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"One morning you wake up feeling dead. You are thirty-five. Single. Lonely. The dreams you had as a boy never came true. Your mind, body, soul and spirit have been savaged by years of drugs, alcohol and sin. You sweat for no reason. You cannot remember the last time you felt good. Or the last time you really laughed. You had the girl then you lost her. Then you had another and lost her too.
You despise most human beings. This is nothing new. But now you realise with horror, that you have become one of the very crawling abominations that used to nauseate you, and that every word uttered from your lips over the last few years was bullshit. And not even real bullshit. Weak, watered-down bullshit. But you believed it because you were too lazy and lifeless to bother to think.
Years ago you had the secret. You knew about purity. About love and power. But, day by day, it all slipped away. This morning when you look at your tired, hung-over flesh in the mirror and study the lines of disappointment and failure, you know you can no longer call yourself a good person. God has you on your knees, but you still fight him.
You are desperate. You need friends. You need clean air and beaches and solitude. You need a cold night in a country cottage, with the sound of heavy icy rain on the roof, a log fire burning, and a beautiful girl who loves you, curled up next to you, purring like a kitten.
But the last woman who agreed to sleep with you wanted money and, like a nightmare, like the worst joke anyone has ever played on you, you remember. It is hot. It is dirty. There are mosquitoes. There are lies and there is money. You are in Shenyang and this is China."