Fire and Wolf Share a Fondness for Male Beauty
Fire went to Miami and “married” a young Miami white fellow. They gave birth to a mixed-race “surrogate” boy by mixing their sperm in a test tube. They were preparing to have a second child using the same method. Fire’s mom set out on a journey all the way from Circle City across both the Pacific Ocean and Gulf of Mexico to arrive in Miami. She was ready to take on the role of grandma and childcare worker, in Circle City style, of the Miami children—the one that was already born and the one that was about to be born. She hoped that the temperature of her gender could warm her grandson’s boring and monotonous life. Poor grandson. Neither of his monogender parents came with soft, plump breasts or abundant breast milk.
Wolf went to Moscow. At this point, he was living with a sickly young Uzbek boy. Wolf trafficked fashionable furs from Circle City to the Russian capital and had earned quite a fortune. The Uzbek boy’s family was very poor. Fifteen times a month, on average, he stole Wolf’s cash and goods and sent them back to Uzbekistan to support his parents and his book-smart younger brother in middle school. Wolf secretly felt upset, but all he could do was open one eye and close the other; the young boy also turned a blind eye when Wolf occasionally cheated with those Kazakh, Ukrainian, or Tajik macho men of all ages. Wolf looked wizened, thin, and ugly; he overindulged in alcohol and sex and had turned bald too early. His biggest wish when he had been in Circle City was to have an affair with Qi Shishi, the most famous handsome man in town. Now that he was in a foreign country, his most ambitious plan was to live with a young, blond, purebred Russian fellow—no matter if he was a top or a bottom, good-looking or ugly, so long as he was pure Russian blood. Based on his achievements so far, he had failed on both counts.
The reason Qi Shishi was considered to be the most handsome guy by the male-chauvinist men in Circle City had everything to do with his occupation. In general, those big macho men, due to an overindulgence in tobacco and alcohol and an excessive lust for power, always caught a cold or a fever. As he was the nurse at the outpatient clinic of Circle City Hospital, Qi Shishi had to use his bodily organ to come into contact with over a hundred male butts—for the obvious reason of saving lives—and give them exactly the same hypodermic injection. Viewed from the perspective of gender politics, most male chauvinists are political opportunists who blow with the wind: when they see a beautiful woman, they are prone to female beauty; when they see a handsome man, they turn to buggery. As soon as they entered the injection room of Circle City Hospital outpatient department, there was no way for their left or right politics, their superior and subordinate ideologies, to resist Qi Shishi’s beautiful face and soft hands. Usually as soon as Qi Shishi injected the compound estrogen diethylstilbestrol (he often made errors at work by mistaking estrogen for a pharmaceutical to reduce fever), they got carried away and ejected body fluids like urine or semen inside their underpants. After they experienced orgasm or became manic or fainted in Qi Shishi’s hands, these men would get sick on a daily basis, and every day they would rush into the outpatient building of Circle City Hospital. This eventually led to the “major outpatient incident,” similar to those serious casualties on the soccer field where everyone scuffles and tramples on each other. Since the incident was triggered by the male nurse’s beautiful face and soft hands, Qi Shishi had to be transferred to the inpatient department and, what’s more, to the pediatric ward.
The year Qi Shishi transferred to the pediatric ward, a.k.a. the year of the “Circle City Hospital patient hooligan riot,” Fire was fourteen and Wolf sixteen. They were both of the age that prefers to hang out with more mature young men. They had heard a lot of those young men’s “portrayal” of Qi Shishi; often they couldn’t help but add a few imaginative strokes to the picture.
Fire’s home was north of the railway, Wolf’s to the south. The two had never met. Fire was still in middle school when Wolf was in high school. Even though they went to the same secondary school, they never encountered each other on any occasion. Fire had seen a few thriller movies; he aspired to become a stuntman in Square City after he grew up. He often climbed to the top of the water tower to do all kinds of bird-flying movements. Sometimes he imitated parachuting by jumping down with an opened paper umbrella. The success of tower-jumping encouraged him: his second training project was to jump onto roadbeds or bushes from a fast-moving train. The first time, he succeeded without practicing. Unfortunately, the third time, he chose to jump from the roof of a passenger car, broke his left shinbone, and was admitted to the orthopedic surgery ward. Wolf, on the other hand, got a urinary tract infection from masturbation and was hospitalized in the urology ward. The two troublemakers annoyed the doctors and nurses. While still bedridden, they were transferred to the pediatric ward under the guise of “sickbed shortage” and became the oldest, the most pained, and the most lachrymose “big boys.”
