yearzerowriters

The four worlds of Evelyn Wong

In Gupter Puncher/Oli Johns on May 6, 2010 at 12:19 pm

 Beauty

[Note: The formatting for this didn’t work. The bold italic sections should be very far to the right. And the rest of it should look a lot different, but I don’t know how to fix it. The only thing that’s right is the actual story.]

I get to work at the same time as every other Monday. I walk the same route, round the side of Jordan road and buy the same shit from the same bakery. Pizza cake and sausage roll. Looking at them makes me feel sick. Seeing the bakery lady looking at them makes me even sicker. The walk to the school is ten minutes and it’s humid. I sit down and eat the pizza shit. I can’t remember last week, or the taste of last weeks shit, but I’m pretty sure this is just as bad. I write notes in my notepad and try not to look at the walls or the door or the class going on next door. Fuck. Why does no one pretty work here? Five minutes to the bell and one of the older teachers comes in and says she’s sorry to disturb me. I tell her I’m kinda busy. She sits down anyway. The first student of mine is a prick. A three year old prick. No, he isn’t a prick, but he isn’t listening to me. I say his name five times before I get an answer. He can’t write his name. He can’t count. He can’t do much of anything except say ‘goo-goo-da-da.’ I taught him that.

Lunchtime. I get out of there and go to the Eaton Hotel. I use their free internet and look to see if anyone’s reading my stories online. No one is. The hotel guy takes my bag and puts it on the floor. I ask him if he thinks it’s a bomb. He says no. I don’t hear the reason why the bag’s on the floor. End of lunch. I teach two adorable little girls. They are fun. We talk about chickens and how they work at KFC. Chickens cooking chickens. I remember a complaint I got about not correcting young students. That kid was three. These girls are six. Can they see the difference? Do they really think a chicken would work at KFC? I don’t correct myself. Fuck it. And fuck the parents. End of lesson. End of day. I walk to the bus stop and think I should go to a café in Mong Kok or somewhere different like that. But I don’t. I go to Lam Tin. Home. Then to Fairwood. I eat the same shit I eat every week. Yok Jun ee fan. I think I say it wrong. But they don’t care. I order it every week. I could say ‘Michael York is no man’ and they’d still give me the same shit. I eat. I check my phone. No message from Jo. No messages from anyone. I make notes in the notepad and think ahead.

                          Got to find a woman.

                          A decent woman…a student? A creative? That’s what I fucking deserve.

                         Go to the University tomorrow. Don’t look like a tramp. Take some mags and books and put them there?

                         I’m decent-looking. Not A grade, but decent.

                        More than decent. If I do myself up I can look better. I can look pretty fucking good.

                       Do myself up tomorrow. Shave, wear contacts, wear a shirt. Though it’s probably wasted on students. It’d be wasted on Jo too. I’m too good for her. I can do better. I can get a high-flier, I know I can. Why not? I’ve seen them with ordinary guys, and I’m not ordinary. If I do myself up, I’m not ordinary.

                        I could be a fucking model, if I wanted. If I pursued it.

                       But I’m better than that. And I’m better than cruising online for all that…those fucking dregs. And they know it too. They must know it surely. That I’m better than them. That they’re punching above their weight.

                      Jo must know it too.

I go back home and go online for a while. A while turns into the whole night. I don’t think about going out. Well, just once I think about it. But I don’t. I can’t. I talk to Jo online. She barely talks back. I tell her about the song I’m listening to. 2:1 by Elastica. She doesn’t know it. She tells me about her day using wacky speech. Or wacky language, because we’re not actually talking. Then she’s gone. No goodbye. I look at the conversation we’ve just had and see a strange rhythm. Most of my questions went unanswered. She’s in her own fucking world. She’s probably anxious, I think. Or there’s something going wrong up there anyway, in her head. I can sense it. She’s holding all the cards and I don’t know how that happened. I’m the writer. I’m the active one. Why is she dictating play? Fuck. I forget about her.

