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Reconnecting Through Dreams and Movies – A Journey of Rediscovery

The gray-stained Airbus is slowing down and taxiing, the pale gold halo of the runway lights rendering its belly. It pauses, then restarts. The cabin aisle was full of people. It turned slowly, turned again, and finally stopped. He was sitting with his body slightly sideways, looking through the porthole at the airport shrouded in boundless darkness amid mixed light and shadow. On the slender wings, the small rivet holes next to the black number no longer vibrated. There was a smell of soot from the hatch. He imagined that the stewardess with a serious expression was trying to open the heavy cabin door, her body was bent backwards, like a fully drawn bow… like a marlin struggling for a long time after biting the hook, this one has just been pulled out of the haze The passenger plane in Zhihai was then accurately bitten by the neck by the solitary corridor bridge protruding from the terminal building. His body leaned forward sideways, the tip of his nose pressed against the porthole. The broadcast said that the ground temperature was minus twenty-three degrees Celsius. He was glad that he didn’t encounter the kind of flight that left passengers in the middle of the airport to wait for the ferry bus. With this temperature, he would freeze to the bone after a few minutes standing outside. Those faces, the pale and greasy faces, all seemed to be in a dream, everyone seemed to be in his own dream, and all seemed to be in his dream. In the last broadcast, the female voice whispered goodbye in English, but he couldn’t hear it clearly. Wechat has arrived: landed? It was from her. I’m at the exit, and the baggage carousel next to me is turning. Landed, he replied, making up the emoji of fireworks. You smell soot? She made a voice: It is estimated that when you come out, you will feel like you just climbed out of a chimney. Her laughter stopped abruptly. Smell it, he wrote, and I feel a bit like an agent on a covert mission. At this time, he turned his head and found that the aisle was empty, so he quickly pulled up the tow box, put on his backpack, and quickly walked through the cabin. The two stewardesses nodded at the hatch, good-bye, good-bye, good-bye… The strong smell of soot, the biting cold, he was beaten through. His heart convulsed, he shivered, his bladder swelled. The bridge warden in blue smock was dazed around the bend. Workers were below, throwing suitcases onto the conveyor belt with a heavy, muffled thud. When he reached the end of the trestle, he wrote on WeChat: It looks like you are not wearing clothes. If you walk with your eyes closed, you will feel like you are running naked. After a while, she sent another long voice: Uh, by the way, I’d better tell you… But, don’t scold me, I will apologize to you in person later… I, tell Lao Chen , Alas, he invited me to the opening ceremony of the exhibition the day after tomorrow. As for me, I really couldn’t go because of something, but by accident, I told him about your return today. I said you came back to deal with the house and left the day after tomorrow, so I didn’t want to startle everyone. He stopped and stared blankly for a while. Later, he clicked on the WeChat group with more than 30 unread messages, and found that everyone was Talking about the exhibition the day after tomorrow, Lao Chen gave the lecture, and the others echoed. After arriving at the exit, behind the dense crowd, she waved her hand, her face surrounded by a thick black scarf and a black fleece hat seemed slightly swollen. When she came to him and spoke, he was a little distracted and he didn’t hear clearly.