Whenever nurse number 003 Qi Shishi was on night call, Fire, from the easternmost room 101, cried loud and long about his shinbone, like a train taking off from the station. From the westernmost room 1011, Wolf wailed bitterly about his urinary tract, like a wild wolf. The children, whether they were severely sick or just slightly injured, were all hit by the sound of wailing and started to cry from all four corners. Fire and Wolf became the lead singers of the children’s chorus, although their voices, especially Fire’s, were kind of similar to a rooster who has just learned to crow. Qi Shishi was tranquil and elegant; he took his time to serve those kids who needed midnight medicines or injections. When he arrived at room 101, he smiled and called the fourteen-year-old stuntman “Fire.” While inspecting the medicine in the IV bottle, he told him gently: with the progression of the times, the steam locomotive will become history very soon. You’d better seize the chance to jump from the top of the train to those frosty roadbeds, just like those car-jumping heroes and gangsters in the movies, before it is eliminated entirely. Going into room 1011, Qi Shishi called the slight and wizened juvenile “Wolf” while giving him urinary catheterization. He warned that if he howled like a wolf again, he would be sent to the gynecology ward.
After the lead singers’ sounds disappeared, the chorus also stopped. What was left was the never-to-be forgotten nicknames “Fire” and “Wolf.” The nicknames’ young owners had their wishes fulfilled from their misfortune: they got to meet the most handsome man in town when they were still young and vulnerable, and received his reprimands, touches, and other services more than once. They would be satisfied with this for the rest of their lives.
Five years later, in spring, Fire and Wolf once again entered Circle City Hospital’s pediatric ward under the supervision of nurse number 003 Qi Shishi. By now, they had robust voices and mature sexual characteristics. And they had gotten to know each other because they were both studying at Circle City University’s Department of Foreign Languages, they both lived in the same dormitory, and they both slept in the same double-deck bunk beds. They both went to the hospital this time due to unrequited love. Their object of longing was the same person. They fought with one another and in their struggle severely injured each other. The occasion that led to their shared injuries and lovesickness (as well as sensual damage) was AIDS: not too long ago, the Epidemic Prevention Institute relocated Qi Shishi to Circle City University to administer an AIDS vaccine to those sturdy students and feeble professors. (The vaccine was a new product that only circulated locally in Circle City. It had not yet been sold on the global market.)
It was a deadly quiet midnight; Qi Shishi was on call. Without any forewarning, Wolf abruptly began to howl his heart out from room 101 on the hospital’s east side. This time, his howl was mature and solemn, from his guts. In contrast, Fire made not a single sound. Each time Qi Shishi administered his medicine, he gritted his teeth in tormented pain. Even when large beads of sweat dripped from his forehead, he made no sound. He recovered very fast. Qi Shishi could therefore save his time and energy for other young patients. Wolf thought it was a good deal: Qi Shishi came to room 101 three times more than he visited room 1011. Before he left the hospital, Wolf thought the time was ripe to formally ask Qi Shishi out on a date. Qi Shishi went on the date but was unusually quiet. When Wolf threw himself on Qi Shishi and tried to tear into him, Qi Shishi slipped away, without making a sound, like a fox running across a desert on a moonlit night.
Wolf started to mimic being in love. At first, in the middle of the night, he covered his mouth with the quilt and wailed, right under Fire’s bunk. He didn’t realize until his tears wet the quilt that this was an imitation of a brokenhearted woman. He then changed to writing poetry obsessively, in both Chinese and Russian, just like those men passionately in love from classical times. When he found it hard to shake off his crazed enthusiasm, he would ask Fire to help him with the translation (for this, he voluntarily knelt down to reconcile with Fire), so that his poetic flame would have three written forms: Chinese, Russian, and English. He sprinkled a few tears on them; if he couldn’t squeeze out any tears, he substituted tap water or saliva. These poems were sent one by one to the pediatric ward by Fire. Of course, no one ever knew if Qi Shishi actually received those painstakingly concocted love exercises. The third kind of mimicry of being in love was to keep watch on a rainy night. The pattering spring rain soaked him through and through. From dusk to dawn Wolf stood right outside Qi Shishi’s home, regardless of being battered by wind and rain. Unfortunately, Qi Shishi happened to be on night shift. When he returned home in the morning, the sight of Wolf soaked by the morning rain frightened him, and he was too scared to go home. He ran to the phone booth on the street corner and invited Fire to go to the fitness center with him. The last imitation of love was closer to human beings’ “death instinct”: leaping to one’s own death.
