大概晚上十一点钟,男人冲进大楼, 她跟随在后。先是电梯,然后,在楼上,另一个男人,身穿西服。第一个走廊,漫长且狭窄,我们透过玻璃门偷窥几伙年轻人 —— 卡拉OK。走廊的尽头是楼顶,深夜黢黑。被身后巨大的形意图霓虹灯照明,一队身穿迷你裙的女人正准备借用第二条走廊。她说真好,一间舞会。她进入了第二条走廊,和第一条一模一样。假如这只是几扇门,不透光线的,戴对讲耳机的守卫在前面竖立着。一扇后门,队伍停了下来。一个守卫,女人们一个接一个,没收手机。门微微开启,三个粗壮的男人。我抓紧他的胳膊,老板们。

另一日,在电梯里。商人西尔维奥递给她一张卡。一到房间,她给他写了一封邮件,她觉得钱不够多。晚些日子,一天早晨,她收到接待处打来的电话。他留下了一个信封,一些钞票,三百人民币,总共四十三点六二美元。她笑了。

另一日她说,

我一直想要变得美丽。

it’s maybe eleven o’clock at night. a man disappears into a building and she follows. an elevator ride, another floor and another man in a suit. down the first, long, narrow corridor, groups of young people sing karaoke behind glass doors. at the end of the corridor - the rooftop, it’s dark out. backlit by giant neon ideograms, a line of girls in micro-dresses queue up for the second corridor. yes, a dance party, she says. she takes the corridor, identical to the first, but for the opaque doors and bouncers with headsets stationed in front. the line of girls stops outside the last door. a bouncer takes each girl’s telephone one by one. through a gap in the door - three large men. i grab her arm, let’s go.

another day in the elevator a business man, sylvio, hands her his card. back in the room, she writes him an email, she thinks we don’t have enough money. later, one morning, she gets a call from reception. he’d left an envelope with notes, 300 renminbi, 43.62 dollars in total. she laughs.

another day she says,

i always wanted to be beautiful.

☈ paper version