1980 Rooms In Chungking Mansions – Lovers Lay Awake At Night, Nobody Sleeps

by dschapman

The lights outside the window kept us wide awake and full of love. A train derailed and broke through a wall into the street but no one was injured. It became a good story. We were not unhappy that the train derailed. On the coastline where they keep the ships a ship came in from a port in Polynesia on its way to Tunisia. “What are you doing here, then?” I asked; “I am hunting rabbits,” said the captain, and his burly crew of homosexuals laughed.

The pirates claimed contested land off the Gold Coast of Africa in ancient land atop the ruins of a mighty nation. The mud huts and the mound builders were busy with the rituals of modern civilization; pottery, sculpture, burial rites, sacrifice. They ate well at times of sacrifice. The juicy entrails were passed around and shared by all like children lapping up the blood of Christ.

I decided in that artificial light that I, too, was a mound builder. That was what I wanted to do; build mounds. That was my role in civilization. I was one of those designated to built mounds, basketful of dirt by basketful, and other totemic monuments. I cast a herm in white cement and set it on the corner of Main Street, marking off the protected district. A local Alcibiades defaced it on the very first night, carving its penis out and scratching its nose.

“Poor herm,” I said, “Poor city at night.”