Written by 傑森龍 GS Jackson Taken from soulparking.com/blogs/2010/01/5
Bite Sized Bits (Hong Kong) I boarded my flight from Kathmandu at nearly midnight. The flight had just come from Bangladesh. It was going to take in the new travelers and then fly all night to Hong Kong. I found my business class seat and suddenly it seemed like the whole experience had been a dream. I thought back and everything came to me in flashes, peaks of sensory overload, and bite sized bits. I saw her first in the lobby of the hotel with her in her Sari. I held back from kissing her in order to respect the local customs. I pushed my palms together and said, “Namaste.” And we both laughed and were giddy. We spent the afternoon talking in a coffee shop where all the employees were deaf. She signed to them and spoke loudly, mouthing the words in English for our orders. “How do deaf people learn English in Nepal?” I asked. She shrugged. “Just like every other language.” When the waiter placed our hot lemon water mine with honey and hers without, she said loudly, “THANK YOU.” “You don’t have to talk loud. They can’t hear you.” I said and we laughed. I remember seeing the darkness descend outside and I called her mobile for the second time from my hotel room because she was like me – notoriously late. “Hurry up! I want to be with you at the peak of the eclipse.” “What time is that?” “3:30 pm.” “Okay,” she giggled. “I will try to hurry.” And she was – she got there just around 3 pm. And we went out the front doors of the lobby and avoided the taxi waiting for us. “Let’s just walk.” I said. “Okay.” In the midst of the chaos of Kathmandu we held hands and walked – and walked – and talked and talked. And above us, the sun was blocked by the moon.
“So our daughter tells us that you think you were together in your previous life?” her mother asked. I laughed. “Yes.” I sat on the couch of her parents home finishing a whiskey with her father. I felt like I was home in Alabama. Her father reminded me of my father. Her mom was my mom. Even her house smelled like my house. But I was in Nepal. She sat beside me and for the first time – I felt we were a couple. I looked over at her. “But in our previous life she was easier. We lived on neighboring farms.” I smiled at my own story. “So my parents promised her parents a new pig – and that was it! I had myself a new wife!” Everyone laughed. “She told me that you write poetry,” I said. Her mother smiled. “I did. But not anymore. You also write poetry?” I smiled. “Yes, but about your daughter.” And that very night hours earlier, we reclined on a couch by the bar within the high walls of the Garden of Dreams. We toasted with white wine and filled up on peanuts. She was talking to me about something – I tried to listen and comprehend but I was just watching her mouth. And I realized that I hadn’t kissed her since I had arrived. Then she said, “Isn’t this just like we are in Hong Kong?” I suddenly looked at where we were – her leaning beside me – on a couch with wine glasses and the alcohol teasing our tongues and yes it was like our best moments in Hong Kong. I popped another peanut in my mouth. And suddenly the people hovering around the bar left and almost on cue the bar staff vacated the premises – and she and I were alone. So with her in mid-sentence I kissed her. I kissed her deeply. It was awkward at first because we hadn’t kissed in months. Then we heard people returning so we pulled away quickly. And I saw her face and laughed. “What?” she said. “I left peanut bits around your mouth.” And I took my fingers touching her face and picked them off. She squirmed.