I go to the bathroom. I come back. There’s another girl online. An idiot. She lives a few stations away so I tell her I’m coming to see her. She says it’s too late. It’s nearly 1am. When did 1am become too late? It’s early, and I tell her that. She says no. I don’t argue it. I tell her a story about an old man pretending to stretch in my clubhouse sauna and then leaning down to kiss my thigh. She likes it. Tomorrow she’ll meet me. I get bored. I stop talking to her. I search for Evelyn Wong. The lovely Evelyn. The girl I saw looking beautiful on the side of a bus. I find her blog and read it. She’s a model. She did an ad for Maxims Devil cakes. She’s a Capricorn. I know all this already. I read more. Her own words about herself:

 

         ‘I’m just a girl…waiting to become a real woman’ [Tagline]

         ‘Love doesn’t mean looking for the perfect partner. It means looking at the imperfect partner perfectly.’ [Philosophy on love]

         ‘I like feeling pretty.’ [On beauty]

         ‘Being a model is not about creating a pose. It’s about creating a character.’ [On work]

         ‘I’d like to get into acting.’ [On future plans]

         ‘I’m blessed by so many things and I want to repay the blessings by doing the best I can every day of my life.’ [On life]

I study the quotes. I laugh. I hit the sofa. I feel sick. I look at her picture. She’s sitting in the snow with her legs spread, her face smiling. Her skin has no flaws. Her hair has been well-styled. I stare at the picture for a while.

                        She wouldn’t look out of place next to me. My skin’s not flawless, but my face is decent. There wouldn’t be a clash.

                       And I’m older than her. And smarter. God, those fucking quotes. Is that what’s really going on up there? But I’ll teach her. And she’ll want to be teached. Taught.

                       But it won’t seem like I’m teaching her. I’m smart but I’m no dictator. I can give her some room off the leash.

                       And I can guide her towards better quotes. Give her some edge.

I get tired of looking at the same picture. I click off the blog and tell myself I’ll come back to it later. Later, Evelyn, I swear. I look at the wall and briefly think of sending her a message. But I don’t. I go to the kitchen and make a cup of tea. The teabag leaks. Little specks of brown float up to the surface. Fuck. I try again. I succeed. I go back to the couch and search for porn. I type in ‘Evelyn Wong’. She’s not there. Thank fuck. I search for ‘Asian’. The same fifty or so video clips come up. I see the one with the Hong Kong girl riding the guy in shades and click on it. I’m tired. I look at the wall again. ‘Evelyn’. God, you’re fucking pretty. The video clip finishes and I realize I didn’t see any of it. I play it back. The guy in shades holds and pushes the woman about like she’s a rag doll. I feel uneasy. I feel like intervening.

                                                                                                                                      I go into the scene and tap the guy in shades on the shoulder and I tell him to stop being so rough, but he doesn’t listen to me. Perhaps he doesn’t know I’m there, I don’t know. Perhaps I didn’t tap hard enough. I tap again and this time he sees me, but I don’t say anything, I just smack him hard in the shades and then get on top of him and keep smacking him. I know he’s naked and I’m sitting on his cock and it’s hard, but I’m not naked so I don’t feel so bad about this. And when I’m done smacking him, I throw him out of the scene and hold the woman in my arms and tell her no one should have to be treated that way, and she says yeah, I know, he was like lion. I stroke her hair and she tells me I’m her hero, but I say no, but she says yes again and takes off my shirt, and I try to stop her, but it’s too late, she’s on me and…she’s Evelyn and…God, now I’m inside her and she’s riding me and I can feel myself putting my hands on her ass and pushing her like a rag-…

I get to the end of the video clip and play it back again. I think about taking my shorts off, but I don’t. I watch it again. I tell the shades guy to stop. I urge him on. Jo comes back online. I wait for her to message me while watching the fuck. She doesn’t. She disappears again. I turn off the video clip. I go back to Evelyn’s blog and look at that same picture of her in the snow.

                        She’s waiting for me. Somewhere in this city, she’s there.

                        And I’m pretty enough for her. Beyond any doubt, I’m pretty enough. And she’ll do for me. I could do better, but I don’t need to. I’ve chosen.

