Time: 2004 Place: In a corner of West Kowloon Characters: Voice – the “inner voice” of various main characters Tze Seun Wong – real estate agent, about 50 yrs old, deals mainly with old run-down Chinese-style buildings Cindy – an extremely intelligent 28 yr-old young lady, with a mature sensuousness Jason – a college student, just turned 19, innocent with a sunny disposition Plus a small ensemble cast of ten which includes the roles of Owner, Prostitute, Colleague, Daughter, Garbage Lady etc.
The script is divided into two parts: “Voice” and “on stage.” When the Voice is speaking, even if there is no dialogue on stage there should still be constant activity.
(music begins) (lights up to reveal a practically empty stage) (in the corner of the stage stands the actor for the Voice, he observes from the sides every move made on stage) (a projection reads: “Mr. Wong”) (Mr. Wong stands on stage stiffly facing the audience, as if he were being observed)
Voice: My name is Wong. I am a real estate agent. (he picks up the phone and speaks into it)
Wong: (on the phone) Maple Street . . . Wa Hing Building . . . Right, no problem. (hangs up) (Wong walks across the stage, as if he had been walking and crossing streets for some time)
Voice: On the twelfth of May of 2004, at 8:40pm, I received a phone call. A man asked me to release an apartment for rent. (the crowd starts moving and turns into a corner of the city, but the distance between the crowd and Wong is abstract)
Wong: (on the phone again) Sure sure! Oh you’re there already? So wait for me in the foyer, no problem.
Voice: After the incident I thought, that night if I’d insisted on telling him I was off for the day, he wouldn’t have looked for me. (After Wong walks a little way, he “arrives” at the building foyer. A man waits for him) (The distance between them is meant to be far in an abstract sense)
Wong: (extends his hand in a gesture for a handshake) Mr. Chan right? How are ya, call me Wong. (Wong offers him a business card, Mr. Chan’s mouth opens and closes but we can’t hear a thing)
Voice: If he hadn’t asked for me, then everything that followed wouldn’t have happened.
Wong: No problem no problem, it’s not late at all, no I wasn’t about to pack up, don’t be silly! Let’s go up and take a look. (Mr. Wong moves into an elevator, the ensemble moves furniture around so that the stage resembles a living room)
Voice: This owner, like all owners, thought his flat was worth a whole lot of money.
Wong: Three thousand bucks? It’s not even two hundred square feet . . .
Voice: Who’s going to be a big enough sucker to rent from you?
Wong: Mm . . . well, no, if it’s neat and clean there’ll still be takers . . . (he leaves the elevator, steps into the “living room”) (the spare stage is dotted with a bed and several chairs, resembling an abandoned shell of an apartment)
Voice: A flat of a hundred or so square feet, they’ve even dared to wall off a bedroom and a living room.
Wong: Oh . . . no no no, all one-bedrooms look like this . . .
Voice: No one wants to land this kind of a dump.
Wong: People nowadays are definitely going to try to wrangle a bargain, have you planned for a little leeway?
Voice: He didn’t answer me, he just kept on harping about how great this place was.
Wong: Oh, really? The previous renters even left behind some furniture . . .
Voice: No shit, who’d want to keep those pieces of crap?
Wong: Alright then. (gets ready to leave)
Voice: I’d always avoided crappy deals like these.
Wong: If you don’t mind my asking, have you tried looking for other real estate?
Voice: I suddenly realized this place wasn’t as bad as I’d thought. Wong: Oh? You don’t have a second set of keys?
Voice: Because he was going to give me the only set of keys.
Wong: Well that makes sense, seeing as you’d have to change the locks anyway. Okay then, I’ll go back to the office to finish up the paperwork. (Wong leaves first, leaving behind the lights of the empty flat)
Voice: There are a ton of old Chinese style flats in the area around Ferry Street, normally one flat will be converted into several suites, then rented off piecemeal at rock bottom prices. Once in a while when dealing with these old flats, I’ll encounter owners who don’t care what happens to their property. It’s not the first time it’s happened. (Lights change, Wong escorts someone else up to the flat who again stands apart at an abstract distance away from Wong)
Wong: It’s deathly quiet around here, perfect for people like you who need peace and quiet to write. I’ve found this place especially for you-I like to think of it as knowing your client’s needs.
Voice: As a real estate agent, it’s a necessary talent to be able to exaggerate the good and hide the bad. (Wong brings other people to see the flat, a dude with a dyed blond ‘do)
Wong: All the residents around here are total party animals, it’s perfect for you and your bandmates’ wild parties. I’ve found this place especially for you-I like to think of it as knowing your client’s needs.
