Thursday, January 13, 2011

Abattoir on wheels

Try for a moment to imagine my horror at seeing this last night:

Here's a closer look:

You can't imagine, can you? Because with rare exceptions, none of us have seen a moving murder scene before, or even evidence of a murder.

You can imagine this though: A young man and woman are arguing in a subway, who knows about what. The woman is shrieking hysterical. The man is embarrassed beyond words so he stonewalls her with his stare. And passersby are craning their heads, walking into walls looking at this couple. They make no judgments, they simply stare.

Back at their one-room flat in Shuangjing, just as they get in the door and she's calmed down somewhat, he rips a backhand across her face and says, "Don't you dare embarrass me like that in public." She is stunned momentarily, but she collects her bearings and picks herself up and coos very gently, "What are you going to do, you dickless excuse of a man?" Now this really sets him off. In a huff he's at the kitchen counter -- it's a small room, so he's there in two steps -- and picking up the first blade he sees, a vegetable knife. He pins her against the wall and he's looking at her with crazy eyes and trying his best to act menacing but something in her eyes takes him aback. He hesitates. Of course he has to say something -- his manhood has been challenged -- but suddenly he's lost his will. He offers: "I'm going to cut you, you bitch!"

She laughs at him. Only laughs, nothing more. And he can already feel his blood bubbling over the brim when she then points and laughs at him. So he says, "You think I won't do it? You think I won't?" The blade is right up against her throat now, he has her hand on her chin, and he notices two things just then: the way her eyes have become two-dimensional, all depth risen to the surface like the earliest amphibian testing its legs; and her neck, milky white and hot to the touch. He loses grip of her face. She folds her chin down onto the blade and her eyes go bloodshot.

You don't need me to describe what happens next. He's now the one who's hysterical. Blood's everywhere. Her eyes are still open. He chokes on his breath and can't do anything but scream and scream and scream.

An hour later -- or several hours, who knows anymore -- he collects himself. He wipes the blood from the door so that it doesn't arouse suspicion from passersby. That's what he's thinking: can't let people walking by my door know anything. He realizes what he needs to do: dispose the body.

So he carries her over his shoulder like a hunk of meat to his van and stuffs her in and just starts driving. Just driving. He isn't paying attention, he's just going. And he hits Third Ring Road and there's nasty traffic and he doesn't know why but he's already there, cars in front and behind and to both sides, and what can he do but breathe, just in and out, just stare ahead and breathe and keep driving down this immaculate, newfangled, latter-day city of sinners and saviors and strangers bathed in orange and white, and the smiling pedicab driver, the grizzled chuar dealer, the reptile-skinned canal cleaner, the spectacled office worker, the chubby bus conductor, the well-heeled nightwalker, the bright-eyed bar-hopper, they are all looking at him now, grinning or grimacing or not doing anything, just watching and waiting to see what he will do next because every possibility is open.

The accident on Third Ring Road that caused traffic to get backed up from Hujialou to Guanghua Lu, just south of Guomao. Traffic... sigh.


Liz said...

okay.. you're freaking me out. (also, if you notice on the longer shot of the van, it looks like there's red leaking from the side door as well!!)

The Tao said...