomes light out she’s on a bus to see the country. I bid her safe travels and give her a kiss on her forehead. I leave the shop for the last time and begin walking to the train station that will put me at home right about daybreak.