he smiles. She waved her hand in front of his eyes, as if testing his blindness. He went to shake her hand and found she was wearing woolen gloves. Old Chen didn’t broadcast the news of his return in the group like before. Half a month ago, after he booked the plane ticket, he told her in WeChat: This time, I won’t see anyone except you. She was a little surprised, and only replied after more than ten minutes: I will take care of the eating, drinking and having fun. He likes this refreshment. She is the head nurse of the Department of Orthopedics at the Central Hospital, and the only person in the group of friends in her hometown who has nothing to do with literature and art. Her appearance stemmed from Lao Chen’s car accident in the winter three years ago – he drove the Mercedes-Benz to the treetop under a small bridge and broke several ribs. The speed of the car was not fast, but Lao Chen didn’t wear a seat belt, so he lived in the central hospital for more than three months, and then she appeared in the group, and Lao Chen solemnly introduced, my head nurse, Xiao Mu, is very grateful and very kind people, very good professionals. Since then, she has often appeared in photos and videos of the group’s offline activities. One night, when he looked at the new photos old Chen posted in the group, he joked, if one day, Xiao Mu stood among you in a nurse uniform, that scene would really be like being in a mental hospital. Everyone smiled. What he didn’t expect was that a few days later, Lao Chen found a high-end nursing home in Beishan. In the name of being an artist to experience life, he took everyone there for a day on weekends, painting portraits, taking pictures and videotaping the whole process for the elderly for free. Later, Lao Chen edited a two-hour and nineteen-minute documentary: “Xiao Mu and Her Friends”. He watched this video several times, and couldn’t help laughing several times. His joke is not that Xiao Muzhen is wearing a nurse’s uniform and a badge, but that everyone else is wearing a light gray linen robe – this is what Lao Chen has seen in “Oedipus the King” at Beijing Renyi The clothing style of the chorus is customized. They are all acting exaggeratedly, only Xiao Mu is always casual. Especially when talking to her, they both really look like psychopaths. The most she said to them was, don’t talk to me about art life. Later, when she talked about this matter with him, she said that if I was serious, they would be nervous, because I could see through their tricks at a glance, and besides, I am actually very quick to turn my face… What about Lao Chen? , is a good old man, likes to do everything well, like an old man, if he doesn’t arrange everyone’s affairs well, he might not be able to sleep… However, the most unbearable thing for me is Lao Chen’s public praise of me… …It’s too embarrassing. I’d rather listen to him talk about the future of the world and the fate of human beings in one night, than die in such embarrassment.

Until she came to Shanghai on that vacation, his impression of her was all from that documentary and those photos. Now, she was wearing a thick white down jacket, deliberately swayed from side to side and said, look at me like a big bear, you can’t imagine how cold it is outside, there are clicking noises everywhere. Looking at her lively appearance, who would believe that she is thirty-six years old? This is still plain makeup, just smeared with lipstick. When she came to Shanghai, she didn’t even wear lipstick. In those five days, she wandered around by herself for three days. Before she came here, she said, you are busy with yours, don’t worry about mine, I will just wander around. Of course he’s fine. Before this meeting, they had chatted many times on WeChat. In her opinion, he is also engaged in art, but he is still different from them. The fourth day was Saturday, and she said that I wasn’t going anywhere, so let’s chat in the hotel. It was a standard room in a youth hotel. She was lying on her side on the bed near the door, while he was sitting cross-legged on another bed, less than two meters apart. In this way, the whole afternoon, he was telling his own life story. He quickly lost himself in the story he had already mastered. After listening to him, she was in a daze for a while, and then said, an artist is an artist, can tell stories, has details, it sounds like watching a movie… Your name is a high-frequency word in the wine bureau, I don’t know it Before you, I felt that I knew you very well. Then she told his stories she had heard from friends back home. However, to his disappointment, her speech was a bit scattered and general, and she would deliberately omit it. After dark, she continued to talk about those friends in the dark, the boring gossip, and the contradictions behind them. He saw the lights of the opposite building emerging from the window, which was so bright and deserted. When he was leaving that day, he originally wanted to invite her to his studio the next day, draw her a portrait, and give her a watercolor landscape painting, but when he opened his mouth, what he said was, are you really hungry? She shook her head, she wasn’t hungry at all, maybe you’re starving, right? He smiled, I’m not hungry either. The next day, which was her last day in Shanghai, neither of them sent WeChat. After nine o’clock in the evening, she suddenly sent a WeChat message: Ah, I slept all day, and I wanted to go to your place, but now I’m fine, so I don’t even need to think about it, alas. He replied with a big smile: I guess it’s the same, you must be tired, so I didn’t bother you. She had a flight at seven o’clock the next morning, which meant that she had to go to the airport before five o’clock. In order to avoid the difficulty of getting up early, she decided not to go to bed. Anyway, she had slept enough, watched a few movies, and then went to the airport. Do you have any good movie recommendations? He thought for a while, should he look at the old one or the new one? She replied, everything is fine. He found a few films of Ichikawa Kun on the online disk, and put the link sent it. But ah, she replied, and then remained silent for a long time, and added, when I was telling you this, I was actually a little bit in a trance, especially like in a dream, hey, I feel that my brain must be short-circuited up. He thought about it, and replied, I felt the same way, I mean, like in a dream.