                       So I just have to meet her. Shouldn’t be too hard. She’s not so famous that she’s unreachable. She’s still climbing. And technically I’m higher than her anyway. I have my own magazine. I’m a great fucking writer. I’m on my merry fucking way and she’ll see that. And she’ll fuck me for it. She’ll fuck me exclusively. She doesn’t care about Eason Chan. Or Louis Koo. Or Alex Fong. Or any of those other no talent fucks.

                       So I meet her, and she’ll pursue. Or not. No, I’ll pursue, but with integrity. I won’t lose myself for her. I won’t lose myself for anyone. Not for some fucking idiot model. And she’ll respect that. She’ll respect that I’m better than her, that I’m at a higher level.

I turn off the computer and the lights in the apartment. I walk into the bathroom and brush my teeth and look at the dark shit under my eyes. I think it’s bad. I brush more. I think it’s not so bad. The dark shit is interesting. I finish brushing and go to my room and look at the phone on the bedside table. There are no messages. I pick up ‘On the Road’ and get into bed and start reading. I think about how great the book is. How great the writing is. How good Kerouac must have felt about how great his writing was. I read two pages and get bored. I put the book down and turn off the light. I think about how great that book was. I think about Evelyn. I think of ways to meet her. I think of how easy it’ll be. I think of the boy I have to teach the next day.

I get on the train with my giant rucksack. There are forty books in there and ten magazines. I ride the train to Shek Kip Mei. Nothing really happens on the train. Only thoughts.

                         No one else is doing shit like this. No one else has the balls to do this.

                        Are there even any other writers in Hong Kong? I don’t know, I haven’t seen any. I’ve seen stories, but no real writers. God, I’m good. God, I’m a fucking genius. No one else is doing this shit. No one. They wouldn’t even think of it.

                        And one day people will know about this. They don’t know it now, but they will. When I’m a somebody and people want to know how it all started, this is what they’ll hear. A guy delivering his own work. A writer with the balls to put his work out there. A writer interesting enough to do things in a different way. God, I’m a…I’m a fucking-…I don’t know what I am. But I’m fucking good.

                        Evelyn will know about it too. And she’ll hop on early. Or I’ll give her the chance to hop on early. She won’t seek me out. She can’t. She’s not smart enough to realize how good I am. But I’ll let her know. I’ll help her. God, she’s beautiful. But so am I.

I walk down the hill to the art estate. I have to meet Jo at the cinema in Yau Ma Tei in forty minutes. I have time. And even if I don’t she will understand. It’s sunny outside. Not too humid. It feels good to be walking in the sun. I get to the art estate. I find the café on the ground floor. I show them one of my books. They look at each other and laugh a little. They don’t think much of my book. I laugh and say, ‘yeah, it looks a little…bad. But…’ The manager comes over and says I can leave one. I ask if I can leave ten. He says five. I wait for him to go away then leave ten. I walk out looking at the customers. There are some women in there and they look pretty. I think about giving them one of my books. But I don’t. I walk out. There will be other women. Better women. Evelyn women.

                                                                             In the estate on one of the higher floors there is Evelyn Wong, and she’s walking down the stairs and along the corridors, looking into the apartments, looking at art. And I’m right behind her and I watch her for a while, waiting to see if any guys will come out and try to talk to her, but they don’t, they’re too scared, but I’m not. I walk up behind her and ask her if there’s any kind of art she likes in particular, and she says, ‘I’m not sure’, so I say, ‘It’s ok, I can show you the best stuff.’ And I take her down the stairs and somewhere between the eighth and second floor she slips her hand into mine, and when we reach the sculpture I suppose I wanted to show her, she asks me what I’m doing here today. I smile and pull out one of my books and tell her it’s not much, but it’s hers if she wants it. She says of course she wants it and puts it in her bag, which is Gucci and makes me wince, but I ignore it and we look at the sculpture and after a while she laughs and says she doesn’t know what it means, and I laugh too and tell her I don’t know either, and then I make a couple of guesses and say maybe the use of wire here means this, and the way it hangs like this means another thing, and it sounds convincing, but I still annotate it at the end with, ‘I don’t really know though.’ And then we walk to the front of the estate, and I ask her what she wants to do next, and she turns to me and says she doesn’t know exactly, but she does know she wants to be doing it with me…

