Charles Pendelton
      © 2008 Marty Langdon
Chapter 37

                   The ominous Mr. Wong

Looking around for something to build my creativity upon,
I began to examine my
friend's house. To my astonishment
it was covered in arabesque writing. Like a grand qasida
that appeared to have no end,
it went on and on.

Who can interpret these polymeric symbols that
looked like they were printed on ethereal soffit?

Similar to a psychedelic
watermark that radiates with life,
to look as it would, if it were deep under an ocean swell.

I soon began to wonder if the dwelling itself was simply a conveyor of information.

In the same way a solar panel reflects heat, words and emotions were translated into codes
that were laid out in text from the opposing side. As unreadable as they were, they were not
opaque in the moon's light, but yet rather only their meaning, muddled. Every breath taken,
and every enunciation I found had been cleverly concealed within the confines of the abode.
Like textbook writing for the insane, it was all clearly documented! Quietly, all the repressed
ideas and hermetic thoughts that ever arose in that domicile were now seeping through.

It was all sprawled out for my eyes to see,
but I could not decipher the code to this puzzle
of madness.

Maybe that's how Santa knows who's been naughty or nice, I reveled in my insanity.
I laughed at the pure derangement of it all, before focusing on my own life in general. 

Gazing up into nothingness, past the trees lined with rows of houses,
I tried
to imagine a grandiose mountain in the background. Just then,
a needle was gently placed upon a record in an old victrola.

The scratches and pops faded to the sound of a lone violin playing softly, off in the distance.
At the very top of that perilous mountain stood none other than Ed Norton, who appeared to
be singing a tune to Ralph, who it seems had gotten himself into another bind once again.

                                    When you try to make fact out of fiction.
                                    And the answer is nowhere to be found.
                                       Look up to the sky and don't worry,
                                       for soon you'll be coming around.

I smiled aptly, for I knew my whole life lay ahead of me. However, that
road I fear I must travel is clouded with much doubt and uncertainty.

Subsequently, time has shown me that I am not a mannequin in the corner, neither
am I a wishing well for people to cast coins into and make wishes that won't come true.
Sadly, I am only a man.

A man who must forego his dreams because he learned a very long time ago that if you
put all your hope into something, and it should happen to vanish, then what have you?
What are you?

Just a man who has found he solely exists; for no one.

Maybe life isn't supposed to be enjoyed. . .
Maybe we're only here to work all day and sleep all night.
Slaves of the big machine going from borough to borough. 

If that's all you can achieve with your college degree,
then maybe there is no other way.

As for me, the only degree I had was in outer space.

I guess we're all doomed to follow in the path we choose to walk.

                                                                               Pg 259

             As thoughts kindled, and my mind opened up to curiosity, I began to
             observe the Wong's house next door, where the writing appeared to be
             noticeably different. It was more along the lines of Aztec writing or a
             form of Hieroglyphics.
A paleographer's dream, I muttered bemused.

                       I could now hear them in the
kitchen, chattering away
                               in their native tongue and conversing freely.

                     The night now had a very peaceful aura to it,
                                 as if it were somehow blessed.

Deeply, I inhaled a breath of warm night air mixed in with the essence of some
far away flowers and sighed. Mr. Wong then caught a glimpse of me and John
hanging out in the backyard and decided to stand by the kitchen window. How
absorbed was he in our presence that he began to stare. A stare so uninspiringly
dull, I began to think that maybe he was contemplating suicide.

No, he was just an evening spy.
An observer of truth, in a valley of uninteresting inhabitants.

Motionless he loomed like a surreal picture in a picture frame, till I thought
brain would unravel. Never blinking an eye this grave fellow stood solemnly,
as if in a hypnotic trance. (Over medicated, I guess)

Watching John
sunbathe in the light of the moon like a deranged vampire he would,
staring bleakly into the margins of my Perimeter. I soon realized he was not
looking at us at all, but rather through us, into the very corners of that dry fence.
Nothing to worry about, so I felt no contention. He was merely
meditating on
things that occurred within the time frame of his busy day.

I could almost see a fossilized Mr. Wong shuffling about in the afternoon
hours with his briefcase in hand, giving everyone he meets a graceful bow.

A bow to the left and a bow to the right.
A bow to the North and a bow to the South. . .
Get your Mr. Wong compass, complete with pivot!    
Now his life's in a hole; buy a rice bowl and
he'll point you to the Hong Kong market. . .  

We now return you to your regularly scheduled program.                                                                                       


Completely detached from the world was he, as if in a state of perpetual shell shock.
After a while, I came to appreciate the emotionless figure gloating in the window, while
his wife and son babbled on. Whatever was inside that oblong head of his must have
long since been erased. Irreparably damaged by someone or something, I thought.

Originally from the Liwan district in Guangzhou, China, Mr. Wong has slowly become
a permanent fixture in the neighborhood. Adhering to the social life, as would an
introvert in a totalitarian regime, he hastens home to his wife and son,
But for now, he stands by the double hung window, as if to be frozen in time.

Never to leave, I shout in silence, but to forever inherit that haunting space,
which behooves me. When at last, the grim farewell is echoed by the well-to-do
in dreamscapes of the night, I will uncover the last ponderance; that final adieu.

