Cougar Baited (Hong Kong) My boss and I spent Friday evening watching the Typhoon Signal 3 weather come and go, wrecking havoc on party dresses, high heels, and hearing the Michael Jackson medleys blaring from every bar up and down Lan Kwai Fong. Tonight LKF had two competing dead icons – Hong Kong Elvis and a gweilo Michael Jackson - sporting a goatee dressed in leather red and black Thriller getup, drunk, sweating, and occasionally grabbing his crotch, doing a Michael Jackson kick, and shouting “sha-moan!” On one 45 degree angle sloped street, the King of Rock and Roll battled against the King of Pop for the hearts and minds of those with loose change. My boss and I watched amused. We had tried leaving our outside table at La Bogedas – but always the Typhoon Signal 3 would throw its rain – so we would order another round and stay dry and protected under the eve of the salsa bar. “I think I am getting behind,” I said as I took my beer glass in my hands. “My buddy Nick is having a baby, engaged, and here I am.” “Yeah, he is kicking your ass.” And he laughed at his comment. “But that’s why I chose not to take that job with Obama – not yet anyway. Hong Kong will be the longest I have ever stayed somewhere. Ever since I was a child, my parents and I have moved every three years. It has become a habit. Almost part of my genes.” “And when things get hard, or when the pressure comes to commit, you run. You did it in Europe. You did it in South Africa. And you nearly did it here. One day you have to stop running.” I nodded and offered my glass and we clinked in an unspoken cheers. “Home is a person not a place,” I put out there. “Maybe so, but you need to stay in one place long enough to build something with a single person.”
“Yes.” I changed the subject a bit. “The isolation with H1N1 really showed Sophia’s real colors. She stood by me through the whole thing.” “Its amazing she didn’t get it.” “I kid her that she gave it to me so she was immune first.” We sat in silence and watched the drunken revelry in front of us. Finally my boss revealed, “This is my last beer. I need to get home. My daughter returns from Melbourne tomorrow.” “Okay.” And feeling it was a bit urgent I took another long drink. “See I envy you. You have built the family. You and your wife have a fantastic relationship.” My boss laughed. “Shit. Its hard. You have your ups and downs. But you push through. You make sure you create more goods than bads.” Just then my Blackberry vibrated. I pulled it in front of me and saw the SMS from DJ Gruv. He was playing Kee Club and put me on the guest list. I sms’d him and told him I was on my way. “You need to build something or you will always be at this place you are now.” “Which is?” I asked. “Wondering why you haven’t built something.” “But can’t you build something where you have both? The life of passion and adventure plus home and stability?” “You can choose a Cougar.” “Huh?” “A woman once or twice married – has had the straight life – the one where she followed the rules of society and found it was just that – the rules of society. Now she wants the passion and adventure.” And he laughed hard. “You bullshitting me?” He laughed but went serious. “Maybe a little. But know that life is about compromises. Either with yourself or with another person. Find someone who allows you to be who are and become who you should be. Or…” my boss paused.
Just then, the gweilo Michael Jackson showed up drunkenly in front of us and was dancing and performing in front of Zinc. The other drunk men were imitating and laughing. “Or what?” I asked. “You will end up like Michael Jackson.” “Loving kids and monkeys?” I responded back quickly trying to be funny. “No. Your life becomes greater in death than when you were alive.”
Walking into the mirror elevator I hit the button for Kee Club. The doors closed on me alone and it rose. When the doors opened, the music was booming. I went to the reception desk. The cute Chinese girl in a black dress smiled, “Yes?” “DJ Gruv put me on the list.” I said. We both looked down at the paper highlighted by a fluorescent light, and written in pen on top was my name. “Your name?” “Jackson.” She took her pen and crossed through it. “Go on in.” I looked in at the DJ booth on the ground floor and a local Hong Kong DJ looked up at me. I then hurried up the stairs and saw DJ Gruv on the back wall. He lifted his chin when he saw me. The music was Michael Jackson. The crowd was jumping. I pushed through and got next to him as he was transitioning out of one track to another. Finally, when the next Michael Jackson song was on – he pulled his headphones off and we embraced – slapping our hands together. “What you drinking?” I asked motioning I was going to buy him a drink. “Don’t worry man. I got two Red Bull and Vodkas already.” I was shocked. “They are not illegal anymore?” “I guess not,” and he smiled. Then he put his headphones back on and started moving his fingers across the vinyl.
