The Other Kevin

The other Kevin is from the USA. In fact, I’m not sure who he really is. I’m told that he lives at the Taipei Hostel and I know an American Kevin who lives there. He’s a tall, gaunt looking fellow we figure is a eunuch or impotent or something like that, but I’d have trouble imagining him involved in the story about to unfold before your eyes.

The Other Kevin, like his Irish name sake, continually had run-ins with people. But this Kevin’s answer to conflict did not involve physical violence. The Other Kevin’s answers involved…well… you’ll see.

The Other Kevin had a problem. He had a problem with one of his bosses. He claimed that she still owed him some money. She disagreed. Now, I think she was right, but that doesn’t change the fact that the Other Kevin believed he’d been ripped off. He had a problem with Daniel, the nature of which I am not clear about. But that doesn’t change the fact that the Other Kevin continued to believe that Daniel had done him no good.

I met Daniel at the office of the boss. His story was that he used to be rich. He was making big money, modeling, some sort of business venture, money from the bar he ran with his bar girl girlfriend. Not bad for a high school grad.

He had found his old girlfriend in bed with another guy, so he left, took her car and left it in the pay parking lot of the Taipei Station. When I met him, he was broke and living in the Bird House Hostel planning to open a restaurant with his new girlfriend.

One day, his boss was in her office, minding her own business, working the way she usually does – which is to say illegally – when suddenly the phone rang. It was Mr. Li from the Government. It seems that he had received a letter from an anonymous source claiming that a foreigner named Daniel had contracted AIDS and had spread it to over 100 Chinese women, including his boss and Miss Chen. His boss and Miss Chen are unlicensed brokers of foreign teachers to Chinese people, which the letter also reported. In a related fact, Miss Chen has the reputation of not paying people.

And then to make matters worse, the door bell rang. It was the local police going about their regular duty of checking that everyone was living where they’re supposed to. But Daniel’s boss is a goddess. In the course of ensuing conversation, she got rid of the policeman, convinced Mr. Li that she was just a Chinese teacher of English operating out of her apartment and told him that she knew many foreigners and she wasn’t certain who this Daniel fellow could be.

The question remained: who had sent the mysterious letter to the Government? But of course we all know it was Kevin: the common denominator of trouble, the deliverer of rough justice on the frontier, the vigilante hero of an underground, illegal industry.

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