They have a different set of values and beliefs than we do, that they still hold dear.

While their son has become quite the American they've grown to be proud of, they
continue to remain steadfast in their own culture and practice what they've learned
for better living. It is what keeps them truly happy! They are honest people who have
effortlessly retained their dignity through
hard work, kind deeds and general upkeep.

The Wong's
are getting up there in years, and are nearing retirement.

From what I have seen through the window, on occasion, is that they are still quite
loving, but public displays of affection apart from the home were rarely, if ever, seen.

A few dishes clanked together near the sink where his wife's voice grew exceedingly
louder. "Something must have snapped in her brain," I told myself, as I sat on the old
wooden bench. A rise in vocal pitch meant Mrs. Wong was starting to get serious!

Upon delving deeply into analysis, one would find that through a moral evaluation
of the ethical character she portrayed in life, that didn't hardly seem possible!
What was the urgency to vociferate?

Surely it meant only one thing. . .

Henry Wong was wrong no matter what he did,
and there would be no walking away from it.

                                                                               Pg 260

As I continued to eavesdrop, her polyglot words made
it sound like she was overacting in a Chinese theater,
and I just wanted to approach the window and yell cut!

Her son Jimmy soon gets up and walks into the living room.
Such a pleasant fellow was he! Always helping his mom and
dad with anything they asked of him and never does he bother
anyone. He gets up, goes to work, comes home, eats, watches
TV, and then goes back to sleep and repeats the same process.

How robotic are these Asian people, I thought with a chuckle
before realizing that my parents along with everyone else on
the planet do exactly the same thing.

The only notable difference between us and them is that they
accept their chore of duty with nobility and honor, while we
continually gripe and complain about things we cannot change.

Sometimes in the evening hours when I'm hanging out
with John, Jimmy's friends will stop by to greet him.

“Ay there Jimbo!” they'll say, or “How ya' doin' pal?”

They always shake hands when they meet,
and usually seem genuinely happy just to exist.

Unlike me and John who only exist to get wasted because we
have either no self-confidence, or we just don't care anymore.

I could see the static reflection bouncing around on the living room
window and wondered, what show it could be he was watching?
“How strange, that they should be banqueting at this hour.” I said,
to John, in a voice that could have come from a wealthy butler.
“They're night owls,” he replied, stargazing. I immediately
thought of White Owls and proceeded to light up a Muriel.

I thought of that silly nine o'clock curfew, as I watched
the window like a detective from the nineteen fifties.

“What was up with that?” I blurted out accidentally,
before finding out I would have
the misfortune of
contending with never-ending questions.

“Up with what?”

“The curfew.”

“What curfew?”

“The one that was imposed.
Never mind, it's not important.”

As her voice became more prominent, it sounded like she was angry with her husband
something he did or didn't do, though this was pure speculation on my part.

Mr. Wong now
looked like a ghost had invaded his body and judging by the look on his
face, it seemed
that very soon that fragile shell of a head of his was simply going to crack.
Every word
she gibbered fell on deaf ears, and it didn't take long before his face started
to contort and
his jaw began to open wider! (((Wider))) What the hell is going on here?

Could she have
talked him into a lobotomy with her circuitous voice
that was beginning to sound like a record
stuck on 78 rpm's?

That would explain the inanimate look in his eyes. He's going to have
that same
look, I thought, when they lower him into the ground. The way she was attacking
him with verbal assaults, I felt I had a moral obligation to go inside and call the
funeral parlor,
because at this rate, he's going to be dead within mere minutes.

Another stretch of time passes, and when I turned to look,
he was no longer there. The spectre
departed into the night
without warning, and I now felt increasingly

Left alone to ponder my own thoughts brewing despair.

I stared into the emptiness of a dark kitchen and saw nothing;
'cept one solitary candle burning.

                                                                               Pg 261


Reviews for chapter 37

Felix Kassel - Would you mind telling me where that plane is going?

Bruce Mahony - Stumbled upon this site by accident. Great site!

If any image on this site is considered to be offensive, it will be removed. If it has been copied without
proper consent, please contact me immediately and the image will either be removed, or credit shall be
given unto the person or persons responsible. Whether it be an artist, photographer, cartoonist., etc.

PG 259) Peace woman by Shepard Fairey -

PG 259) Untitled by Brad Yeo -

PG 259) A surreal simulacrum of Salvador Dali with two gramophones, drawer and lot of rhinoceros horns
by Dragomir Minkov -

PG 259) The seer
by Amanda Sage -

PG 259) Inspiration
by David Ho -

PG 259) Dan Dare to the Rescue!
by Neal McCullough -

PG 259) Path of life
by Daniel Ranger -

PG 260) Prosperity brought by the dragon and the phoenix
(poster) by Jiang Shu -

PG 260) Spy on me, I'd rather be safe
by Thomas James -

PG 260) Boeing B-47E
by Unknown -

PG 260) A free and independant marriage is good
(poster) by Bi Cheng -

PG 261) Love society with all your heart (poster)
by Huang Hong'en -

PG 261) The hours of the owl
by Marnix De Bleeckere -

PG 261) Patterns of the light
by Vladimir Kush -