I shoved through the business suits minus ties and black evening gowns in my jeans, my tennis shoes, and polo to the bar. It took a couple of minutes to get one of the bartenders’ attention. “What’ll it be?” he asked. “Red Bull and Vodka.” He had been watching my mouth. “Vodka and Red Bull?” I nodded never understanding why it was always remembered by everyone else as vodka Red Bull instead of the other way around. When I got my drink, I politely shoved through the crowd and found a small empty place to stand near the DJ booth. That’s where I began watching everyone around us and seeing the people hurry up the stairs. I also saw a group of friends helping their drunk buddy slowly down the stairs. It had felt like forever the last time I heard DJ Gruv play – so I just chilled and listened to him do his thing. The room was electric with energy. He knew how to work a crowd into a frenzy. It was old school night – and the 80’s and 90’s hits kept coming with a strong emphasis on Michael Jackson. I traveled to the bar two more times. And there I was dancing hard. Suddenly, a good looking mixed Chinese girl in an yellow dress touched my shoulder. I turned. “You are a hot dancer.” She said. I laughed. And I leaned into her and spoke into her ear – smelling her perfume. “It’s the Red Bull.” “Well whatever it is, you look good doing it.” I blushed. “Thanks.” And her other girlfriend came up and they started talking. I turned away and kept dancing. I looked and saw Derald AKA DJ Gruv – he smiled a big smile. I shook my head, no. To change it up a bit, I downed my drink and pushed back to the bar. The bartender spotted me quickly because I was tipping generously. He lifted one finger up and looked in the direction of my glass.
I nodded yes. “Can I buy that for you?” a woman’s voice said next to me. I recognized her as the friend of the woman who had complimented me on my dancing. “Huh? Wow, I am flattered. Never had a woman buy me a drink before.” “Maybe its time you start.” She said. When the bartender returned, she said loudly, “Put it on my tab and anything else he wants.” She was equally beautiful – wearing a black dress that showed more cleavage than cloth. Her hair was also tied up exposing her neck. “Thanks. What’s your name?” She smiled. “My friends call me Tweety.” I laughed because I had no social restraint after multiple beers and vodka Red Bulls. “As in Sylvester the Cat Tweety?” ‘Yeah. As in Tweety-Bird.” The bartender brought to the counter top her drink – looked like a whiskey - without her asking for it. “What’s your name?” “Jackson.” “As in Michael Jackson?” “Yep. Except I am not dead.” She smiled. “Fair enough. Cheers.” And she lifted her glass and we clinked. “My friend and I have been watching you dancing for awhile. You were doing your own thing back there.” “Thanks.” “You are friends with DJ Gruv, right?” “Yeah, we are brothers. Different father.” She looked at me trying to figure out if I was serious. Then she laughed out loud and said, “Bullshit.” “Yeah, I am bullshitting.” Another drink was dropped in front of Tweety. She took it with her free hand.
We began walking back towards the DJ booth. When we got back, her friend in the yellow dress was waiting. “I see you talked to him.” She said smiling at me. “Of course.” And they stood there and looked at me wickedly. Suddenly, I felt like a small animal trapped. Then I felt my mobile phone vibrate. I quickly dug my hand into my pocket and pulled it out. It was an SMS from Sophia. “What are you doing?” I used my free hand to type: “I am with DJ Gruv at Kee Club.” And then I shoved my phone down in my pocket – deep. When I looked up, the women were gone. I turned to DJ Gruv – and he pulled his headphones off. “Yo! I think they like you.” “Dude, that’s the last thing I need.” And I felt my phone vibrate again. “Some guys would consider themselves lucky.” “Oh I am lucky. But I am trying to be a good guy.” DJ Gruv laughed and put his headphones back on and started fingering the next record. Suddenly, I felt the friend in the yellow dress on my back rubbing up against me. I turned and her eyes were closed and she was smiling. I leaned into her. “What is your name?” “Sly.” “Really? I have a friend who owns Sly Empire.” “I am not an empire, sweetie. Its just little ol’ me.” And she pushed her body up against me. I shyly moved back and bumped into someone. It was Tweety. She was dancing against me now. I moved against the wall and turned my drink up to finish it quickly. Tweety came to stand near me. “Sly owns her own company here in Hong Kong. She came from Macau.” To be polite I kept the conversation going, “She looks mixed.” “She is. She is half Portuguese and Chinese.” “Okay.” And I felt my phone vibrate again with another SMS.
I dug into my pocket. The first message was from Sophia: “Are you there by yourself?” The next message was from DJ Gruv: “They are high on chop chop.” I turned to him and he gave me a serious look. I started to type on my Blackberry and then Tweety interrupted. “Guess how old Sly is?” I looked at her. She was beautiful but I could tell she was high – her eyes were wild. I shrugged my shoulders. “Twenty-nine?” Tweety looked me deep in my eyes. “She is forty-four.” My face showed genuine shock and I looked back at Sly – and she really didn’t look a day over twenty-nine. “Wow, she looks great.” “Guess how old I am?” “Shit. This game sucks.” I paused. “Twenty-six?” “Thanks sexy. But no I am forty-four.” I then started investigating for signs of plastic surgery but they genuinely looked natural. “I guess it’s the Asian genes.” “Perhaps.” She looked down on my glass. “You want another drink?” “No, don’t worry. I can get it.” She put her hand on my stomach actually a little too low – right where my belt began. “No, I got you.” She then turned to Sly. “Keep him warm for me while I get him a drink.” She slid over to me. “My pleasure.” I stood there awkward. My mobile phone vibrated again. I looked down and it was Sophia again. And this message was in all CAPS: “ARE YOU THERE ALONE?” I went to message quickly: “I came here alone but now there are two cougars hitting on me.” “Is that your girlfriend?” Sly asked seeing me type quickly. “Yes.” “Is she waiting for you at home?”
