Trail 审判


I kept a strange habit that year. Every time I picked her up from school and sent her home, I would deliberately take a long detour down a not so smooth path, partly because I wanted to talk with her more and partly because that path was quite unique: its west side was a row of shops, but none of them opened their stores towards the street, and its east side was a tall brown and gray guardhouse wall, which was already very old. The wall is very old, and there is always some malicious graffiti on the wall. As far as I can remember, there was hardly a moment when the street was under the sun, it was always in the shadow of the building, either intentionally or not, or I made it up for myself. No one’s shadow can spill on this road. And because of this, it is a less popular road, or rather, it is not a road that we like at all, it is a quiet road and somewhat making us nervous.

On this, I often walked with her in the evening or drove her on my bicycle along this road. We coincidentally choose this road and pass it quickly. We don’t talk on the street, perhaps out of fear, and she holds my hand tightly or clings to my back. I feel nervous and elated, not knowing whether it’s the barbed wire at the top of the walls or the tall graffiti on the walls so exaggerated that it hardly looks humanly done, or the heavy trucks that occasionally drive by and make loud unloading noises, or the late-night whistling, wandering, rock-throwing young vandals, leaving us on this disturbing road with only the warmth of feeling each other’s contact, able to make our escape from the world portrayed to us by that poor vision and hearing, to roam in the almost forgotten, perceptual mezzanine. I don’t know if she is as excited as I am. I don’t know if she loves me. Huge doubts came to me, and I couldn’t help but feel suffocated at the thought, as if a drowning person suddenly calmed down, even had a moment of pleasure at the sight of the swimming fish in front of him.

But then, for a long time, we did not walk this road again, and then later, I did not meet with her for a long time because of my involvement in a secret project. When I saw her again on that road, she seemed to have a new love, she and he, their cheerful shadows walking together, as if to tell me an impossible answer. But I was not unprepared, I had long anticipated this possibility in my mind, and I did not panic at all. Still, I made an appointment to meet the judge on another afternoon in the seat of the abandoned gymnasium at the end of this road. That day, fully dressed, with a duck-top hat on my head and legal materials in hand, I rode my bike alone to the appointment. I regretted the first sentence when she opened her mouth and said, “I love you.”

I never thought I’d have such a tragic moment, all my subtle, long-tortured assumptions fell away in this moment, and I began to feel ashamed, angry and wanted to insist that she had betrayed me. So I said, “You’re not; you’re in love with him, are you?” She tensed up and said, “No, not at all.” I was speechless for a moment, and at that moment, I began to understand that I could indeed reach the ending I had envisioned, but I had missed the end I wanted most. The words were out, and I had no choice but to save face. I insisted, “You are, you are, I saw it, you are.” She whimpered and whimpered as if she had never expected this day. I bowed my head and ruthlessly refused her request repeatedly, knowing that I had missed her and that I would get this ending the moment I took the liberty of telling my friends that it was no longer possible for us. Fortunately, everything was still within the assumption, and what was beyond the premises, I didn’t expect to get.

So with the judge’s verdict, we each got up and left. It was now late in the fall evening, and a few occasional rays of light came through the warehouse windows and fell on the high walls of the guardhouse, making the whole path seem somewhat brighter. The moment I walked down the gymnasium, I saw the graffiti on that wall, which turned out to be bold black, “Get drunk with wine every day, long live the emperor.” I silently wiped away my tears, got on my bike, and walked up the road one last time, intoxicated by the autumn breeze. I turned two intersections, crossed a bright tunnel of standing water, and returned to the factory where I worked. I saw the sunset, which had never been so vivid, spilling over the factory’s vast, rusty iron pipes. Droplets of water fell in shallow, golden ponds, making me almost forget that this place had a long military rule.

Feb 2022








2 thoughts on “Trail 审判

  1. “让我几乎忘记这里曾经历过漫长的军人统治”,这一句莫名地很有感觉,按理说是和前文的恋情不搭边的,但词语的感染效果漫入了那个关于女孩的故事,无语凝噎。


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