Tuesday, December 06, 2005


Surely, I am being punished for something. I just don’t know what or by whom. Let me explain.

For the past week, I have had my very own pet stalker. He (I’m pretty sure it’s a ‘he’) calls my mobile from an unlisted number in the wee hours of the morning (from 4-7 a.m.) and says nothing when I pick up.

Absolutely nothing.

Even if there was some sort of heavy breathing, I would feel comforted. At least I would know that his stalker intentions were honourable. (And maybe I could record the breath patterns and send it to the CSIs in New York for analysis.) But it’s hard to read the intentions of dead silence. It could be a cry for help. It could be cowardice. It could be loss for words. It could be anything.

The amateur sleuth in me has tried listening hard for distinguishing background noise but to no avail. Not much goes on from 4 to 7 in the morning in Hong Kong, except for the little old men who are just waking up to gum away at their dim sum and read the newspaper. But they don’t make much discernible phone noise as you can imagine.

One of my male friends has offered to pick up the phone for me and answer in his most menacing voice, which would have been a good idea except for the fact he was probably trying to win a free night in my bed.

I’ve even tried outlasting my stalker i.e. picking up and saying nothing in return but it’s a boring game to play when you’re sleepy and I hang up pretty quickly. I mean if there’s anything you can say about this guy, it’s that he’s got commitment. He wakes up at 4 in the morning every night for a whole week to call me – most people would consider that a relationship.

In fact, just for that he deserves his own name on this blog. Let’s call him Whitney - because scary stalkers don’t have names like Whitney.

Sometimes Whitney is unpredictable and will call in the middle of the day. Same modus operandi though. I’m not sure what sort of pleasure he derives from hearing me say a normal hello (the “wanton sex goddess” hellos are reserved for special friends), but obviously he gets off on it. Maybe he needs a specialist. Or a good receptionist.

Anyway, I’m pretty much of the mind that Whitney is someone I know. My Hong Kong mobile number is only 3 months old and has not been previously owned. I’ve only given my number to people I know – and maybe a few people that I would like to get to know. But in the case of the latter, surely they would call and say something – like could we go for a drink or could we shag right now or something.

In particular, I have a hypothesis that Whitney is actually a guy I know called Max. It’s just a hunch and there’s no way to prove it. But if it is Max then at least I can put a face and a cock to my tormenter.

Max was the flavour of October (and maybe early November). I met him on the Mid-level escalators. He was a performance artist and he seduced me with a series of performances that can only be described politely as bizarre. (If you’re nice, I’ll tell you the full story later.) But it piqued my interest and we had a good time shagging our brains out for a few weeks.

Until he started getting really ‘sticky’. Of course Max's wacky sense of ‘sticky’ meant telling his friends loudly at a bar that he wanted sole proprietorship rights to my armpit and giving me a little piece of bunny fur for safekeeping until further notice. And sending me SMSes filled with what he claimed were subliminal messages like “love..”, “trust…”, “blossom…”.

I kid you not. This guy was seriously loopy and after a few weeks, even the sex was past its sell-by date.

Quite fortuitously around the time this was happening, I was due to take a trip for work to Malaysia and I did the predictably cruel thing, I told him I’d call him when I got back and never did. In fact, when I got back to Hong Kong two weeks later, I intentionally missed his calls and ignored his SMSes, most of which said: “miss you…”, “come over…”, “still awake…” anyway. (Of course I was tempted to respond in kind with messages like “freedom…”, “desist…”, “no hope…” but I figured that might open a can of subliminal worms, which is not my idea of fun.)

Yes, I know it’s not a nice thing to do to somebody. And yes, I have dated guys like that and I know how it feels. A part of me feels bad about leaving him hanging. But I confess, not soo bad that I want to call and broach the matter with him like a mature adult.

The trouble with being a Chinese female is that I suck at confrontation, especially with men. I hate disappointing people. I hate scenes. And in general, we Chinese (allusion to stereotype to follow, but bear with me) tend to think that the ‘cruel-to-be-kind’ approach is just well, cruel. If something in life can be negotiated through deft manipulation or with a certain amount of charming disingenuousness then so be it.

I am never actually dishonest with people, it’s just that if I can avoid saying the words: “I don’t want a relationship with you and I’m not interested in shagging you gratuitously any more. So please stop calling” then I will for as long as possible.

Besides most of the time, in the case of flings with finite lifespans, it’s considered good etiquette not to pursue things if one party stops calling. And in all manner of half-baked righteousness, I did stop calling Max and leave other universal Go-Away clues for him to find i.e. being unfailingly too busy to meet up and taking a holiday for an indefinite period of time. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to join the dots.

On a side note: I’d actually be quite happy to be on the receiving end of this as well. I’m not a sucker for punishment and actually I would rather not be sat down in a public place, bought a sympathy lunch and then told frankly that you've grown tired / bored / sick of shagging me. If you must let me down, then at least have the courtesy to ignore me. But I digress.

So back to the original point – I think Whitney might be Max. He would just have the most to gain from calling me up in the middle of the night – like knowing I was alive. And if both are one and the same, I would understand. Really, I would. After all, who am I to throw the first stone? (See my former post
"Loose Ends" for more insights into the criminal mind.)

I know a lot of you are thinking that the anonymous phonecalls are all the more incentive for me to call Max and sort things out. Except that I can’t be sure it’s him. And even if it is him, if he’s a smart stalker, he’ll have to keep up his calling habits to protect his identity. So all I can do is write about this and hope he gets tired of calling sooner or later.

Either way, my phone gets switched to Silent every night. So if you want a last-minute booty call, you’ll have to SMS. And only under those circumstances will messages like “shag tonight…”, “cum…”, “eat pussy…” be counted as acceptable forms of communication.