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Week in Feb 22, 2024



During this period, I mainly read two books, "Golden Age" and "Madame Bovary".

I have read two books by Wang Xiaobo before, one is "The Silent Majority" and the other is "Loving You is Like Loving Life" written by him and Li Yinhe. His writing is humorous and easy to understand, making it effortless to read. Reading his books is like having a chat with a very sincere, straightforward, and humorous person.

I have just started reading the first part of "Golden Age". It is about Wang Er's youth, filled with direct and frank descriptions about sex.

That day, when I was twenty-one years old, in the golden age of my life, I had many desires. I wanted to love, to eat, and to become a cloud that was half bright and half dark in an instant.

As for "Madame Bovary", what impressed me the most was the author's language artistry. There were so many finely crafted descriptions of the characters.

Moreover, the widow was thin and had long teeth. She wore a small black shawl all year round, with her pointed head resting between her shoulder blades. With a bony frame and a robe draped over it, she looked like a sword in its scabbard.


The following excerpts are selected from a podcast I listened to a few days ago 1 and a previous episode that I saved 2. They are all letters from readers, and this kind of vague and ambiguous emotion that has not been fully revealed is particularly fascinating to read.

Unsent Moonlight#

It's like this, he said, I'll just call you L. I don't know why I'm writing this letter, knowing that you won't understand it. Which is more important for a love letter, the person who writes it or the person who reads it? Besides, I, a middle-aged person, want to write a letter that is full of excitement. I don't know when it started, but you have become dazzling in the crowd. I can't find the moment when my infatuation with you began, but when I close my eyes, all I can think of is you. When a group of people go out to play, you always play the role of the navigator, so every time we take the escalator, you stand at the top, and I always follow behind. I bet you will turn around and look, so our eyes meet, and I fall into your smiling eyes. One time, when I had a fever on the road, you rubbed your hands together to warm yourself up before gently touching my forehead.

Every time we have a meal, you sit next to me and finish the spicy shredded potatoes that I cooked. One time, I bowed to thank you for sending me home, and you said only the Japanese would do that. I said it was the highest form of gratitude in our etiquette-rich country, so we started bowing to each other on the subway. I couldn't join in the small talk, so I stepped on the withered leaves on the ground. You asked me what I was doing, and I said I was killing a leaf, so you became an accomplice. There was also talk about cats, books, Hayao Miyazaki, horror movies, Yukio Mishima, and then there was nothing else. After all, we only spent two weeks together. Last year, I watched a movie called "Past Life". From the moment the male and female leads reconnected, I looked forward to a passionate reunion, a passionate lovemaking. Something had to happen to sacrifice this kind of emotion, but nothing happened. This emptiness made me feel ashamed, because something did happen between us. The night before we parted, we met, and you suddenly invited me to exchange fragments of our lives, and I was attracted to each and every fragment. The ice cream melted in the summer night, and there was a hint of sweetness in the air. The moon at four o'clock had a magical allure, enchanting and mysterious. You held it in your arms, and I blossomed with a disguised calmness. The moon pulled out its eyes, secrets and unspeakable secrets. Now, we look up at the moon from different places, and I also understand that a person can continue to live without any contact with another person.

A certain part of my life has completely changed, and you and summer will always stay in SG. If we have a chance to meet again in this lifetime, I will respond to you with silence and tell you how beautiful the moon was that night. I wish you well, better than me, and I want to stay in the past.

You in the Corner of My Eye#

Hello, LMS, I have known you for a long time, and in the accidental encounters, I have developed some special feelings for you. I first noticed you in Teacher Zhou's English class, during your speech for class representative. You're called LMS, such a nice name to listen to.

At that time, my impression of you was that you spoke very well and you were a cool boy, giving me a different feeling. It was also after that, that I began to pay attention to you, consciously or unconsciously. Actually, I later realized that I had seen you before. In PE class, you were distributing number tags, and after running 800 meters, you came to me and asked for a number tag. Hey, classmate, give me the number tag. In my impression, you had a smile on your face at that time. Slowly recalling you, I suddenly remembered that you had participated in the class monitor election. You appeared so casually, leaving a mark in my letter. At that time, I thought that this kind of affection was just a passing fancy.

But later on, we met less and less frequently, and your name appeared more and more frequently in my diary. I started to look forward to meeting you more often. Recently, I met you twice on the bus, and I was really excited and happy. I wrote some words. That day, I met him on the bus. He looked so much like him, just like the him in my memory, the him I was fascinated with. Later on, there were many moments that I reminisced about that morning. He was sitting on the chair in front of me, and the girl next to him happened to block my view of him. The bus stopped and swayed, and I caught a glimpse of his figure with my peripheral vision. I didn't dare to look at his face directly. After each encounter, I regretted not looking at him more. I remember deliberately slowing down my pace after getting off the bus, but I couldn't wait for him to walk in front of me. At that time, I was thinking, slow down a bit, slower, faster, faster. Today, I met him again. I didn't expect to see him on this bus. I had already prepared myself not to meet him, so I ate breakfast and enjoyed the scenery all the way. When I arrived at the Shida subway station, halfway through, I suddenly looked up and saw him. I was so happy to see him. I got off the bus behind him, but he walked so slowly, so slowly that it was obvious when I walked like that too. When I passed by him, I felt so awkward. No matter how slow he walks next time, I will follow his pace. I'm so happy every time we meet, and I will miss the you at that time. My heartbeat accelerates unintentionally, and I keep confirming my feelings for you.

