By Tony Parsons
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Extra info for One For My Baby
You look at someone you have never met before and you recognise them. That’s all. You just recognise them. Then it begins. Rose suddenly slapped the table. “Oh, wait a minute,” she laughed. ” It shouldn’t have worked. Her friends all thought she was too good for me and her friends were right. Rose was a Hong Kong Island girl. I was a Kowloon side guy. She had a career. I had a job. She had dinner in the China Club surrounded by big shots. I had Tsingtao in Lan Kwai Fong surrounded by my fellow small fry.
Open evenings at the Princess Diana would find me confronted by all these burly bruisers with scowling faces and livid tattoos. And that was just the mothers. I was sick of it. Sick and tired. ” Tired of teaching Romeo and Juliet to kids who laughed when one of the Shakespeareans at the back inflated a condom while we were doing the balcony scene. Sick and tired of trying to explain the glory and wonder of the English language to children who poured “fuck”, “fucking” and “fucked” over their words like ketchup in a burger bar.
Rose took me beyond the lights. As she did so, she turned affection into something more. For Hong Kong. And for her. She took me to a temple behind Central where everything was red and gold and the air was choked with incense as little old ladies burned fake money in huge stone drums. Through the perfumed mist you could just about make out two brass deer gleaming on the altar. “For longevity,” Rose said, and when I think about Rose talking about longevity now, it makes me want to weep. Back in the days we thought would never end, she took me to places where I would never have gone without her.
One For My Baby by Tony Parsons