Amber and I met at a show on Christmas Eve, 2011. In my phone, the date is still marked, and it has been 1763 days ever since. I was playing the bass in a really, really shitty band. And she was going to join this really, really shitty band to sing. The show was in a glass house on the roof of Green Capital.
Green Capital is an abandoned shopping mall in the middle of the city. Some sketchy businesses still managed to keep their last breath in the corners. There were an underground gay bar for closeted middle-aged men, a dirty hotel (people from the gay bar probably had sex there a lot), and a jewelry store. Sometimes couples would dance in the empty hallway, I do not know why. Amber and I loved going to Green Capital. We shared this place with the closest people in our lives then.
I can not really recall the first person I brought to Green Capital. In fact, I might have even gone there with a guy who raped me. I definitely brought a photojournalist there when I had a crush on him. He was 10 years older and completely uninterested in me. Every time I visited with another person, we would discover new things about Green Capital. I saw a pool filled with empty beer bottles once. Another time, I climbed into a changing room through a broken window. The changing room was equipped with showers, with ads of STD treatments brushed all over the walls. There was also a little hut with pigeons but no one was ever around to look after them.
I stopped going to high school after the first year and moved to Shanghai. I started smoking a lot of weed and slept around. I fucked two of my dealers. I went into a junkie’s hotel room for mushrooms, but he did not do anything to me. My parents finally caught me when I was lying in the bed with another stranger after a bad trip. And I was sent back to a language school in Hefei. Every morning I would buy two small bottles of hard liquor, and chug them before noon. My friend and I always skipped classes to go to Green Capital. I took a lot of picture there with my first film camera. The morning after I tried to kill myself for the first time, I went to Green Capital. A guy with motorcycle would pick me up in between classes so I could smoke a joint. I brought him there too. I wrote a song and a short story about this prostitute who could not leave Green Capital at night.
After several months I went to Shanghai again to sing, I started dating a guy. Amber dated his good-looking friend. He only had one arm. Then I dated a sex addict who sang in the same bar with me. Amber and I hardly met at Gree Capital anymore because she was in another city for college. Instead, I would visit her. I brought a man to hang out together once. After having sex with him I found out that he was married with a child. He did not wear a condom. The next day, Amber bought a Plan B for me and handed it to me under the table at lunch. When I peeled off the tinfoil, the pill dropped on the ground. I bent over pretending to tie my shoe, picked up that pill and swallowed it. All I wanted was a bad life I deserved. I was travelling around for excitements while Amber thought she was encountering her future husband. As the world expanded, we hardly talked about Green Capital anymore. I went across the country and met some famous artists. I thought I was a big deal.
The last time I went to Green Capital was three months before I moved to the states. I took some pictures of two of my friends there. Then I went to another city for this guy I was madly in love with. Amber was supposed to come but she did not show up. I got her call while tripping and I cried. I hated her for that.
Before I turned 18, I always considered myself a part of Green Capital. Like the people and objects there, I kept my last breath in desperation. Yet I still found a tremendous amount of romance and pride in that lifestyle. It was the most innocent way of living.