I am sure this is love. I have never been a confident and brave person, so I really hesitated for a long time about whether to express my feelings to you. I thought maybe I shouldn't disturb his life, but I really don't want to give up without even trying. I think I shouldn't deceive myself or hide this real and existing feeling. So I still want to give it a try. Today may be a bit presumptuous, I'm sorry.

The Meaning of Confession#

I want to share with you the story of my first love, which was my one-sided and long-lasting only time of liking someone. Let's call him Q, because that's how he always appeared in my diary.

We were in the same school in junior high, and our homes were not far apart, so we always took the same bus. I started paying attention to him during the transition from late spring to early summer in the second year of junior high (his initials started appearing in my diary). He had excellent grades, he was a seedling of a key high school, while at that time, I was just an average student in the upper half of the class.

But, the moment I truly started to have a crush on him was in an instant. That was a scene that I repeatedly described in my notebook during the five years of secretly liking him. It was a rainy day, with faint thunder in the distance, and the camphor trees were washed clean by the rain, emitting a bright luster. The air was filled with the cool fragrance of the camphor trees. I was sitting in the back of the bus and caught sight of him waiting for the bus by the roadside. He was holding an ordinary blue checkered umbrella, still bowing his head, carrying his black backpack filled with books. He was wearing a blue checkered shirt, standing under a camphor tree. Actually, I had never really seen his face clearly (partly because I was nearsighted at that time, but I didn't think glasses looked good on me, so I only wore them when reading. The other reason was that I didn't dare to look directly at his face, even when we were chatting, I didn't dare to keep my gaze on his face for too long, afraid that he would notice, afraid that others would notice my liking for him). At that time, I started studying desperately, even fainting at home due to low blood sugar. I wanted to get into the same high school as him. I also started writing poems secretly, writing about that boy under the tree, writing about the rain, the camphor tree, myself, and the uncertain future of adolescence. I still stared out of the window and daydreamed every day, but my ears were no longer filled with just the sound of the wind. His cough, his footsteps, his laughter... I collected them all. Soon, it was time for the high school entrance exam. But I still didn't tell him those words "I like you". Fortunately, I received the same acceptance letter as him that summer. At that time, I thought we still had a chance to see each other often, but we didn't.

High school was busy with studies. I was dizzy and lost in physics and magnetic fields, spinning in a vortex of self-doubt. He was in the top fifty in the monthly exams, while I was hovering around four to five hundred. I still looked for him secretly every day during morning exercises and after school, just like I did in junior high, but I never took the initiative to approach him and say a word to him. Two years passed, and it wasn't until senior year that I mentioned him for the first time in a conversation with my good friend, talking about those small moments related to him that I had described in my diary.

Maybe it was because I knew that the time to see him again was running out. "Go confess, you are beautiful and talented, there's no need to feel inferior!" (My good friend said this because I had received a lot of praise for the poems and short stories I wrote, and the others were because of the filters, haha.) Hesitant, I finally walked with my good friend to the entrance of his class, but my heartbeat was too strong, and I started to stutter, so I ran away and hid around the corner of the corridor, giving my good friend a letter and asking her to give it to him. She thought the letter contained a confession, but it only had "Long time no see" and "Good luck on the college entrance exam" and wishing him "all the best". Actually, at that time, I had already said goodbye to him. Did you think the story would end here, or did you think there would be a big twist like he also had a crush on me or we confessed and ended up together, hahaha, no, none of that.

I drew a perfect ending for this unrequited love myself, but the timing of the ending was so funny. It was on a night during the Qingming Festival holiday in my freshman year. That night, my good friend and I were lying in bed watching a horror movie. Even after watching it, we couldn't fall asleep, so we started talking about him again. Maybe it was the dopamine, or maybe it was because I wasn't clear-headed from watching the horror movie, I edited a long paragraph of text and sent it to Q, completing the confession that I had planned and prepared for. Did I become brave and confident? Not really, I just understood the meaning of confession. I didn't care about the result, I just wanted to express my hidden feelings that had been dormant for many years to him, finally being able to be like the camphor tree in my memory, shedding leaves in the spring and welcoming new leaves. That night, I didn't dream, I slept soundly. When I opened my eyes and checked my phone, there were no surprises, I was rejected. But his reply was very gentle, he thanked me for liking him, and he really didn't know about my feelings for him. We started talking about the past, and the present. He wished me all the best too. This kind of confession is the best ending I can give myself. I am very grateful for his appearance, which made me gradually become a better person, but I also feel sorry for the me in the unrequited love, only I know about the sourness and the tears. Fortunately, I have left behind those joyful moments, those words, and the boy who took shelter from the rain under the camphor tree, leaving behind the resilient and sensitive me today.


  1. Vol.217 Valentine's Day Special: Love is the Smallest Unit of Communism

  2. 58 Oh, Love, More Beautiful Than Flowers

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