From the waiting hall to the underground parking lot, within ten minutes or so, he was already numb from the cold, and gradually lost consciousness with his hands covering his ears. Her red Tesla has a lot of sundries in it, including snacks, mineral water, fashion magazines, medical professional books, scarves, paper towels and wet wipes, fabric bears and monkeys, some clothes, and a pair of high heels Boots… He didn’t get in until she threw everything in the passenger seat onto the back seat. The air conditioner blows hot air. It was too cold, he touched his chin, the stubble was cold. Not long after leaving the airport, the car drove into the highway, and the long light beams of the high beams swayed and fluctuated slightly, drawing a slightly curved light slot in the darkness. In the surrounding sky, there are some faintly bright lines trembling from time to time, and if you look further up, you can still see some fine stars, which don’t seem to be stationary, but seem to be sliding down at an extremely slow speed. He adjusted the back of the seat back and let out a long sigh of relief. Considering that it was more than two years ago when she came to Shanghai last time, he couldn’t help but lament how fast time passed. A lot of people feel that way, she said. Under the warm wind blowing, it didn’t take long for him to feel sleepy. Looking at the end of the high-beam beam and the darkness surrounding the car repeatedly, he gradually felt hypnotized by some sound. Hard everywhere. Everything is shaking slightly. It seems that there is a huge iceberg floating in the dark depths, approaching here silently. Half asleep and half awake, he felt as if he was sitting in a high-speed rail train, passing through a long tunnel… More than half an hour later, he suddenly woke up. Turning his head sideways, he looked at the green face reflected by the light from the dashboard. I fell asleep, he seemed to be talking to himself, and he heard himself snoring. She smiled, yes, but very lightly. From the corner of his eyes, he found that her expression was actually a bit serious, and the previous smile did not leave any traces. I don’t know if it was caused by concentrating on driving, or a subtle change in her mood… This face looks really serious now. The lines are a bit hard, not as vivid as before, as if the person sitting next to her is not a long-lost friend, but a man who has lived together for many years, and she did not show boredom just out of politeness expression. No, she wasn’t married yet. Unlike him, who has ended his second marriage. If you want to smoke, she said suddenly, you can open the windows. He shook his head. It’s okay, she said, my dad smokes in my car too. He smiled, I’m trying to quit smoking. Ah, can I quit? She was a little surprised, I thought you couldn’t help but want to smoke one… But I do know that a few people in our group have really quit, is it easy for people to reach a certain stage? What about? I don’t know, he thought about it, and I just wanted to give it a try… Now my nose is filled with the smell of hot air from the air conditioner. What is the taste? She was a little curious. Probably, he said a little blankly, a bit like, hot new leather, a similar smell.

The car has entered the outer suburbs of the city. The orange light of those street lamps seemed to only illuminate a piece of white snow under each, slightly lingering to the black branches next to them, and they made this cold and hard space seem to have a little warmth. There were few cars and no one on the road, and there were many smooth and shiny black ice piles on both sides. There is almost no remnant of ice and snow on the road. They spoke very little, in fits and starts. It was a little strange to her that he was going to stay in a hotel instead of going to his parents’ house. Obviously, she had forgotten that he had told her before that his mother passed away the year before last, and his old father then lived in a nursing home. The house left behind still had old things from several generations in it, and it hadn’t had time to clean it up. . Just as she forgot that he had hinted at her, if he leaked the news to Old Chen, for him, everything would be over before he even entered the city. In this way, it was no longer a secret that he came back. At three o’clock in the afternoon the day after tomorrow, he had to go to the opening ceremony of the exhibition, the evening wine party, and finally drinking tea and chatting in Lao Chen’s studio. He imagined who would appear, what topics would be discussed, what links he would be excited about, and when he would fall silent. The longer people don’t see each other, the more repetitions will occur, and the earlier moments of silence will occur. However, Lao Chen never mentioned his return in the group today, so he was quite surprised. At this time, Lao Chen’s bald head and the obvious wrinkles on his face appeared in his mind. But relatively speaking, among this group of friends, most of them are older than old Chen. They haven’t reached their fifties yet, and their hair is all gray. Of course, this is not surprising. If people only see a few familiar faces throughout the year, it is easy to grow old. This is his point of view, strangers can make people young, the more strangers you meet, the less likely you are to grow old. In fact, he also has a few gray hairs, but they are not obvious. After a few brushes, he can’t see them. Music was playing in the car all the time, starting with Bach on the piano, which she said was played by Gould. Then came the organ piece, the endless, who said that, the eternal sewing machine? He hadn’t expected her to like Bach. too old. He hasn’t listened to music for a long time. He listened with feigned fascination, and later even suggested listening to the St. Matthew Passion. Oh, she found it and played it for a few minutes and said, this is too boring, not my style, I still like those…abstract, lighter, in the words of Lao Chen, it has a sense of mathematics, don’t listen What kind of story do you want to tell… I think you art people will like this kind of thing, oh, I remember, you said before, there are stories hidden behind your paintings. The last sentence made him a little embarrassed, he actually said such a stupid thing. But from her point of view,

