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2003-04-13 - 10:26 p.m.

j-9. i may end up writing a lot about her so i will give her code now. j-9, who i could not read at all that friday night. j-9, who also works for CCTV in chinese. j-9, who casually swapped mobile numbers with me like pretty girls do in a bar. j-9, who called me the next morning and began and even more delightful chapter in beijing.

solar, after running in sun park on sunday morning, was high on adrenaline. the good stuff. i packed some cd's, some chinese outfits, a little insecurity, and headed over to j-9's for a photo shoot she asked me to do. the taxi took me to houhai, the only real neighborhood in the city. unbelievable old style chinese houses. one level. wrapping around tree-filled courtyards. picture miniature versions of the palaces you see in kung fu movies. and the streets here were tiny and winding and bragging of secrets behind every smiling dragon.

j-9 welcomed me into her home and i was introduced to the other model and that model's beaux, and axle, j-9's adorable french room mate. they all sat under a newly blooming tree in the courtyard as the other model was getting made-up. the leaf shadows sprinkled all over the faces of those before me and i thought maybe someone slipped something in my drink. to the left of the delectable french boy sat a black motorcycle with gold stars and a sidecar. his. have my baby now. j-9 was old-school tribe. instantly. she made me feel naked and welcome and i fell in love with her immediately. how did i miss that on friday?

another french woman joined us for the shoot with a boyfriend who, even according to her, looked exactly like the one in amelie. there were two photographers, one chinese and one from new york, now living in beijing. he wore a green bandana aound his brilliant little 50-something year old head and i called him bandito. he used a polaroid about two inches away from my overly made-up face. we enjoyed each other terribly. he too had a sidecar and i made him promise me a ride. am i in a sidecar tribe? well, since i have the crazy hair, i got to do the crazy poses. we hooked up a huge fan in front of the motorcycle and i got to pretend ride. i am so pretend cool, it's ridiculous. an then we walked around the neighborhood. the sun was unreal. there was a ton of small construction jobs going on, seeming to be rebuilding palaces. the architecture was exquisite with grey stone walls, multicolor sweeping rooves, and rust red doors with brass lion knockers. people watched us. our contrast. our entourage. our smiling eyes.

j-9 and i were making jokes that everyone got. they told me to raise my arms like and angle. they meant angel but i stuck with 90 degrees. and i told j-9 she was my angle. 360 degrees.

upon returning to the house, i was filled with the kind of peace that hits you the first time you ever took ecstacy. the one that washes over your whole deafening reality and calmly says...shhhhh.

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