Thursday 14 June 2012

A brotherhood of men

Earthquake, typhoon, storm, flood... The elements are in tune with how I feel inside. Times of changes aren't times of restfulness and quiet. The dark mood that hovers day after day finds no release. I become touchy, irascible. I don't trust anything, anyone and amso prompt to jump into quick judgments! So I try very hard to not say anything, although my mind indulges in the game.

Musicwise... I have been hammering my head to develop a 25 minute long piece (that we entitled Rain Bow as a joke) for Huang Yi. Not Double Yellow Line, but another piece he has to choreograph for CloudGate. His concept-idea was to have a non stop piece on virtually the same beat and tempo. He played some music as reference: Steve Reich, of course. I don't know what goes through his mind as a dancer, but 25 minutes of snare drumming beating isn't my idea of composing music. Yet he said that I should follow my instinct, which I did. I started with the idea of having the drums banging the same rhythm, yet with the addition of various instruments to give the piece some highlight and momentum to the musical narrative. I had not finished the whole piece yet, but sent Huang Yi the first 7 or so minutes. In my mind, if he liked it, I would be safe and could go on and complete the piece. I had also worked on other sections. To finish the whole piece would take another few days. 
The first reply was neutral.
"I think that's a good start for [Rain Bow]. I have a rough ideas from the music." he wrote to me a couple of days ago.
So after all, I still managed to get something positive out of these tedious days. I felt relieved and kept on with the music.... until I received another message from Huang Yi the following day saying that there were now too many elements in the music. "Better focus on Double Yellow Line for the time being" he wrote.
Was it so surprising? Not really. 
I turned down the computer and played some Bach on the stereo. 
Certainly, any artist has gone through empty and low times in his life. I thought of my father. He would always keep everything to himself. My mother was the emotional one. Only much later (or more recently) did I discover the other facets of my father's personality. And I felt sorry that, as a child, I was so oblivious of his torments and woes. But he kept on.
I will keep on. Despite my current personal inferno. 

I decided to go out. Ryan had been trying to see me, but I had declined. I wasn't ready. I wasn't in the mood for cute and tender love. I took my bike and cycled down to Ximen Din. I knew where I wanted to go.
I crossed the nightmarket, bought some Chinese sausages from a street seller. Suddenly, I heard high pitched screaming and a rumble from a nearby street: the other street sellers must have seen a policeman and were running for cover. It's little game that goes on night after night between policemen and street sellers. Of course, the policemen are aware that their action won't change anything, so they 'hunt' them at a very slow pace with a bored (sometime amused) expression on their face... It's almost comical.

