Part VI-1 – Ou Yang and Simone Wei
Ou Yang was not a person who would just take anyone. She would neither take black men nor any other men who were said to be good in bed. She would only consider men who would fall right into her precise mould. She was almost sure that she would not divorce until she found this man.
With all her prejudices and funny generalisations, Ou Yang fixed her next goal for a western white man. Ou Yang was not at all stupid. She did have a feasible way of gathering information like most Chinese do without feeling shy. She tried to make friends with girls who were dating western men and those who seemed to be quite successful and happy.
Among the few of her girlfriends, she would hang out, whenever she had time, with a Chinese woman whom she met when purchasing their house. This woman was their real estate agent who found their cottage in Lachine.
Her name was Simone, a name given by a Canadian Teacher back in China for the convenience of pronunciation, as the majority of English speaking people are said to have been the least versatile in speaking other languages but their own, which is also true for Chinese. Her Chinese family name was Wei. Simone is not an English name, but rather a French one. It was given to her because her teacher Dana Mullen herself liked very well the philosopher, Christian Mystic and social activist Simone Weil. So she was given this name without an L at the end. It fit just perfectly.
In Ou Yang’s eyes, Simone was some one whom she not only wanted to get information from, but also something else as well. She was in search of a moral support. Even there were quite some Chinese women dating Western men, Ou Yang knew well what it meant in the eyes of the other Chinese! She wanted to feel alright to date western men. Her short love affaire with the French young man Marius Gallant years back had long faded and she had no idea now what to do at her age. It seemed that she just needed some man except her husband rather than she wanted to fall in love. She simply became unfamiliar with love affaires…
Ou Yang chose Simone because Simone had an air of surety, freedom and also owned some kind of power that she needed. Simone spoke very well English and was familiar with the history, cultures and customs of western countries in general, for the reason that she was an English and American Language and literature major at University. Her Quebecois French was fluent and decent with years of working among Quebecois colleagues in Quebecois companies. Ou Yang herself spoke English and French. So she reckoned that communication would not be an issue when dating.
Simone immigrated to Montreal in the year two thousand. Among all some what different Chinese immigrants, even among people in general, Simone belonged to a different species. She was Chinese while not quite thinking, speaking and behaving like one; if we reckoned that she was not Chinese, then what country did she belong to? She had a Chinese face, but her facial expressions and body languages were not Chinese. Many Canadians thought she was born in Montreal, or second generation of immigrants, or she was a Philippine, Japanese or Vietnamese. We were short of categories of people and countries to fit her in. But the only thing we were sure about her was that, if we lost her, no one else could replace her in this world.
She was a pleasant person who always showed an obvious but non-intruding nor imposing presence. She had this child-like genuine and constant curiosity towards the world, societies and human-beings, yet on the other hand, she maintained a certain proper respect and gene. She was seldom curious on other people’s private businesses nor was she interested in manipulating people to do things for her, nor in imposing her point of views on others.
There was this glaze in her eyes and smile on her face that connected her heart to the people around. This glaze with her attractive smile would create an affinity. She seemed well loved by her neighbours, colleagues, and friends, for the reason that they felt energised and happy to be with her. These were also the reasons that Ou Yang liked her. She seemed a woman who lived each of her days as the last one of her life.
Simone was very active in life doing almost all sports we could name: Tennis, Table Tennis, Swimming, Badminton, Skating and Skiing! She didn’t just do it, she did them well. Another worth mentioning thing was that she was passionate about dancing.
We were not talking about the dances to the graceful slow sappy Chinese depressing love music and songs, but to that energetic, interesting and fun Salsa, sensual and sexy Bachata and other latin American music. She was thought to look like an Latina and especially when she was dancing. She had such a charm when dancing that her movements with her special attitude radiated energy right into our blood and made dance all the more irresistible, even to the most awkward person in the world.
We would doubt that there was anything that she would not be curious of and not want to learn and make it good. That was her spirit of a gymnast trained between 7-14 years of age.
A very weird thing about Simone was that it seemed she did not know worries nor did she understand the miseries and difficulties of life. Maybe she did not have any, because she was believed by Ou Yang to have a good and “easy” career and a “super easy” life. Most importantly, Ou Yang assumed that all good stuff Simone enjoyed was because of the nice Canadian Quebecer Victor Point whom Simone was dating. Everything about Simone just appeared smooth and effortless. Ou Yang was sure that if she herself had the money and the man , she also would be easy and happy. Ou Yang definitely thought that Simone was lucky. Simone had the hot profession and had found her man who was there as the Harbour sheltering her from storms of life. A harbour has been the goal for all women especially Chinese women who have not been lucky.
Obviously, Simone became Ou Yang’s private life listener and dance mentor. We didn’t know why Simone had a special and deep empathy for Ou Yang. She knew that Ou Yang was in desperate need of some one who would listen to her to get rid of her frustrations, and also of encouragement and information about western men, here to be precise: Quebecois men.
Simone seemed to be about thirty five years old in body. She measured one meter fifty-seven centre meters and weighed fifty kilos. The constant seven years of gymnastic training helped keep her skin healthy and shape beautifully muscular. It was hard to categorize her as a beauty, but easy to say that she was lively and charming, thus indeed beautiful. Her mind was a mystery. She could seem naive and trusting like a kid, at the same time, old and complex as two thousand years! Was it because she came from an old miserable country, so old and miserable that people had lost track of what happiness was? It might be true that miseries make people old in heart and might give some wisdom. As Victor Hugo said: “ Those who do not weep, do not see”. Nevertheless, we did not really know her age.
She let Ou Yang hang out with her and listened to her incessant ranting, hoping that from time to time, there might be a chance that Ou Yang stopped her own rough voice and listened to her cool and pragmatic ideas, and sometimes to some “strange things” she might say. Like all other people in the world, Simone was also prejudiced, but in the ways of a pragmatic fighter and doomed winner. She was patient and loving enough to show Ou Yang a quite different world which might be just the same world, wishing that Ou Yang would use her well and suck all she needed for her well-being.
To Be Continued…
*Dana Mullen, a real name of a real person. She was the author’s post graduate thesis tutor. A Canadian woman who might be in her sixties-seventies now. The use of her name is in memory of her help to the American literature studies of the author back in 1985-1987. The author had never have any news of her since she left China.