It was not unexpected that Fire was the one who finally won over Qi Shishi’s affections by his perseverance, patience, magnanimity, and willingness to help others. After they quietly (and stealthily) started their secret love affair, the news eventually reached Wolf. He climbed to the rooftop of Circle City University’s main building and alternately cried, laughed, screamed, and sang. He threatened to jump and smash his body to pieces. If he were in Triangle City, police would surely have come. Warmhearted people would plead and talk sense into him. There would be a hero climbing up the fire escape to grip his small waist from behind without startling him. Unfortunately, this was Circle City, where people’s hearts were as cold as ice. People went to class, did their homework, ate, and slept as usual. They sang and played music, traveled, made love, and raised kids as normal. No one cared whether a pining college boy was heartbroken because of falling in love with a man, or whether on top of the building he was playing the most tragic game of mad passion that men and women play. Wolf was miserable. He screamed, cried, hooted, and jumped around for three days and nights. He wore himself out, became all skin and bones. In the end he had to come down through the fire escape by himself, with his tail between his legs. He found a street food vendor and gobbled down a meal that had absolutely no meaningful connotation of love.
On the upper bunk above Wolf sat the man of both their dreams, Qi Shishi. Four lanky, youthful legs hung down, making shapes like a door gap in front of Wolf ’s bunk. There was a narrow door and a wide door. Wolf instinctively chose the narrow door between Qi Shishi’s legs. He broke through them, climbed on the bed, and fell asleep immediately. Through his completely symbolic gesture, he satisfied his desire and slept with a delightful, unrestrained erotic dream. Those on the upper bunk were hugging and kissing. All Qi Shishi noticed was a chill autumn breeze that blew between his shanks. Other than that, all he felt were Fire’s vigorous and fiery kisses and caresses, and the hard object standing nakedly erect from his open jeans zipper.
The swelling in Fire’s midriff made him lay Qi Shishi down and lay himself on top of him. The following scene emerged on the double-deck bunk bed next to the western window of Circle City University student dormitory number 2, room 211: below the lower bunk were a heap of men’s shoes for different seasons, full of dust. Facing upward on the lower bunk lay Wolf, steeped in his erotic dream. He was extremely skinny, having just come down off the top of the main school building. He had made his own decision that he would reach Qi Shishi’s beauty through a dream world. Under the surface of the upper bunk, he gave his body wholly over to what was happening above him, pointing his erect, erotic sense organ vertically upward. On top of the upper bunk, the “precious body” of Qi Shishi, the object of its erotic desire, happened to be face down. Above the precious body was the naked body of Fire, thrusting ardently. Fire focused his energy downward, repeatedly penetrating the focal point of his penis into the depth of the precious body. His buttocks nearly hit the snow-white limestone ceiling because he arched so much.
Perhaps out of pleasure and also out of pain, Qi Shishi felt like moaning but was afraid to alert the black-leather-clad dorm master. He resorted to using the pillowcase to cover his mouth, just as a nurse would usually do. Though Fire was a virgin, he was a natural at the “backyard walk” (similar to the moonwalk and the spacewalk). The result was a tremendous earthquake while he targeted Qi Shishi’s beautiful butt. Qi Shishi had already fallen into the erotic net, physically and emotionally. He fully welcomed this “lover’s part” inside his own body. When the orgasms came, the board from the upper bunk loosened, shook, and fell down. The board, Qi Shishi, and Fire, like a chamber music trio, all fell vertically onto Wolf, who, facing upward, was intoxicatingly asleep in his erotic dream. With the piling up of persons and board, board and persons, no one could really tell which groans, which smothered shouts, and which whinnying sounds were out of pain or out of satisfaction.