“You could have at least swallowed before you kissed me!” “I didn’t have time! I just knew I had this one chance and I took it.” Then we were walking in total blackness – dizzy from the wine. Walking the paths between the houses which in reality were miniature castles – and all of them surrounded the nearby Nepal Gurkha military compound. She led because I could see nothing. We didn’t know what time it was – both of us were bad with the math of subtracting two hours and fifteen minutes from Hong Kong time – but I had a sinking fear I was late for my flight. But I didn’t care. We stopped in the pitch black and kissed again and again. Even the sky was void of any light. There was no moon – as if it had been destroyed by the sun during the eclipse a day earlier. “I need to go,” I said sadly. “We should have done this days ago.” And she interrupted what I was saying and kissed me again. Then suddenly, she grabbed my hand and yanked me to follow her. She took me further down the path and I didn’t know where it would lead. I wanted to make love to her right there in the cold night air of Kathmandu – in the pitch black – against the walls between the houses of her childhood. Suddenly, we came to a gate and Tyson her dog started barking. Her mother appeared instantly and spoke in Nepalese. Her mother saw me and smiled. She disappeared back into the house and came out pulling my suitcase behind her. Her mother came to the gate, unlocked it and joined us. “So sad you have to leave. We just met you.” “I feel the same way,” I said. Then with her holding my hand again, her mother leading the way, me taking over my suit case, we traveled as a group to the ring road that circled Kathmandu. “We are going to get you a taxi.” Her mother explained. And suddenly, we were walking alongside the road with the only lights being the headlights of large packed buses, people on bicycles, and those riding motorcycles with two or more people clinging to the seat. Her mother stopped walking and turned to me. I could only see her face when a vehicle passed. “You wait here. If you go and talk to the taxi driver and they see you are a
foreigner, they will charge you double. I will get you a good rate and bring the taxi here.” And then she was gone. So we stood there holding hands. The exhaust fumes from the buses and the dust from the road swirling around us in the night. It was all very surreal. Again, I thought she was an apparition and with her face wrapped in her scarf with just her eyes sparkling as headlights passed. “So what happens now?” I asked. Her fingers shifted uncomfortably in my hand. “What do you mean?” she asked. “About us. What happens now?” “I don’t know.” She said. And then there was a loud roar of a bus which rumbled past. “You know why I am here. I want you to know I am serious.” “I know you are serious. I never doubted that.” “Then what?” “I don’t know where I will be. I don’t know what I will be doing.” “I want to be where you are.” “But what about your life?” she asked. “It starts with you.” Headlights flashed her face and she had a look that showed she was uncomfortable with the topic. But this time the headlights stayed – they didn’t move away – and then I noticed it was the taxi and her mother got out. “It should be 300 rupees. Don’t pay anymore.” She said. “Thank you so much. I hope to see you again very soon.” And without thinking I grabbed her mother and hugged her. She was stiff at first but then she relaxed and hugged me back. “I hope to see you again very soon too.” Her mother said. I turned to Eve. “I will see you in Hong Kong.” And fighting every impulse, I kissed both her cheeks twice and avoided her lips because we were in the presence of her mother. “I will see you in Hong Kong won’t I?”
She didn’t answer. Her mother prodded, “You need to get going because traffic might be bad.” “Okay.” And I sat down and they closed the door for me. Her mother spoke to the driver and then the taxi was off – but not before two other vehicles and a motorcycle honked. I watched her and her mother disappear into the darkness. -The taxi driver skit was almost done and I was getting ready for the closing music on my MacBook. So far Comedy Dim Sum the debut show had been a success. All of our worries had just been that – worries. An audience showed up. The projector lamp didn’t explode. My MacBook with our video portions didn’t freeze up. No one tripped over one another as people transitioned on and off stage. Andrew Chu had the audience in stitches as he pretended to be a local Chinese taxi driver applicant. Christopher M played the gweilo who didn’t have the English certification even though he had speaking English since birth. I saw Mahesh near the green room watching the action on the stage. He saw me watching him and gave me his double thumbs up. I gave it back to him. Finally, Michael Dorsher and Andrew Chu popped open their beers and Dorsher threw him the keys to his new cab and the skit came to a close. Everyone applauded. TakeOut Comedy Club went dark as the stage lights went out. I pushed play on the closing song and adjusted the volume on the sound board. The stage lights came on and there stood Mahesh and he motioned for me to join him. I did and we brought up Jami. Jami thanked everyone for coming and then we brought up everyone in the cast and had the audience spontaneously sounded a loud applause. Then that was it. Comedy Dim Sum the debut had ended. I hurried back to the sound board to pack up. I started detaching wires and shutting down my MacBook. “Hey.” I heard. I looked up and it was Eve. She smiled. My heart raced. “Wow. What are you doing here?” “To see your show.”
