SUZIE LAM SCORNS THE HAPPY MARRIAGE DATING AGENCY
Apartment 44B, Victoria Court, Tsim Tsa Tsui, Hong Kong
Twenty-something Suzie Lam, my dirty-weekend fling, tells me identity is a fickle
thing, says everyone grows up wanting to be a cowboy or an astronaut, when all we
really need is to cross a river without getting wet. Suzie wiggles her black-nail-polish
toes and spoons herself Hšagen-Dazs straight from the tub.
For some reason she likes to eat in bed.
If you donít know who you are how can you go find a husband who can walk straight
on two feet? When you want to grow up, youíve got to shed your skin. Yes, Iíve
become quite a snake she says, and hisses. In my case it was a shabby straw hat,
parents who couldnít write or read and a cat named Ding Dong who was afraid of
mice. In Szechuan everything trembles beneath your feet so thereís nothing really to
stand on. Hong Kong, on the other hand, is built on promises.
Now thereís a dribble of ice cream on her chin and Iíd love to lick it right off, only I
know she wouldnít go for that.
I used to keep a diary, all my history narrowed down to a thin disguise. Now only
whatís still to come serves a purpose. At the dating agency thereís no such thing
as a happy marriage. Normally the men arrive in a taxi, sometimes with a bunch
of peonies, hair greased back into a quip. They know if Iím not interested, I just tell
them letís just be friends then. Iíve never finished a single date.
She licks her fingers, fluffs her pillow and stares at the fan on the ceiling.
The QQ Chat Service is an excellent thing, the internet draws a higher class of men.
Most Chinese marriages are not built on love, you know, but Iím not willing to
compromise, not just yet.
Besides, I know youíd never leave your wife.
Marc Vincenz was born in Hong Kong to British-Swiss parents. He lived and worked in Shanghai
for many years running an industrial design company. More recently, he moved to Iceland where he
works as a freelance journalist and literary critic. He is Poetry Editor for the international webzine
Mad Hatters' Review and is a member of the editorial board of the Boston-based Open Letters Monthly.
His poetry has been published widely. Recent work has appeared in MŲbius, The Poetry Magazine,
Poetry Salzburg Review, Nth Position, elimae and Ducts Journal. His latest chapbook, Upholding Half the Sky,
was released by MiPOesias, and is available from MagCloud.