The dorm master, adorned in black leather pants, black leather jacket, and black leather boots, was inside his room, eyes and ears observant and alert in all directions. From the boys’ noisy, tumultuous voices, songs, curses, snoring, clatter of footsteps, fisticuffs, commotion, and the sound of a six-stringed guitar; from the ponderous repression of lust, the deviant, impetuous urges, the rising tide of thoughts defying the impregnable power discourse of Circle City, he carefully distinguished his ideal objects and the perfect timing for him to “attack” them. This dorm master was not only healthy and sturdy but was fond of those masculine boys who were sturdy just like himself. Fire had long been his ideal mate for “spear on spear and club on club.” He stood by the open door of his chamber, all eyes and ears. He first felt the floor shaking beneath his feet. He presumed he was like an ant, instinctively sensitive to earthquakes and even wind and rain. As soon as he felt the shaking floor, he immediately rushed to the fire escape and, as agile as a fireman, descended to the ground from the twenty-first floor in one breath. He then quickly “evacuated” from the shadow of the twenty-one-floor dorm number 2. While he continued to feel the ground’s acute shaking, three sound waves transmitted from the top floor’s easternmost room 211, conveying in great volume homoeroticism and its pains and pleasures. The “earthquake” was thus aborted. He then felt like an electric shock had gone through him. He got an erection, ejaculated, and fell limp to the ground all in no more than 3.7 seconds. He stood up, his crotch and left leg wet, staggered to the twenty-first floor and knocked on the door of dorm room 211. No response from inside the room. He eagerly looked forward to witnessing Fire in a scene of “adultery.” He kicked up his black leather boot and shoved it onto the inserted door lock. The door swung inward and then bounced back, smacking the dorm master on his forehead as he charged inward, knocking him unconscious to the floor.
For the third time, Wolf went to the pediatric ward of Circle City Hospital. Under the meticulous care of nurse number 003 Qi Shishi, the traumas on his forehead, nose, chin, chest, knees, and toes gradually recovered. But one particular traumatic part had only one kind of phenomenological recovery but no sign of another kind: his penis, the stoutest and strongest part of Wolf’s skinny body. Because that day its head stuck out the highest, it suffered the heaviest blow. Not only did his spring dreams fall apart, his phallic organ withered quickly and never regained its previous firm and upright demeanor.
The dorm master was shorn of his leather jacket, leather pants, and leather boots, all replaced with an infant hospital dress, and he was sent to room 101. Echoing Wolf remotely in room 1011, he showed symptoms of intermittent idiocy caused by his brain concussion and a strengthened erotic function. Every time Fire visited Wolf (for atonement), the dorm master, from his room all the way down the eastern corridor, would send a masculinist courtship signal toward the west: “Fire. Fire. I am 101. I am 101. Come have coitus with me immediately. Or you will be expelled from school under the charge of sodomy with Qi Shishi.” In the west end, Wolf was contaminated by the masculine power from the east end. He threatened and coerced Fire to hand over his lover Qi Shishi’s beautiful lips and his “backyard” (similar to the best anuses in Marquis de Sade’s novel and Pier Paolo Pasolini’s films) to help recover his erectile function. Otherwise, he would report them to the patriarchal authorities, as the on-the-spot witness of their “sodomy.” Qi Shishi shuttled between room 101 and room 1011, wearing a white gown, a white nurse’s cap, and a sky-blue, square-shaped surgical mask, looking tender and merciful. With guilt and natural kindness, he changed the medicines for Wolf’s wounds and injected all necessary medicines into the dorm master’s stout butt to balance intelligence and sexual desire. In terms of Fire, he was still devoted to him with all his passion. He anticipated “growing old together” with this young fellow.
The dorm master left the hospital first. Fire’s schoolwork was not affected at all, the reason being that the dorm master was “fond” of Fire and Fire was smart enough to engage in “spear on spear and club on club” with him (though sometimes he felt queasy). Fire cared about the interest value of his “spear” but was resolute in his disregard for its preservation value, love value, reproductive value, and collection value. This paved the way for him later to be a male escort (of course, for the sake of making a living) for a couple of years when he was in Orlando.
Wolf left the hospital after the dorm master. That day, he didn’t go home but went right back to room 211 of Circle City University’s dorm number 2. As it was a Sunday, their roommates all went out to seek carnal pleasures. Only Fire followed Wolf’s “instructions” and waited inside. Naturally, Qi Shishi, who was infatuated with him, was there too, cuddling up to his fiery chest. Tears streamed down Qi Shishi’s face and he gave Fire the “last kiss” and, right at that moment, Wolf entered the room.
