the chinese

by plermpt

a hole in the roof was covered by a sheet of dirty plastic, and i pushed my head through it to get a glimpse of the roof deck.

i made eye contact with meredith, who sat on a bench at the far end of the roof. a man was standing in front of the bench, talking to her. when she saw me she began laughing, and i immediately pulled my head back through the hole before the man had a chance to turn around.

descending down a ladder that lead to my childhood bedroom, i sensed meredith scampering close behind. dave was wearing his wig (my wig) and had his crude pencil drawings (my drawings) laid out in a sequence on his bed (my bed). i thought, ‘i didn’t know dave could paint. maybe meredith wants to see these paintings.’ his sketches reminded me of ‘the chinese.’

i turned off all of the lights in my house and shut all of the doors and left dave in my childhood bedroom and went to work.

davone and quentin joyously greeted me from their work pagoda when i arrived for the night shift. (mark was mysteriously absent.) as they prepared to leave for the day they informed me that burr sold the space to ‘the chinese’ at night.

with the sun on the horizon the pagoda’s large red gate opened and a procession of shackled chinese prisoners in alternating gray and orange uniforms filed in. tiny white elephants froclicked with felinity. doves floated through the soft air. sullen child generals observed the prisoners from atop stilts, their beige uniforms adorned in badges which were obscured by the numerous service medals which hung around their necks. accompanying the children were their stilted brides, dressed in ostentatious white gowns that reached the very bottom of their stilts. without tripping they lovingly wrapped their arms around their tiny generals as they walked with them.

davone and quentin were gone for the day. in their place stood a man i mistook for davone in a ‘chinese costume.’ he had a shaved head with bleached blonde hair, caramel skin, and black eyes. i greeted him with a smile and he poked me hard in the stomach to signal a duel.

i took a step back in trepidation as a spear flew in viddy’s direction from behind me. viddy leapt out of the way and the spear snapped in half when it met the floor. i sought refuge on a velvet sofa next to a lounging princess who gleefully watched the duel. viddy was naked when a hurled mallet struck him in the stomach.