Sunday, February 28, 2016

北京麻雀 - London - 3

3
London Proper
2001
From the plane to the concourse, from the concourse to the tram, from the tram to the Metro. From Metro to a little street where he had arranged a room which was large enough for both of them. From the door to the bed, which in those days meant that they were going to sleep to gather. It was the way of what young people did, I make no excuse for it, merely to report that they were going to do so. Other times would have other practices, and each one of them thought it is practice was normal. At the beginning of the 21st century, two young people were expected to takeoff there cloths, and have on with things. And then not tell the other one if it was bad.

Other times would have other rules, some would never even think of it, some would have a long conversation before doing it, each to his own way.

Steinbeck would write like a hobo, because in his day that was how uneducated people spoke, and then just as quickly it started being impolite to speak in that way. Even though people were no more educated than in Steinbeck's time, they had to put on airs for each other. The age was of gentility, for a moment. It was not as if they actually were more genteel, mind you, they just had a little bit of politeness. That, and in Steinbeck's age they wanted to prove that God and Jesus Christ did not have any hold over them, so they used one or the other in every phrase. Where as in the time period of my recounting this did not occur to them, and it was only the dumb ones who swore, others would not have bothered.

Being young they were quite active, and then went to a short nap. Neither one of them was in there own time zone, though both were on opposite sides: he was from the West and she from the East. And they were not going to commune with each other on this short trip. Because each one of them were to head back. Each one of them knew that there were many questions unanswered, so a list of the questions which could be supplied had meticulously been entertained. Each one of them wanted to find out certain questions, and leave the rest to chance. First in her mind was could she entertain that he would like her Rubinesque, because for a Chinese woman that was a large concern of hers.

His question was vague and not formed so well, it had to do with the other business. The secret business that he, and only he, entertained. He had to know if she would give him latitude to pursue without interference from her. At once it was specific, but not in words, and they because he did not know her reaction.

Somehow they woke up at around the same time. It was about 3:30 in the morning. They might have gone back to erotic business, but both of them had to know the hidden question on their minds. Thus both of them needed to speak. She began.

Walking her fingers of his chin, and performing a delicate dance. “Do you like the name I chose for you? You called me sparrow, and I liked that.” Turning her to fingers around on his nose, she began walking them down.

He replied: “I was surprised when you had made up the name so quickly, and logged back on again with it. It was almost as if you were looking for something, and when I spoke the name sparrow you attached yourself.” That among all things was the thing that attracted him the most, even though it was not anything that he would have thought.

I had many boyfriends before you, and all of them had used me and then said goodbye. You were the first one who truly had looked at me, and saw something unique about me. I was worried about so many different things.” She meant weight, and he knew that.

I know you were worried about how I would think of you – in terms of weight I mean. Which has you can see his not one of my real concerns. It is what is behind your eyes that matters most. Most girls are blank to what really matters to me.” which was actually true, what he cared about could not be put in to words, but it was a blind spot, which if she had it, everything else would fall in to place.

She looked at him, and wanted to believe that this was the case. But she did not believe it – yet.

And she was right to be suspicious, because he did not know if he could love a woman, though she was not fat the way she imagined herself, she was not then has he would have liked her to be. This was not a problem, but it was a disadvantage. Though he could overlook it, because she was bright, that much he could determine by the questions which he put to her on the Tramway. And what is more, she thought him bright by the questions she had asked him, and responded with myriad delight at his answers. There was something deeply into with the way they thought, even though they were a world apart.

There was something that had a hold on them, and would not let them go. A scratching of the mind, a twist on the brain, a passion that had no other name. Each one wished to know what it was, and each one directed their thoughts inward, not outward to discover the meaning. As if questioning themselves would do the trick. From the outside, they looked in to each other's eyes, but that was at least half an illusion. But then they reached into each other's eyes, and in that instance stared. Because they were discovering that there was another person, and that other person wanted contact, reassurance. He with her and she with him. And in that instant, they knew that they had to talk to each other, and not just ramble alone talking past each other.

She began: “Its so odd to be actually with another person.”

What you mean? I thought everyone is with other people all the time. At least in the sense there with other people groping for attention.”

Think about how little we actually speak to one another, or we speak past each other. We may be speaking at each other literally, but in fact we organize our thoughts and speak to ourselves. The other person is just a witness to the conversation that we have.”

That is fair enough, each of us passes the time talking to ourselves and only have listening to the other person speak.” Underneath he stretched his feet, rather gratuitously, just to get the kinks out. It was not particularly a habit, and normally he would keep the feet straight. If only it were war, and he would wish her good-bye, before running to join the legions, glittering in the sun, on an awful day in memory. In his mind's eye a day in 1863.

But that is wrong, because every second where heading towards death, and then we will not hear anything. Not a sound from another living voice. Should not then talk to each other, because once we are dead there is no turning back.” An echo rose along her voice.

He thought about this for a while, and raised his mind to a deep and dark tomb, which he imagined he would be spending the rest of his life. Then he shook away the feeling, and looked out through the window. Of course it was still dark, and this being England, there were patches of light rain. She wondered aloud: “I wonder what time it will be before there is light.”

Actually today is the last day of Standard Time. Tomorrow, in this part of the world, it will be Daylight Savings Time. I do not know if this will help you at all, because both of us will be mixed up. Only in different directions.” He thought whether this was the correct direction for each of them, but he was too tired. Then he supposed he did not matter. But of course it did, and he would think on the direction several times. Like a clock which moved to the beat of a unseen drummer. Or a land that was at war first.

I could wake up and do things.”

Where as I could go back to sleep.”

It is odd how for a day or so we can function, but night will catch up with us.”

So let us make the most of the few days, where we can ignore the time difference. We only have three days, and then I have two go back to China. And you will go back to the East coast, will it be standard or daylight savings time when you get back?”

I do not want to think about it, it will not be pleasant either way, so I will just have two grin and bear it.”
She nodded, and then slipped on a sheet and did those necessary things which women did. He knew because he could feel blood on the sheets. Both of them had been with other people, and both of them knew that each of them worked the setting there internal time by the moon. The sexes were different, and both of them were discrete in allowing the other person to do what was necessary.

He was early, she was late. And eventually that would catch up to them, but, they hoped not yet. They had only a view hours to see one another, and answer the questions that they had. Questions which were not important, but watching the others face, smile, and eyes would be important.

Later on, he wood look into the stock market pages, and see if there was something happening. Because no one thought that the crash of last year was truly the end of things. Only the little people would care, the big people knew that the government was there to spare their bank accounts, and little else. Where as some people ignored all of this and went back to reading Faulkner, at the point of 1 o'clock in the afternoon, when the charge had not yet happened.