Are you really not going to the exhibition site? Before getting out of the car, he couldn’t help but confirm with her again. No, she shook her head wearily. It doesn’t make any difference whether I go or not. You are different. They will be very happy if you go. They will definitely invite you to talk… When Lao Chen mentioned you, he often liked To finish this way, there is a reason for people’s success… So you see, it is not unreasonable for me to leak the news of your return to him. The car stopped at the entrance of the hotel lobby. She opened the trunk, he took out the suitcase, hung the backpack on the pull rod, and when he heard the revolving door behind him opened, he looked at her again, fell silent for a moment, and said goodbye to her. She got into the car, rolled down the window, tilted her head and said to him, it’s too cold, let’s go in, we’ll find time tomorrow to talk about how to arrange things later. He nodded and waved. It was past ten o’clock at night when we checked in at the hotel front desk. Lao Chen called, and we are still making final adjustments. There is no heating here, and people can freeze to death… I just sent you some photos and short videos, let’s feel the atmosphere first… The day after tomorrow at two o’clock in the afternoon, Let’s communicate when you come over, you have an international perspective… Hey, if you tell me earlier, I will pick you up at the airport, but if you are not tired, I can go to the hotel to see you after I finish here, There are still some unresolved matters. They came to inspect the site in the evening, and they hesitated to talk about some works, saying that they will discuss it tomorrow. I think it may be a little troublesome. After all, they are still very nervous about things they don’t understand. of. He said, ok, ok, ok. His mood is clearer than before. They, he pondered the word, they. The waitress at the front desk instructed him to complete the facial identity verification in front of the camera. After taking the room card in a cardboard case, he said to the phone, yes, yes. The warm air from the air conditioner in the lobby is a bit weak, and when you come to the elevator entrance, you can still feel the cold air coming in against the marble floor. The elevator was filled with a strong smell of perfume. It was only after the elevator doors closed that he remembered the faces of the two girls who passed him by heavy makeup just now. From the perspective of styling, their plastic surgery is actually not a success, and the shape of the nose is especially unnatural. Thinking of this, he looked at his face in the mirror wall in the elevator. A few minutes later, he was already lying on the big bed, looking at the ceiling and the vent of the central air conditioner, where a strip of gray thin cloth was dancing violently.

asleep? He texted her. In the silent room, the hot air from the air conditioner was humming. A sense of emptiness slowly enveloped him. After a long time, she replied, ah, I just saw that she was just taking a shower, drying her hair, and then doing laundry. This strong daily atmosphere made him realize that the previous sense of blankness was actually like a big bracket, requiring him to fill in the answer, otherwise the day would not end. He told her that Old Chen said that he was at the exhibition site, and if it ended early, he would come to the hotel to see me, but it has been up to now, and nothing has happened yet. She returned two ellipses. You, he went on, are like a switchman on a railroad, with a flick of the hand and the train changes course. It took a long time before she replied with an ellipsis. He then replied that he would go to the exhibition the day after tomorrow, meet with them, and then meet again, maybe it will be full in two days. She returned a face covering her face, and added, I was wrong, and suddenly I felt like I screwed up. However, she didn’t tell him that Lao Chen called her at night, because after putting down the phone, she went to take a shower, and after taking a long bath, her head was dizzy when she came out. He made a laughing emoji, cough, it’s nothing, I actually like to make mistakes. After more than ten minutes, she replied, if I didn’t reply to you, then I fell asleep. I may fall asleep at any time, and I can’t stop it at all. It’s the feeling of collapsing, but you can continue to say your. He is not sleepy anymore. What more? Oh, he remembered what happened before this departure. When he got up in the morning, he suddenly went to check the refrigerator and found that many things had expired. Juice, milk, bread in the freezer, fish, meat, chicken wings, ribs in the freezer. So he spent more than half an hour packing these things into two large garbage bags and throwing them away. After returning from his hometown, he will have to do a thorough cleaning to clean up all the unused things in the house, there are too many. Thinking of this matter, what he actually wanted to express was his shock at the passage of time—people have been thrown far away by time, and they can’t catch up no matter what. After typing these words, he read them several times, but in the end he didn’t send them out. After thinking about them, he deleted them again. Later, in a deep sleepiness, he sent a sentence: Is there any expired food in your refrigerator? Actually, what he originally wanted to post was, what are your plans for tomorrow?

