Aside from a student trying to seduce me, today was rather unremarkable. As such, I believe it reasonable to speak solely of the aforementioned seduction.
The student lives nearby and, after forcing an abysmal bowl of porridge upon me, has earned my irredeemable ire. Somehow, the little seductress managed to tick off all of my eccentricities. Where once I thought her, never a friend, a diligent student, now I see her only as a nuisance.
Thankfully, she is just a student, not one of my students.
It began with a lock. It was Chinese and thus had broken not a month after its purchase, leaving me wanting outside. I was helpless, and I might have been forced to sleep outside of my door if not for her help. At the time, I was not even sure if she was a student, and being neighbors, I did not think it odd to give her my WeChat username (an app for messages).
I have added (been added, in truth) hundreds of students to my WeChat since, though I speak with all but… none. I have earned the ire of many for ignoring calls and messages over the years. I doubt that will change with China.
In any case, when the time came that I wanted to equip my kitchen, I turned to her. She was my neighbor, after all. I wanted to know where I could buy forks and knives, pots and pans. Well, I am not sure if it was optimism or the expectation of Chinese subtly, but she took the questions as an invitation to go shopping with me. One of the reasons my kitchen remains unequipped is because, instead of telling me where to go, she wanted to show me.
The idea did little to dazzle me. Laziness has kept me from asking others.
The question bred conversations, and I have no qualms talking with students. I teach Business English. Speaking (and in this case typing) English is my job!
I thought her insistence to show me simple kindness before an incident one night two months past. Three consecutive calls from students, the fact that they had my number surprising enough, asking if I was all right, asking where I was. Well, I was rather new to China (and the school) and found it all rather queer, though I was more anxious about their concern than anything else.
The students had trouble explaining to me why they had called, or at the very least, I had trouble understanding their explanations. When I returned home, however, I learned that she had somehow contacted my students and had informed them that I was not home, that I had to be lost somewhere in Guangzhou.
As you can imagine, I found this both demeaning and infuriating.
The food came next.
I mentioned that I was full after a large meal, her having asked me if I was hungry over WeChat. It was a lie, but the question seemed to either precede an invitation to eat together or home-cooking. I wanted to avoid both.
Well, the best laid plans often go awry. She brought me food some five minutes later. I forget what it was, but I did not invite her in, and she did not have the gall to enter uninvited.
Time passed, more dishes were brewed and brought, and one night she found the audacity to come inside uninvited. Her wardrobe, while more than a string, was unarguably inappropriate for a nighttime visit to the grown man’s apartment nearby. Unfortunately, I am rather the pushover when it comes to politeness (to an extent). For example, a month ago, I spent five hours entertaining two students who would not take a hint; they had come to invite me to go hiking with the school later in the week.
I could not bring myself to tell her, “out!” Instead, I opened all of the blinds and informed her that I was busy looking for gifts to buy for my family for Christmas. I settled down on one of the wooden abominations in the living room (hah!) and tried to ignore her.
Let her remember where the door was!
Well, perhaps it would have been wiser not to mention Christmas shopping. She took the seat beside me, much to my frustration, and began to question me about the gifts.
Now, it was in this moment that, in my mind, she went from unusually kind to seductress.
She leaned over, all the better to see my laptop’s monitor. Well, to get such a view she was forced to push her chest in my face and herself centimeters away. Rather than lust, I could feel only frustration beginning to build.
Now, some of you might be thinking, “Is this man some kind of homosexual? The girl is pushing her chest in his face. How can he be getting bothered, but not flustered?”
Well, you must understand that this is China. I do not mean to generalize, but while the girl was acting rather immodest, her endowments were without the prefix. Even with them pushed in my face, there was not much to get excited over.
I was forced to endure this intrusion of my personal space for longer than I care to mention. I browsed Amazon (I would later learn that I did not have an international bank card), supplied her with brusque answers, and waited.
Ever since that “refusal”, our interactions have been minute. It was only today’s attempt that reminded me of this… unpleasantness.
Returning home from dinner, I heard someone call my name from up the stairs. She appeared as a head a moment later. I did not understand her at first, but it turned out that she was alone. Her roommates were not home. There was nothing else. All she had to say and convey was that she was alone. I suggested she go to sleep with a forced laugh and slipped inside.
Now, I have taken to eating oranges, but I am a complete buffoon, and I do not know how to properly prepare them. I often inadvertently turn the slices to mush as I free them from their bondage. My apartment being no stranger to roaches and ants, I do not eat inside (or nearby, if possible). No, I brought the orange and a trash bin outside and set about peeling.
I was halfway through the orange when she called to me from the story above, each apartment having a small balcony. Perhaps my thoughts (those 1,066 words above) are to blame, but I swear I heard her say, “I want you.” Whatever she said, I responded with ignorance, “I am eating an orange!”
When she replied that she wanted to eat oranges with me, I called to her, forlorn, that there were none left.