I’m at the cinema in Yau Ma Tei with two minutes to spare. I’m ready with apologies and reasons. The train was slow. I didn’t know the time. I saw Evelyn Wong. I walk around. Jo isn’t there. I look in the café and the cinema library. She’s definitely not there. The film has started. I phone her. She doesn’t answer. I sit down on the wall opposite the entrance and wait. She doesn’t come. I mumble into my hand. Fucking wacko. Fucking bitch. Treat me this way and-…I get up and walk back into the cinema. I can’t believe I’ve been stood up. I think of reasons why. I think of Jo and how she must’ve planned this. I think of revenge. I need to get back on top. I need to charm her. I need her to want me so I can turn round and rip her fucking heart out. If she has one. Fucking bitch.

She comes twenty minutes late. She’s smiling like she’s the happiest woman on earth. She says sorry. She’s wearing a lovely little summer dress. I don’t think about fucking her. We buy tickets. We buy drinks. We talk a little on the way up the stairs. We sit and watch the movie. I forget about ripping her heart out.

I get the train five stations along to Po Lam. I get off and phone Wanis. I think what a stupid name that is as I wait for her to pick up. She picks up. She says she’s coming. I try to make a joke, but she doesn’t get it. I tell her I’ll be waiting. We hang up. I feel sick. I think about getting back on the train and leaving fast. But I don’t. She comes. She doesn’t say much. I do all the talking. I talk shit. I ask her where’s good in Po Lam. She tries to make a joke, but I don’t hear it. She says it again, and I don’t get it.

She takes me to a park. I let her walk ahead a little and see that she’s not slim. I don’t really care. I walk closer to her. She plays on a swing and I walk behind her and push her. I hold her by the waist. She gets up and walks over to a pole. She tries to go down it. I stand at the bottom and watch. She comes down into my arms. Some light comes suddenly from fuck knows where. There’s no source near us, but there it is. I see her face. There’s make-up all over it. It’s wild. She told me she was a beautician. She looks like the guy from Green Day. She looks horrible. She’s not a beautician. I think about running out of the park. But I don’t. She goes to the monkey bars and tries to pull herself up, but she can’t. I hold her waist and push her up. She makes it then comes back down and pushes back into me. I turn her around and bring my face closer to her. I don’t want to kiss her. I feel sick again. I feel excited. I kiss her. She doesn’t respond. I kiss her again. She asks me if I do this with other girls. I say no, I just feel a little crazy tonight.

We go to the slide. I kiss her again. I think of ways of getting her back to my place so I can fuck her. She kisses me. I look at her tits. She has some. I put my hands on them but she pushes them off. She asks again if I do this with other girls. I tell her I do. I tell her I’ve done it with about seventeen other girls. Her face changes and I don’t care. I try to grab her tits again. She lets me do it. I move my hand down, but she stops me. I tell her I’m a bad guy. She agrees. I say I have to go home now, and don’t wait for an answer. I start walking. She follows. I can see that she’s half-crying. I tell her to forget about me, I’m an asshole. She asks me why I do it. I say a few reasons. She doesn’t listen. I tell her I can be a good thing for her. I can tell her how to avoid assholes. She looks at me. I can’t look back. Her face is horrible. She smiles. Her teeth are everywhere. I see the station. I say I have to run to catch my train. She doesn’t answer. I run to the station without looking back. I sit down on the train. There’s a woman nearby who’s quite pretty. She looks at me. I look back. I think about going over and talking to her, but I don’t. I can’t.

I sit in Café De Coral looking at my food. It’s the same shit I always get here. Chau Fan. The only thing I can say in Cantonese. The only thing I can be bothered to learn how to say. I eat it. I look around between spoonfuls and see some ugly fucking people. I don’t know why they’re so ugly here. It’s Jordan so it’s not high class. But still, there should be some pretty. I look at a woman nearby. She’s young, but looks old. She has no eyebrows. Her face has no best feature. I think about the kind of man who would settle for this type of woman. I eat some more. I make notes in my notepad.

