Umů He doesn't know what to say next. Once again he raises
glass to lips, rim to bridge of nose. When he brings it down, he sees
that what he assumed was a tank top is the top half of a one-piece
bathing suit. About her waist is a feathery-light banner with the
burgundy and gold colors of Lucky Star beer.
I'm working at the restaurant tonight, she says, eyes narrowed
in amusement. You're enjoying this, C.J. thinks.
I see, he says. He was at such a restaurant when he first arrived
in Taipei and was introduced to Allen. A set of nubile young women
were lined up at the front door, dressed in matching red swimsuits,
still short even in their four-inch platform shoes, handing out keychains
and placemats for the beer companies, not even allowing themselves
smiles as they greeted visitors, for a smile might be sending the
Why do you work there? he asks. Do you need the money?
She shrugs. Just something to do. Like what you do for Allen.
Is it the same?
She laughs. You're strange. Very American.
He doesn't ask her if that's a good thing. More American than
Allen? he asks.
Allen? She puffs in her cheeks in consideration. Allen is
very American. And very Chinese. Very everything. You're wet.
What? The CD player in the next room is on shuffle, and Stevie
Wonder's "Sirduke" is up. The sudden belch of