It was a cold evening in Beijing Dec 2007. Very very cold. So cold that I was trembling in my corset dress. I was with my friends in an open coffee shop of a five star hotel.
The evening was perfect except for the freezing weather. I placed an order for some Shiraz wine to keep myself warm.
A tall white hunk dressed in a grey suit walked up to me. For a moment, I thought he was going to buy me a drink. While I was still imagining, the cool dude, who was now right across the table introduced himself as the General Manager of the hotel, and asked me if all was well.
Before I could respond, he leaned forward and whispered, ‘Shawl’? I nodded with a mischievous smile. With two shawls wrapped up around me and a glass of vintage Japanese wine,I was beginning to experience perfect bliss.
The handsome manager excused himself to attend to some regular meetings. My friends, who were nonexistent to me for a brief while, suddenly seemed lively and amusing entities.
The table looked beautiful with Japanese wine, a cheese platter, some stir fried prawns and potatoes, sweet corn and garlic mushrooms. I was giggling, laughing, drinking, eating – all at the same time. Betwixt all this, there was something buzzing that caught my attention.
It was my Blackberry! The number flashing on the screen of my phone was not on my address book. And so, I did the usual, which is to ignore. The caller kept calling. I assumed it would stop sooner or later. But it did not. At this point in time, I was irritated and curious.
I decided to speak to the unknown caller who was desperately seeking my attention. Who knows, might be my Prince. Naughtily laughing.
The desperate caller said, ‘Hello Miss Sophia’.
I was patiently waiting for the caller to go on. He said, he was an avid fan and, requested that I speak to him for a few minutes. I did not interrupt him.
He asked me how the experience of being a transgender now became a full-blown ” Sophisticated Woman”.
I said, ‘Quite challenging’.
He asked me to elaborate on some of the highlights. I refused to do so as I did not want to revisit memories filled with hurt, pain, remorse and resentment.
I then took a piece of gigantic prawn from the platter which was staring at me for quite some time. It felt as though it was seducing me, ‘Don’t just stare at me, taste me. I’m worth it’. So, I put the fried prawn gently into my mouth.
While the gigantic prawn was still in my mouth, the journo popped his next question, ‘Do you use human sperm as facial care regimen?
I did not react. I thought I misunderstood him. I said with my mouth wide open, struggling to chew the prawn, ‘Hmm that’s something’? I’m eating prawn, not oyster.
He repeated his question. It was the same! How could it be the same!! Maybe, I was hearing strange things. Maybe this is what happens when one lives caged in a society where you embraced charms and attention.
Just then, the fried prawn in my mouth slipped into my food pipe. I guess I must have swallowed it. My reaction was involuntary. It was truly beyond my hormonal control. Seeing me choke, my girlfriends offered me water, wine, any liquid on the table that they could lay their hands on. I gulped my glass of wine, which was half full. I was feeling better now and was getting ready to continue my conversation with the journo.
I said to him, ‘Ahhh….what do you mean exactly’?
He extensively discussed that a new research described the human sperm as the new generation cure for acne, wrinkle, ageing and skin face problem. I was speechless.
I said, ‘Really’?
He said, ‘That’s right’.
I was confuzzled. Since when did human sperms become the new age cosmetic cream? Aren’t sperms meant for procreation? And, if the girl doesn’t wish to get pregnant and is not on birth control pills, the guy disposes the sperms in a condom, a trash bin, a toilet or any place else. At least, that’s what I thought.
The fan reminded me of the question again, as though, asking it once was not good enough. I panicked. I didn’t know what to say.
The only two options that were clearly visible to me were – ‘Yes, the research is absolutely right. I have known this for quite a few eyars. I had severe acne during my early 20s. And I applied my boyfriend’s sperms. It worked! Trust me on that’ or, are you insane?
I could feel my heart beat faster. I was never, in my whole 25 years on Planet Earth ever asked a question as frightening as this. My hands reached into my Louis Vuitton clutch to look for some anti-anxiety pills which I seldom carry. There were none. I had to overcome this fear. Fear of what people think.
I said to him in a calm tone, ‘Are you kidding dear’?
Journo answered no. He asked me to be honest.
Frankly, he caught me at a bad time. Didn’t he know honesty was not a virtue any more, if he did catch me on the beach surrounded by men in trunks- possibly I play full back Definitely not with something about human sperms with gigantic prawn and cheese platter on our table!
I wanted to hang up on him right away. I had not planned on spending my evening thinking about sperms. That was certainly not why I visited my British doctor in China.
I realized that I had to give an answer. Dumb, stupid, bold, boggle, idiotic, addle any kind that seemed like an answer. I started composing my thoughts to give an articulate response.
Behold, the words came out, “I’m cumming soon!” If human sperms are clearly better than any anti-wrinkle and anti-ageing creams or even better than collagen botox, I shall use them; maybe in the future, but surely after I cross half century. I hope I have a man in my life then with a healthy sperm count. It’s a great money saving scheme. Xie xie’.
The avid fan seemed quite pleased with the quote. He wished me good night without bothering me anymore. I was relieved.
I felt like a baby doll assassin returning victorious from the battle field. What a victory!! My girlfriends waved at me from the buffet counter not knowing what the human sperms did to me during those fifteen minutes. Smize.