                          Is there a class of woman and a class of man? That woman with no eyebrows, she can only reach so high. I can reach higher. It would be unnatural for someone like me to be with someone like her. It’s impossible.

                          I have fucked women of that same level. But that was in a dark time. They knew the imbalance, didn’t they? Yeah, they knew it. They knew I wasn’t well and there was a reason why I was with them. They knew it. I remember that hopeful look in their eyes when I fucked them. They wished they could somehow keep me, even though they knew they couldn’t. But still, there was that hope. I gave them that much. I gave them some of my time, which was decent of me. I’m not a bad guy. I’m quite a good guy. When I’m a somebody, they’ll have a story to tell. They can remember when I fucked them, when I was looking only at them. Though I never was. I didn’t give a shit about any of them. And I’ll laugh my fucking head of if they try to sell it. Go ahead, make yourself a whore. Because I don’t mind telling it like it is. And people will know it like it was. They’ll know. Because there are levels. And there’s a level for them and a level for me, no matter how many people know my book.

                        My level is Evelyn Wong. That’s where I belong. That’s who I should be fucking. That’s who I will be fucking.

I stop and look at my notes. They’re all very positive. I think about adding negatives for balance, but I don’t. I finish my chau fan and put the notepad away. I walk outside and over to the bus stop. I think about going out somewhere. Over to Central maybe. See if there’s a party going on or some kind of event. I think about the kind of event Evelyn would go to. The bus comes. I get on. Sitting next to me is a schoolboy. He looks like one of my students, only with a sadder face. I think about putting my arm around him and telling him it’s okay, that everything’s gonna be okay, but I don’t. The bus stops. I get off and walk home. I go online and talk to Jo. She doesn’t say much back. I ask her if she wants to meet up this week. She tells me her bedroom walls are moving. I say what? She says she has to go. She goes. I hit the sofa and call her a fucking waste of space. I go to Evelyn’s blog. I look at the picture of her in the snow. Then I get bored and look at a different picture. The one with the Devil Evelyn for Maxims cakes. She looks very pretty. I read her blog.

          ‘I had a great time in Korea. Learnt some new words to add to the ones I learnt last time.’ [On different cultures]

          ‘There was a hot male model doing the commercial with me. His sister is very famous in Korea. Maybe I should get to know him better over a Maxim cake hehe.’ [On other models]

          ‘Love will incomplete me.’ [On love]

          ‘So happy for the wonderful new fans I’ve found this year, and all the support you’ve shown me. Thanks so much you guys.’ [On her fanbase]

          ‘Hope someone offers me a movie hehe.’ [On her future]

          ‘I think I’ll be able to feel the emotions more in a movie character. Not that I don’t with modeling, I feel their emotions too, but in a more commercial way.’ [On acting]

I read the responses to her messages. Most of them are guys. I think about leaving my own response. But I don’t. I read the others again.

                                                    ‘Girl, you’re so cute. Why don’t you model me haha?’

                                                    ‘Evelyn, I wish you great success this year, you deserve it.’

                                                    ‘Add oil, Evelyn. You rock.’

                                                    ‘Wow, you’re so pretty, hope I can know you better.’

                                                    ‘What’s your msn? Add me: sexualbanta@yahoo.com.hk’

                                                    ‘Where do you live, baby?’

                                                    ‘I’d give you a movie la. Add oil, Evelyn.’

                                                    ‘Hope you can succeed in your movie dream.’

                                                   ‘I notice a lot of guys praising you on here haha. I guess they think they can romance you. Kinda stupid haha. They don’t understand that you’re so smart and not only beautiful.’

                                                   ‘I think I have seen you in my dream. I know the God want us to meet and live chemistry with together. You feel you want to meeting?’

I go back to her photos and stare at her. I stay like this for a long time, looking at each one. Then I search her name again. I type in ‘Evelyn Wong naked’. There are no new results. I try a different one. ‘Evelyn Wong tits.’ There are some new results, but not the right Evelyn. It’s some slut from Miami. Probably not even Chinese. I click back to Evelyn’s blog. I read her lines again.