I gulped. Here is where I proved if I was an asshole or not. “Yeah. She was tired and let me go out by myself.” Sly took a sip of her drink. Then she spoke up while I shoved my phone back down in my pocket. “Is she hot?” “Yes of course.” “Maybe we can go back with you.” My heart stopped and suddenly Tweety touched my back. “Here you go.” I took it and suddenly my phone vibrated again. It was Sophia again – my irate: “Fuck you!” Sly was watching my face. “No, I am sorry. She is pretty protective of me.” Tweety turned to Sly, “So you asked him if he would come home with us?” Sly answered, “Sort of. But he has a jealous girlfriend.” My phone vibrated again. I pulled it out and it was an SMS from DJ Gruv: “Be careful. They are ganging up on you.” And while I was holding it my phone vibrated again. It was Sophia and she repeated: “Fuck you!” Suddenly, I felt the room spinning. “I got to use the bathroom.” I said aloud. Tweety looked at me seriously, “You need us to help you?” And just then she grabbed my crotch. I was soft. She kept her hand there what felt like minutes but was merely seconds. It remained soft. She looked at me strange. I looked back at her strange. “I need to go to the bathroom.” I set my drink down and with that I left. I jetted to the toilet behind me. I remembered walking inside – and saw my face in the mirror. My face was white. The room was spinning. I pushed into the stall and buckled to my knees and vomited. Vomited a yellow acid cake with strings hanging from my mouth. Just then my phone vibrated. I vomited again. I looked down on my phone. It was Sophia: “Are you with them now?”
I wiped my mouth and texted back: “No I left them. I am alone.” I huddled over the toilet waiting. And then the phone vibrated again: “Liar.” I stood up. And I heard someone come in. Someone knocked on my stall door. “Are you okay man?” It was Derald’s voice. “Yeah, I am okay. I was just feeling sick.” “Be careful those girls might drug you and take advantage of you.” I wiped my mouth again. “Maybe they did. I never get sick drinking this quick – but I feel horrible.” I opened the stall door. “Hey man, my set is over in thirty minutes. Hide here and I will take you home. Okay?” I grabbed his big shoulder. “Thanks man.” “Hey man, we are brothers. Be back.” And with that he turned and left. I went back to the stall and locked it. I sat hunched over the toilet and reached out and flushed it. Saw my dinner wash away in a swirl. My phone vibrated again but I didn’t dare look at it. As Derald promised, he came and got me when he was ready to go. And suddenly, I was that guy being helped down the stairs as I had witnessed earlier. Tweety and Sly was walking with us. “We can help him,” they said. “Sorry ladies, I better get him home. Maybe next time.” And he winked at them.
Finally I arrived on Queens Road Central with my head leaning into a taxi back seat passenger side window. Derald spoke in Cantonese. The driver stopped. “You going to be okay getting in your place?” he asked. I nodded. And then I looked at him. “Thanks man for doing this.” “No problem.” And with that I was out. Somehow I punched in my security code, moved through the lobby, and was leaning against the wall of my elevator. The fluorescent light in the elevator seemed way too bright. Finally the elevator dinged too loudly and I stumbled out into the hall. I found my door, fumbled with my key, turned it the right way, and pushed into my flat.
The next memory I have is laying with my clothes on and shoes off and my phone vibrating over and over on my chest. I picked it up without thinking and answered it, “Arghhh,” I answered. “Who are you with?” was the immediate response. “Arrgh,” I said like a pirate. “Did you hear me? Tell me who you are with!” I cleared my throat. “I am not with anybody. I am just sick.” “You sure?” Sophia’s voice asked. “I swear. Promise to die,” I was slurring my words. “Stick a needle in my eye.” Sophia was quiet for a moment listening to the quietness behind me. “Well, I promise I would kill you if you are lying.” “Argh,” I said again. “I am so sick.” She softened. “Oh babe, you got to take better care of yourself. You sound like death.” “Argh,” I said again. “Okay, sleep, babe. I will check on you tomorrow. Okay?” “Argh,” I got out my mouth again. But then I followed up with, “Okay.” And then I hung up my phone. I dropped my hands to my lower stomach. But I noticed something, with Sophia’s voice, I was now hard.
Written by GS Jackson, © 2009 LOL Entertainment Group, LLC (USA) Limited (HKG)