Wolf needed Qi Shishi’s “oral treatment” and “anal treatment” to cure his impotence. Fire needed Wolf to keep his mouth shut so he would not be expelled for his “love affair” with Qi Shishi. Wolf and Fire made an agreement: in the name of love, Fire begged Qi Shishi to sacrifice this once for the sake of Fire’s future prospects. Qi Shishi was placed on the bedside of Wolf, like a docile lamb.
Fire thought everything was set up. He prepared to leave room 211 and his lover, to allow Wolf to have his way with him. But just when he was about to brush past Wolf, Wolf beseeched him to stay and observe the course of his treatment and recovery. Fire could not defy this “entreaty” and obediently remained. He sat on a mahogany chair in the middle of the room, facing the lower bunk of that double-deck steel bunk bed near the window facing west. He could see and vividly feel Wolf’s penis, inserted into Qi Shishi’s beautiful mouth, get hot, expand, gradually arise from its base, until it became fully erect and that mouth could hold only half of it. He saw a dark blackish penis that was thicker and larger than his. He saw it surge passionately through the “oral treatment” and impatiently enter the next treatment. It met with difficulty while entering because the entrance to the next treatment was too tight. He saw it repetitively knock and jerk about until eventually, by moving back and forth, little by little it inserted and moved onward into the depths until its thick base submerged there. The second treatment lasted nearly all afternoon. All Qi Shishi did was bury his head under the pillow, without a single sound or movement. He was like a corpse, letting Wolf stroke, bite, rub, throb, have spasms, attack, penetrate, and finally cum. While he observed from the side, Fire repeatedly suppressed his instinctive impulses. He remained silent and stunned. Even more, he was a bit envious and yearned for that penis, which was more enormous than his, and those movements that were more skillful.
Qi Shishi returned once more to Circle City Hospital’s outpatient department. He had to use his nimble hands to do the injections for over one hundred men in their (butt) muscle. The relocation was for the following reason: he had withered and dropped off just like a spring flower. (It is not known whether it was caused by the ravaging of others or self-destruction.) He was no longer considered the handsomest man by those masculinist men of Circle City. Before this, Fire and Wolf had visited him in the pediatric ward over and over again. Fire visited “for the sake of love” and to apologize. Wolf visited for no other sake than lust. But it was as if Qi Shishi had become invisible; he never met up with them. When he took the position in the outpatient clinic, all the men who once adored him lost interest: his face looked the same, his body looked the same, his smile looked the same. His outfit became more stylish, his temperament became more tender. But he was no longer beautiful: somehow a flame had just suddenly gone out inside of him. Since then, all physical interaction between men in Circle City had become sterilized, absolutely safe behavior: they were no longer attracted to each other; they had no radiance inside.
In Moscow, Wolf repeatedly visited prostitutes, although he never managed to get any young man with purebred Russian blood and blond hair. No matter how much he would pay, they all refused to be with him. He began to hate them and believed that every one of them had secretly signed a “devil’s contract” with Circle City’s Qi Shishi. One day, about midnight, he tried to force a Russian young man to submit to him, just like he raped Qi Shishi that very year. This resulted in the young man stabbing him to death and running off with all his money.
In Miami, Fire was not able to “give birth” to the second mixed-blood baby because the white young man he had “married” dumped him for a new flame. Their first son was flown back to Circle City by Fire’s mom, who endured all kinds of hardships to raise him by herself. Fire returned to Orlando (Orlando was the first place he landed when he arrived in the United States) and started a special rent business: he “emigrated” a couple of young boys from the East (they looked very much like Qi Shishi from the old time) and taught them the skill of intramuscular injection himself (he once learned that skill from Qi Shishi). Then he advertised on all sorts of men’s magazines: “Handsome men from the East providing door-to-door testosteronum propionicum injections. Oral health care and anal health care from their own bodily devices also provided.” It was said this business was flourishing. Almost all Orlando men who were fond of male beauty knew about the fame and reputation of “Fire’s Specialty Store.”
Excerpted from Platinum Bible of the Public Toilet by Cui Zi’en (translated by Yizhou Guo). Copyright Duke University Press, 2024.