Beijing by Philip Gambone

By Philip Gambone

Escaping his ghosts, AIDS widower David Masiello accepts a one-year place at a Western scientific health facility in Beijing. Lonely yet excited, he units out to discover the city—both its bustling highway existence and its clandestine homosexual way of life.     David chronicles his adventures in China as he wrestles with cultural dislocation, loneliness, and sexual and religious longing. After a sequence of either comedian and poignant encounters with homosexual chinese language males, he meets Bosheng, a good-looking younger artist. even though the appeal is robust, a tricky courtship ensues, in which Bosheng returns to his ancestral village to marry the lady his mom and dad have selected for him. finally, and fairly by surprise, David and Bosheng reconnect and proportion an idyllic spring jointly. because the 12 months ends, David needs to make a decision no matter if to assert so long or face the uncertainties of a long-distance courting.     Gambone’s novel is peopled with a bunch of splendidly memorable characters: Owen, David’s forthright ally again domestic; Auntie Chen, the clinic’s place of work mother, who desires to repair David up with a female friend; Stewart, David’s Beijing roommate, a graduate scholar doing study on Peking opera; Jiantao and Guoyang, fanatics who lecture David at the fleeting caliber of yank romance; and Tyson, the Australian physician with a chinese language female friend, who hopes to educate David that love doesn’t want any causes or justifications.

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Okay, so we work five minutes more, then stop. ” She fired a list at me: happy, airport, country, friend, goodbye. I got them all. “Hen hao! I think you arrive in Beijing speaking good Chinese. You know lots of words. Can make many sentences. ” I thought about all the things I could say in Chinese: The airport is not far from the city. I am happy to come to your country. Where is the post office? But these phrases seemed so thin, so sanitized, the stuff for ten-day tourists, not me. The week before, I had tried looking up “homosexual” and “gay” in my pocket dictionary, but they weren’t listed.

I was eager to ditch him and get to bed. “Please, I will show you to room,” Winston said. I protested, even daring to suggest—and here I turned and smiled again at the desk clerk—that perhaps he could show me to my room. But Winston insisted. He gestured to the elevator across the lobby—clearly he knew his way around—picked up my bag, the heavier one this time, and walked me over. As I got inside, I turned to get one more glimpse of the darling night boy, but he had already disappeared. As we went up in the elevator, I read one of the flyers that had been taped to the walls.

Maybe it was the official types, like tour leaders and business people, who were being let through the customs barriers to meet their parties. It seemed that Winston Zhou should fall into this category, too. He was, my instructions said, the son of one of the staff members at the clinic where I was to take up work. Relax, I told myself. You’re having an adventure. Worse comes to worst, you can always take a cab into the city and spend the night in a hotel. But what was the word for “hotel”? There had seemed no reason to learn this word with Mrs.

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