Hemisphere Circus

  Allie is my friend’s name.
  I took the phone and held it in my hand. The light on the screen was dim. There were no lions and tigers and red flames flying in the field as I imagined, and there were no sisters of Hercules and the body, in the dim light. I saw a wretched dwarf man and a tall woman in a white cheongsam. Their hair braids like Qing dynasties were tied behind their heads, their makeup melted away with the sweat, and they became blurred between the corners of their eyes and their temples. It’s like a bullet passing through. Amidst cheers, whistles, and thunderous applause, I saw the dwarf man drinking milk. It is not accurate to say that it was drinking. The mouth of the one-liter milk bottle was pointed at the nose instead of the lips. He slowly and carefully poured the white liquid in the bottle into the small cave on the right nostril, and from time to time the milk flowed up against the hole, dampening his beard and mandarin jacket. As if the atmosphere was not warm enough, the woman started a strange song and dance beside him. She spun, walked, and split. The cheongsam she did not follow was cracked a little bit, and her red belly was exposed under the white silk and satin. Of underwear. Exclamations erupted from the audience, but I couldn’t see the face of the exclaimer. The camera lens of the mobile phone is always aimed at the pair of Chinese men and women. The camera keeps advancing. The man’s face is getting bigger and bigger. I saw the milk pouring, and the man threw the milk bucket to the ground. His eyes were so full that he was completely red. Looks like a human eye. A white, viscous liquid slowly flowed out of his eyes, dripping between the woman’s bare legs.
  When I looked up from the screen of my phone, the classmates on the left side of the table were still laughing and shouting. After everyone had finished eating, everyone was taking selfies and group photos, looking for corners with stronger signals everywhere. Damaged dried figs and skins were scattered on their dinner plates, and only circles of red water stains of grape juice were left in the glass. The red water drops slid hard on the wall of the cup, leaping into the bottom of the cup.
  I stood in the dark with my phone, and looked at my friend’s bright face under the light. A gentle silver light flashed on the dinner plate and glass behind her. If someone accidentally knocked over the milk on it, the brightness at the moment would not be diminished. I stared at her face for a long time, like a drowning traveler in the sea looking at the lighthouse on the reef surrounded by waves in the distance. As long as I move forward, one step forward, I can escape from my uncle’s range and return to her, and I Did not move forward. I didn’t go forward, but I still looked at her, standing there listening to the sound of the Rhine water behind me, night fell along with rivers and rivers, and countless invisible waves rose up in the darkness. Between the sound of the waves, I felt as if I was suspended in the universe, my body could not move, I could only stare at my friend. She was lying on the back of the chair and looking towards me. She didn’t know when her hair was covered with the night’s dew. Now the plump bangs collapsed because of the unbearable load, and pressed round after round to the place below the temple. I think of the tears she shed in the corridors of the supermarket today, and of my own, countless tears pooled, flowing like milk, and finally merged into a silver-white stream, as wide as the Milky Way, as isolated as the Milky Way, we are in the silence of the scale of celestial bodies. Looking at each other, the language that they wanted to confide in each other was crushed into pieces of silk, which were spread flat and fluttered in space, gradually losing their edges and colors, until the shape was completely melted, just like the silk itself. There has never been the same.
  German adults don’t eat anymore. They shook their bodies from side to side with the music on the radio. Eventually they sang along in unison. Even if it’s unfamiliar German, after repeated singing, I finally recognized it. The lyrics of this song: Dear friends, let us toast and drink, wishing friendship lasts forever, no matter where you are, no matter where you are, long live friendship and lasting friendship.
Fourth, egg fried rice

  We had lunch in the only Chinese restaurant in the center of town that can make Maoxuewang, spicy soup and boiled fish at the same time. Like all Chinese restaurants in Europe, it is built next to the train station, and the sound of trains roaring by can be heard from time to time.
  Perhaps because it was an afternoon on a working day, there were no other guests in the hotel apart from the two of us. All employees were released from work, took off their aprons and uniforms and sat around a table in the corner to watch the football game together. In the Bundesliga, Bayern Munich played Dortmund away, there was a lot of people around the Idunaer Signal Park Stadium, and the audience was full of golden banners and banners. Like the Westphalian home football fans sitting in the stands on the TV, the employees of the Chinese restaurant on the square table in the corner of the dining hall were also very excited. They shook their heads, cursed, waved their hands, beat the tables, and the oil, salt and vinegar bottles on the glass plates were shaken up. These people didn’t care, but leaned together in a sincere posture of prayer, as if they had already lost their wealth. Betting on the feet of the players on the field. The exhaust fan in the back kitchen keeps ringing, and from time to time there are echoes of trains crossing the rails outside the restaurant. Compared with the sound of them watching the ball, these noises are like dew melting on the leaves in the morning.
  My friend sat across from me. She raised her hand to greet the proprietress, and asked her very seriously her question: Wasn’t the game over last night? Why can I be so nervous watching a replay?
  Since the barbecue party, we rarely take the initiative to talk unless absolutely necessary. We have never talked about barbecue parties, circus videos, and lost dogs. With the help of poor German vocabulary, I have been trying to extract her thoughts from her conversations with others recently. The proprietress is of Chinese appearance and wears a dark red and turquoise dress. She looked back at the group of guys she was watching, and laughed: Isn’t watching the game just for fun, it doesn’t matter what it is.
  The ups and downs of the flat tongue sound is very subtle, and you know it is from Shanghai. I looked behind her ear through the reddish-brown hair of the lady boss dyed under the hot bright light of the incandescent tube. The Fu Lu Shou poster and the Guan Er Ye incense flickered, reflecting the half-wall Roman numeral wall clock, London, Paris, New York, Hong Kong In Bangkok, every clock rotates evenly in its own time zone, while the boss’s wife stands on the road, leaning over with arms akimbo and looking at us, declaring the sole sovereignty to everyone in the turbulent flow of discrete time. . She is the only master in her field, commanding the emperor, firewood, rice, oil and salt, and everything, as well as all the restaurant staff who shrank from the corner of the dining table with white faces and yellow faces, even the frowning Guan Erye, too. After receiving her incense and worship, I had to call her the boss by aggrieved oneself.
  For a while, my admiration for her was unparalleled, so I immediately responded to her in Shanghai dialect: Nong Fang, the group of people watching TV, are not afraid of Yila’s heartfelt love, are you not happy to do business anymore?
  She glanced at me deeply, and I immediately regretted the decision I had just made. Shanghai has promoted Putonghua into campuses for many years. There are no Shanghai dialect speakers among my peers and teachers. My ancestors also moved to live far away from Shanghai. I have never spoken Shanghai dialect to anyone. In fact, I can’t speak anywhere. At home, everyone in our family also speaks Mandarin. The only dialect I have come into contact with since I was young is the sitcom on the local TV station every afternoon after 3 o’clock in the afternoon. A group of middle-aged and elderly men who are single and widowed. They open supermarkets and milk tea shops, trying to start all over the rest of their lives and work hard. Pursue a true love. I listened and watched every day, dreaming that I was actually a legacy of an unscrupulous behavior in their early years of turmoil. An illegitimate daughter who was taken in the wrong hospital and spoke the same language as them someday in the future. I met them before on the TV screen and played a very high-rated reunion together. The show was cancelled before I seriously considered how to put this day-to-day dream into action. The five o’clock file was ceded to the news, and the four o’clock file became a cartoon that is more popular with children, and I never did Learn Shanghainese.

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