                                                                                                 I walk up the hill to the Baby Buddha bar on the corner and see her sitting on the edge of one of the seats, and there are two guys trying to talk to her, and another one trying to get his hands round her waist. I watch as she struggles with them and it’s about twenty minutes later when I finally move across and tell the guys to fuck off. They don’t go straight away, but they do when Evelyn asks me where I’ve been and I tell her I was watching her from over there and point to where I was, and I ask her if she wants to get out of there. We walk out of the bar, with Evelyn on my shoulder and her arm around my waist and it’s now I realize that tonight is the night when I’ll get to take her home and…

The words on the blog start to get blurry so I turn off the computer. I sit still and look at the walls. Tomorrow I have to meet with the principal. She wants to hear my side of the story again. I get up and walk into the kitchen and open another beer. She wants to talk about my possible defence before she’ll consider defending me. She doesn’t believe me. I go back to the living room but don’t sit down. I walk up and down the floor. I think back to what happened. I sit down. I turn on the TV. I see a boy running away from what I think is his father. I remember the boy. I remember the lesson. I don’t know why I did it. But I know it wasn’t that bad. I finish the beer. I go to bed. I pick up ‘On the Road’ and read about Kerouac and Remi. They were friends in San Fran. I read about their time as security guards. I turn on my side. I wonder if Kerouac did anything with Remi. I think he did. And I bet he didn’t know why. I stop reading. I turn off the light. I think of driving across the US. I think of Evelyn next to me. Her hand on my knee. The boy on my lap.

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  1. I am rather confused as to why you feel the need to post this story twice. Do you have an answer for this?

    Well, in exhausted repetition, the sentences are too short and you write as if you were an adolescent. And giving the main character the guise of a child molester is offensive in the extreme.

  2. Man, you’re everywhere.

    You really have a problem with this story, don’t you?

    Okay, here it is. The sentences are ‘too short’ because I don’t know how to write long sentences. English is my seventh language.

    I write like an adolescent because…I don’t know, perhaps I am immature.

    Like I said on the Year Zero site, I’m proud of the child molestation part. For me, it’s a potential direction for a guy who’s angry and petulant and has rejection issues. Why is it so offensive for you? Don’t you think difficult subject matter belongs in fiction?

    Oli

  3. I have responded on the Year Zero site, but I have to say that I find your response here very much in line with your writing. Extremely immature. There is very little in the way of critical response to my comments, and I find that disappointing.

    As I wrote in my other comment, it is valid to write about characters who have problems, be it mental health issues or child molestation or whatever else one might care to examine, yet it is not acceptable to make a character a child molester simply to shock the reader. It is cheap and tasteless, and it doesn’t belong in high-caliber fiction. In your story, there is no previous detail concerning this aspect of the character, it simply appears at the end like a rabbit out of the hat, and it has a jarring effect on the narative as a whole. Why, if we are viewing the story from this man’s head, did we not know in the previous text that he was struggling with an attraction to children? It doesn’t make any kind of narrative sense, and, as I said before, it is offensive.

    That is all I will say on the matter. Perhaps with more practise and years under your belt, you will be able to write with a more mature eye.

  4. The clue is in the line: ‘I didn’t know why I did it.’

    It’s up to you if it’s tasteless or not.

    Oli

  5. I think the most ironic thing here is that J. Lloyd didn’t see the ending sooner. With literary diatribe of such ‘caliber’, I’m a little torn between who the real imposter is here: Oli Johns or J.Lloyd; particularly if it took him almost to the very end of the story before the ‘rabbit’ appeared.

    Good story content. A little jarring. With. Such. Short. Sentences. Oli either needs to learn to use commas or relative clauses or cut down / increase the dosage of Prozac / Ritalin but all in all, an interesting read. Could do with a touch more editing though 😉

  6. You’re not the first to say that about the editing, Jonathan.

    Not sure I understand your first paragraph though…I’m an imposter?

    Oli

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