Voice: Also, you have to forget about what you’re actually saying and pretend like it’s all true. (there are still other people enquiring about the flat, they seem to be a newly immigrated family of three)
Wong: There are tons of young couples around here, it’s perfect for your family of three. I’ve found this place especially for you-I like to think of it as knowing your client’s needs. (they seem to be protesting that the flat is too crowded)
Wong: Crowded? It’s not crowded at all! It’s good for family relations, better than those thousand-some square foot flats, where the husband is screwing another woman in the bedroom while the wife is in the living room! With this flat you definitely won’t have this problem . . .
Voice: I knew from the very first that if the owner refused to reduce the rent, absolutely no one would rent this place. But it doesn’t matter, I was the only agent for this place, with the only set of keys to the door. Better for me if it never gets taken. (Wong returns with a prostitute in tow)
Wong: This is my place. It’s not bad huh? (Prostitute seems unhappy)
Voice: Why are you making that face? Stop pretending like you hate it, do you just want more dough?
Wong: What if I threw in another fifty bucks? (she immediately “provides service” while he enjoys it)
Voice: I even saved a few bucks by not paying by the hour . . .
Wong: Sure, go ahead and shower first, I’ll be waiting for you on the bed. (Prostitute goes off to shower immediately)
Voice: The only regret I have is that the bathroom’s too small for us to fool around together in. (Wong stands outside the bathroom door and speaks to the prostitute)
Wong: Hey! Do you want a banana flavored one or strawberry? What? Like you? Of course I like you! How about if you came around every weekend for a banging session?
Voice: Are you retarded? I’d be an idiot to stick with you with all the whores running around!
Wong: My wife? Who says I have one? Want to come back with me to be my little wifey-poo?
Voice: She took off after giving birth to my daughter! Are you happy now?
Wong: Oh wait! Whoa, there’s chocolate too! I’m opening the chocolate one for you. (Wong gets on the bed and begins taking off his clothes, puts his clothes and condoms on the bedside table)
Voice: The twenty-eighth of May, 2004, eleven-thirty at night. I’d already lost count of how many times I’d brought chicks up to the flat. (As Wong is taking off his clothes, the doorbell suddenly rings)
Wong: Motherfuck! (The doorbell rings again. Wong stares at the door, unsure of what to do)
Voice: Should I open the door?
Wong: Shit, now I’m screwed!
Voice: Pretend like there’s no one home. Whoever it is, he doesn’t have a key, just pretend like there’s no one home. (Wong goes back to his bed and stares at the door)
Voice: But if he saw someone coming and going out of here just now, and no one answers, he’ll probably suspect something . . . (Wong rationalizes a bit, and the doorbell rings again)
Wong: Wait a second! (The doorbell doesn’t ring anymore, and Wong goes near the doorway)
Voice: Maybe it’s the owner Mr Chan. I have to come up with a good reason for being here. I can’t let him know I’ve brought a broad home, I’ve been in the business for more than two decades, I can’t give my place a bad name . . .
Wong: Who is it?
Voice: I drew the door chain, I can’t let him in . . .
(Wong opens the door to find Cindy standing outside)
(At this time the audience must not know her identity, we must only see her from the back)
Wong: Uh . . . can I help you?
Voice: A woman was standing outside the door. She said she was the previous resident, she now lives near here and saw the light on from her apartment, and thought someone was in so she came over.
Wong: Oh, really? So what do you want?
Voice: I can’t let her in.
Wong: Oh really, you left your bed here?
Voice: The chick’s finished showering, she’s about to come out!
Wong: . . . your bed . . .
Voice: I can’t let her in!
Wong: (a thought flashes) I chucked it. Yeah, I already have a bed of my own, so when I moved in a few days ago I just threw your bed out.
Voice: Well said.
Wong: Why, is your bed that important?
Voice: From the look on her face, it certainly seemed like she was really worried about the bed.
Wong: Uh . . . I didn’t open the drawers underneath, no . . .
Voice: She said she had left some really important things in the built-in drawers underneath the bed . . .
