Saturday, September 12, 2009

Real Good, We Dance in the Studio

Papa, paparazzi: Jason found a picture of me in my jammers. (One reason I feel uncomfortable in them is that they make my head look approximately as big as my torso.) But that doesn't really capture what it looks like when I swim, if only because after every lap I climb out and make a face like this.

On a hot Guangzhou day, even swimming just 50 meters is so invigorating that your alien-pod biceps involuntarily clench in spasmodic excitement.

Also, speaking of tiny men hugging me from behind, Gus and I went to a nightclub last night with a gay Chinese guy named Superman. I knew he was gay because Gus told me so, and also because he was wearing a tight black tank top, and also because his name is Superman. And also because straight men rarely touch other men they've just met in the small of their back or on their upper thigh.

Even though the club (which, despite being called "Bound", was not bondage themed) was filled with more white people than I had seen in a while, and even though they did play "Poker Face" and other certifiably American dance hits, it was absolutely the weirdest place I've been to in Guangzhou so far. One of the guys we were with worked at a modeling agency, and he said that most of the white women there were models from his agency who were hired by the club to make it seem less Chinese. So the bar was filled with attractive, bored-looking white women, middle-aged white businessmen out for a night on the town, and rich locals speaking English with each other because they're trying to party like Americans. Plus Superman's crew, which included us.

People say that eating clubs aren't like real life (which is bogus, by the way, because there's no apter metaphor for life on the outside than a "Shit That Glows" party where all they do is hand out twenty glowsticks and turn off the lights), but, when you live in China, real life isn't like real life, and all the hip bars are bizarre simulacra of an America which Everyone Knows is loads of fun. Welcome to my life, Jean Baudrillard.

At the bar last night, a guy next to me leaned over, smiled, and said, "this is pretty great, huh?" And I didn't know what to say, because it wasn't. On the other hand, he might have said, "this is pretty gay, huh?", which, let me tell you, the presence of Superman more or less single-handedly guaranteed.

Anyway, China. That's where I live now. This shit's still glowing.