I cycled past that animated part of Ximen Din and made my way toward my destination - coincidentally named Rainbow as well. It was already half past ten, so I didn't expect much.
I climbed up the stairs and went past the entrance sliding door. As usual, the lights were dim. Some tacky club music was playing from bad speakers. The man at the counter wore an expressionless face and stared at me between two piles of neatly folded orange coloured towels. A young man in trendy black underwear walked past me and stopped for a second.
I undressed and headed for the shower. The weather had been so humid, just sitting still would have you all sweaty and sticky. There weren't many people.
"Was it a good idea, after all?" but I went on. I enjoyed sitting in the pool, then the dry sauna. I didn't have the courage to step into the steam room.
After a little while, a couple of young guys in their early twenties came to the shower area and washed themselves. They were chatting exuberantly. The evening was old. It wasn't far from midnight. I didn't try to speak to them but I enjoyed the light-heartedness they brought with them.
I stood nearby. Another guy soon joined them, though he kept glancing back at me. I made my way to the changing room. "Should I stay any longer?" I asked myself. 
The boys were now standing not far from me. I found it hard to compose myself. Here I was, in my underwear, with a minuscule towel in my hand, compelled to feel as if it was the most natural thing.
One of the boy came toward me and started to talk to me. After a few exchanges, I apologised for not knowing more Chinese to carry on the conversation. His face brightened up when he learned I wasn't Taiwanese. His two other friends joined in the conversation. None of them could articulate a full sentence in English, but we managed to understand each other.
"We're going to go out to eat!" one said. "You there later?" I nodded that I would be.
After they got dressed and left, I went up upstairs where the action usually takes place. But there was hardly anyone there tonight. I sat on one of the worn out sofas (better not have a look at it in broad daylight) and pretended to get interested in the porn film they were showing. Another young boy was sitting in nearby sofa against the left wall but didn't dare to approach me. I didn't make any move either. I just closed my eyes and relaxed. Soon I felt a shadow coming near. He stopped and gave me a long stare. Then I felt his hand touching my left nipple. Even in the darkness, I knew he wasn't quite my type. But the way he used his fingertips gave me pleasant feeling, so I  let him go on. He came closer and let his hand run along my chest. I didn't move. Usually I'm the one doing all the work but this time, I felt like I should just accept and receive it. He was very skilled! Another shadow stopped and stood for a moment near us. Then he extended his hand toward me. In the darkness I could make out a lean and tanned body. My partner and him exchanged a few words. He guided his hand to my crotch and I heard a soft cry of exclamation. A few minutes later we were in one of those small dark cabins that I dislike so much. Who was to do what? I quickly learned the the two blokes could only be top. When they both looked at me with questioning eyes, I smiled and said that the other role was fine for me.
The affair was quickly concluded. The younger of the two was so impetuous that he couldn't hold it for a very long time. The first one had already came, just watching the action. I went down to take a shower. I felt better than earlier in the day. To just to make someone enjoy himself brought me a sense of satisfaction.
I went downstairs to take a shower. There were slightly more people now0 even if it was nearly half past midnight. The trio of young boys came back. The cutest of them (and the only one who could speak a bit of English) gave a broad smile when he saw me.
"Oh you are still here!" he said in his broken English. "You want to go to room and have chat? Together" he asked. The other two were looking at us silently. Expectantly. I've had my little threesome but their energy rejuvenated me.
"Okay!" I said and added: "With everyone?" They all nodded as we climbed the stairs up to the second floor. The other men turned their head when they saw our group of four walking through the dark corridors in search of a decent room. We finally found one. The smallest of the boys went to take a few blankets and we locked ourselves in the largest of the cabin.
The first questions were asked in an timid, embarrassed tone. What did I do, where did I live, how old I was  (the answer to that last question brought gasps of surprise, as usual). We were all sitting rather uncomfortably in a circle, so I suggested that we lied down for a cuddle. They promptly accepted. I thought how perfect the moment was, how nice it was to spend some time with these young kids. They were enthusiastic, carefree, innocent in a way, and so uncomplicated. Their youthful energy was a gift for me.
The cutest one started to pretend to explore my body, asking permission to touch this part then another part. I laughed. It was so adorable.
"I was bottom with three men. It was wild!" I was amazed at how wild, indeed these kids were. I guess it was useless to compare it to my own experience. I was so chaste and still struggling with my Christian guilt then!!!
"You always bottom?" I asked him. He nodded. "You'd never like to try the other way?"
"Never happened"
"Why not try tonight, then?"
He looked at me in bewilderment. "With you?"
"Yes, I want to do that for you!!!" I had no clue what just passed through my mind. I only felt it was the right thing to do. "But we can take all our time and have fun before. No pressure!!!"
The foursome resumed and went on for a while until the fateful moment arrived. The two other boys gave their companion a few tips about how to do it, as they would have showed him how to do a dance move or how to solve a maths problem. "I feel like an old prostitute from an Emile Zola novel who gives a young man his first chance." The thought amused me.
I appreciated the playfulness and gentleness of these boys. They were not yet disabused and crushed by adult life. Theirs was still in front of them, and it was refreshing to be in their company. I felt thankful for that.
It was past four in the morning when I left the place. I gave my young friend a big hug and cycled home.

"You know my younger brother has become a fan of your music?" he told me the next day. I had requested permission to listen to my music so I gave him the link to one of 'easy'songs, Second Breath.
"My brother has listened to the other songs and give me recommendation!!!"
And I smiled.

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