Wong: I took the whole bed to the trash station downstairs, I didn’t think to look inside the drawers. Maybe you should try to look through the trash, I threw it away two days ago so maybe no one’s gone and cleaned it yet? (Cindy looks at Wong, reacts suspisciously to him)
Wong: The pine-colored one with the three drawers, yeah I know, I already said I put it in the trash collection station around the corner downstairs . . . maybe if you leave me your phone number, I can call you if it turns up. (Cindy takes out a piece of paper and writes down her number)
Wong: Thanks. (Cindy thanks him and turns to leave) (Wong looks at her leaving and closes the door)
Voice: I need to get the hell out of here with the broad NOW. (Wong enters the flat, takes two steps. The prostitute comes out of the bathroom with only a towel)
Voice: Why are you still here? (Wong is suddenly aroused)
Wong: Wait a second, I just told her I’d moved in-so if I bolted right now and she comes back to find an empty flat, wouldn’t that be suspicious? (The prostitute sits on the bed and watches Wong)
Voice: That’s why I might as well do it now. Wong: For sure. (Wong turns toward the prostitute on the bed)
Voice: After I’d calmed down, I thought back to the girl from just now-she was surprisingly hot. Even though she was wearing house clothes, I could see pretty clearly that she had a great figure. And even though she’s not as young as these call girls, I’m quite sure that she’d be just as feisty in bed. (Wong goes to the prostitute, lies on the bed and is “serviced”, but in an abstract fashion of course)
Voice: She lived alone here before. I bet sometimes, her boyfriend would come up here, and they would do it on this bed. I suddenly felt especially excited. Wong: Why don’t you try to keep quiet. (She lies on the bed and he fantasizes that she’s Cindy)
Voice: I started to visualize that chick while I was banging that whore, and I really wanted to do it with her so I started fantasizing about her. Do you really like your bed? Come on, let’s do it in your bed, come on . . . (lights dim)
Voice: When you’re hogging someone else’s rental space, it’s better than going by the hour with some girl cuz you can stay overnight, without a morning call. (lights up, it’s daylight. Wong wakes up alone in the bed) Voice: When I woke up this morning the chick had already left, how can you beat this awesome feeling? (he gets up and dresses)
Voice: the only pity is that the Cindy chick may have seen through my crashing here, so I don’t think I can come here as often anymore. Shit, why the hell did she have to come back even after she moved out? I had to bitch her out for bothering me about those dumb drawers . . . (Suddenly he looks at the drawers under the bed)
Voice: She said there was something really important there that she left inside the drawers. (Wong goes to the drawers)
Voice: If I gave it back to her, and demanded she do me in exchange for whatever it is, would she be up for it? (Wong thinks about it, smiles lecherously and opens the drawers. He takes out some clothes)
Wong: Fuckin’ a! It’s just clothes, why the hell was she so anxious. Fuckin’ women. (he takes out some men’s clothes and a pair of boxers)
Wong: Wah, no wonder she bolted so fast, she must’ve been scared that she’d get caught for these raunchy things! (Wong takes out an opened box of condoms, pours out a few)
Voice: Nice, there are definitely some sketchy things in here. I have to really dig deep and dirty to make her bang me. (he violently throws everything out of the drawer)
Voice: Here it is. (He takes out a manila envelope)
Voice: There’s a manila envlope with a stack of papers inside, plus a video tape. All the papers are print outs of emails. I noticed that all the receivers were the same but all the senders were different. The most interesting part about it was that all the content was exactly the same: Dear little grey wolf, then it says a different address, and a big grey bear signs off.
(Pause. The crowd moves again: Wong is walking on the city streets)
Voice: I knew that this tape, and this stack of papers, contained some highly concealed secret.
Wong: Where should I put this?
Voice: Either give it to the owner and tell him to give it to the girl, or throw it out and pretend you never saw it.
Wong: I’m such a good person, I’ll just give it back to her.
Voice: What’s in it for you if you did that?
Wong: Nothing . . .
Voice: Didn’t you think it was really annoying of her to come up here unannounced last night?
Wong: Yeah, [as if talking to her] if you weren’t that annoying, I could consider giving it back to you.
Voice: So don’t’ give it back to her.
Wong: I’ll just chuck it.
Voice: What’s in it for you if you chuck it?
Wong: . . . So I should blackmail her?
Voice: Do you even know what these things are?
Wong: Uh . . . I’ll pretend that I know, I’ll pretend that I know everything about her to force her to go to bed with me.
Voice: Blackmail her into sleeping with you? Really?
Wong: Uh . . . well I could just blackmail her into giving me several thousand dollars to keep my mouth shut.
Voice: You don’t even know what kind of a person she is, it could be pretty risky.
Wong: (considering) hmm . . .
Voice: The best way to handle it is to just give everything back to her. (Lights change, the crowd changes the set into Wong’s real estate agency office)
Voice: Since I slept really well, I went straight back to the office. (he starts to work at his desk)