We empty our voices into glass jars, and they fill with a deepersounding version of ourselves. One day, the three of us won’t need such instruments, but for now, we each carry a jar around our necks. They clink against our other necklaces of bike chains and house keys as we stomp up and down the concrete slabs of apartment building #34. We aim our jars toward closed doors, yell, “This old man frequents prostitutes! Here lives a fox spirit! May your child be born with hemorrhoids! Here lives a horse-fart spirit!” One whip of a bike chain over a New Year’s door banner, and the words spring comes bird sings flower fragrant spiral to the ground. We smear dirt over the gold calligraphy, kick the torn, red paper against the door. Families inside try to sleep in. Relatives who haven’t yet left Tianjin for their faraway homes linger in bed. Locals splay out on sofas, makeshift cots, chairs. The air warm from last night’s steamed dumplings, soot from fireworks collecting on the window ledge: what a pretty scene. We crush it with our voices. Six days after the Lunar New Year, we yell extra loud, extra deep for the American. His shut-in grandfather, the only other person in their apartment, tells him from behind the door, “Ignore those boys, hands over ears.” So we channel the reserves of not only our fathers but our grandfathers and rattle the glass jars with our cries. “Where’s your mother, American?”—to the beat of the metal door knocker—“where’s your mother? It’s us, your future fathers!” It’s enough for the screen behind the door to whine open. A sprinkling of dust shakes off the doorknob. We outrun his grandfather’s curses, easy—the shut-in won’t go beyond the front stoop. In the chilly courtyard, standing over the tubes of used firecrackers, we yell toward the American’s seventh floor balcony, “Your mother wants us! She’ll take us! Take us!” We can’t see the American, but we know he is watching. The same way every Thursday night at nine p.m., he watches his mother turn down eligible suitors on Exit with My Love, China’s most popular dating show. As long as she keeps turning down our men, she’ll come back on the following week’s show, and the American will remain in apartment building #34 with his shut-in grandfather, waiting for his mother to take him home.