“How did you like it?” She laughed. “I liked it. I laughed a lot.” “Good. That’s the point.” I stopped and looked her over. She was not wearing her Sari and was back to wearing her Hong Kong attire. But she still looked gorgeous. “I can’t thank you enough for coming. It means so much you were here.” “I wouldn’t have missed it.” And when we all packed up, we went across the street to Fat Angelo’s. Eve came with me. As we were thrown in the midst of all the comedians, the audience members, my friends, my co-workers, my comedians’ friends, my comedian’s co-workers, I stood there amazed that worlds were colliding. My Hong Kong family was coming together. It was like Eve was injecting herself into my day to day reality. I kept looking at her making sure she was really there. “Why are you staring at me like that?” she asked grinning. “If I told you, it would make you blush.” Just then our two glasses of white wine arrived. The comedians started getting a buzz on and started getting loud. I always believed that the after shows were funnier than the shows. Eve and I moved through the crowd. We finally bumped into Smita. I thanked her for contributions and I warned her that she should enjoy being relatively unknown right now – because she was going to be famous. “Shutup!” she said and took a sip of her beer. Then she leaned into me and said quietly, “Who is this lovely lady beside you?” I just looked at her without answering. Smita’s eyes went big. “Oh my! Is that her?” Eve overhead. “What are you talking about?” and she shifted nervously. Smita made a quick joke and the moment passed. And I watched Eve laugh with the others. --
We walked down Queens Road and my head ached from the Comedy Dim Sum after party celebration from the night before. The mid-morning sun seemed too bright. Eve and I held hands. So as I had said in Nepal, “What now?” “About?” she asked. “Us.” “I don’t know.” She went quiet. “You know I am scared that I am simply just your pursuit. I am that one you can’t get – and that’s why have me in this place in your heart and you can’t get rid of me.” I stopped and shook my head adamantly. “There’s a lot of women I can’t get. But that doesn’t make me want them.” Then we started walking again. “But everybody believes they know me. But no one really knows me.” She said nothing. I squeezed her hand. “But you know me. There is nobody that understands me without me saying anything – than you. I don’t have to convince you of that because I know you know.” We walked on without speaking. Then finally I ended with, “No, it’s not about the pursuit.” Then we came to where Wellington Street crossed over Queens Road. We stopped to wait for the Green Man to let us walk. “Where are you going?” I asked. She motioned her head down Wellington Street. “I am going this way.” And I pointed in the opposite way. “Okay, I guess we need to go our separate ways.” “When will I see you again?” “I don’t know.” Just then the Green Man came on and people moved. We leaned into one another and kissed – kissed deeply. Just like we had kissed in Kathmandu at the bar of the Garden of Dreams. Then with the coming people, we pulled away and turned. And like that she disappeared again.
I could feel her walking away as I pushed against the throng. And suddenly I was sad because I wasn’t sure when she would make contact again. I could have turned around and followed her. I just wanted another day with her. I wanted another night with her. I would have settled for just lunch to sit across the table from her. Hell, all I wanted was five more minutes. But to show her that I love her – I told myself that I shouldn’t turn around. I can’t chase after her because then she would be right. That I don’t love her but instead I just love the pursuit. I have to let her go. Even if that means, she leaves this island of Hong Kong. Even if that means, she ultimately has to leave me. But I have a secret weapon. If she leaves Hong Kong, if she is alone or wonders if anyone believes in her or loves her or she misses laughing or dancing and having someone hold her - she will remember these memories of us. She will have me in bite sized bits. And it will remind her, I am always here.
Written by GS Jackson, © 2010 LOL Entertainment Group, LLC (USA) Limited (HKG)
Published on Jan 30, 2010
Reflecting back on my Kathmandu trip in bite sized bits leads up to the debut of Comedy Dim Sum a new Cantonese and English comedy show.