Old Chen was sitting by his bed, smoking a cigarette, not speaking. So much so that for a moment, he thought that he seemed to have entered the dying moment, in the hospital, and Lao Chen was the only one who came to say goodbye to him. Old Chen didn’t say a word, and he didn’t know what to say for a moment. Thinking of this, he felt a little inexplicably sad, and then woke up. In the dark, he turned on the phone screen, and it was four fifteen. Old Chen sent a voice message at 3:07 in the morning. It just ended, but there are still some problems that can only be solved tomorrow… If you still have time after finishing the work, come to the scene. This is the address. Behind is a positioning map. Old Chen’s voice was hoarse. The last time I came back was during the Spring Festival three years ago. Everyone drank tea, played the piano, and sang songs in Lao Chen’s studio. Everything was so beautiful that it was almost unreal. He felt that they seemed to be living well, but even so could not prevent the coming of aging. He felt that his state was still younger than them, not only was his hair still black, but he was still impassioned and had tears in his eyes. Just like before, he avoided talking about himself, his creations and the price of his works… Of course, he would not say that he hadn’t sold his works for more than three years; the agent gallery was busy promoting young artists; The large studio that has been more than a year old is replaced by a much smaller one. As a result, more than half of the works are used up; the gallery owner calmly told him that everything is cyclical, just like eating conveyor belt sushi, you have to eat it again When you want to eat, you have to wait patiently for it to turn around slowly. No problem, he said, I’m patient. Two summers ago, he discussed the exhibition with these friends online, and spent a lot of time, but nothing came of it. Later, he sent a WeChat message to Lao Chen: After thinking about it, he realized that he was a painter after all, and couldn’t do much. In the middle of the night, Lao Chen replied with one word: Yes. Followed by a handshake emoji.

At 8:35 in the morning, Xiao Mu said in WeChat that there are often expired foods in my refrigerator, especially in the freezer, and there are more, put them in and forget…Of course I don’t manage them, Because it’s Mom and Dad who clean up, but they also refill the fridge. He woke up, read WeChat, and fell asleep again. It was noon when the phone rang and woke him up. Old Chen called the landline in the room, and his cell phone was muted. Old Chen originally wanted to have lunch with him, but considering that he still had to deal with some exhibition arrangement issues, he had to forget it. No problem, he said, I’m going out to do some errands too, or we’ll meet tomorrow on the spot. Old Chen pondered for a moment, that’s fine, anyway, we’re going to have a drink together tomorrow night. Okay, he said, see you tomorrow then. Putting down the phone, he suddenly felt a lot more relaxed. Lao Chen didn’t ask him to say something during the opening ceremony. Does this mean that there is no such link? In fact, he is still prepared. Regarding domestic contemporary art, regarding the creation and problem awareness of old friends, they did not follow the trend of the times, nor were they penetrated by time. They guarded the desolate coastline firmly like a breakwater. This is not Tourist attractions, but wild seas (this word is used well, he thinks), contemporary art does not necessarily have to point to specific works, it can completely point to the existence of people, the silence of people… For example, in the documentary “Xiao Mu and In “Her Friends”, only Xiao Mu is not an artist, but who would think that she is not an artist? She didn’t come to the scene, but I believe everyone can feel her presence. Thinking of this, he was a little excited. They must not have expected that I would end up like this. Well, this scene is probably not going to happen. Something that didn’t happen perfectly undid what he had planned. Later, he clicked on Lao Chen’s official account, found the preview article of the exhibition, and flipped through it quickly. Their head portraits, vigorous introductions, and pictures of their works… The name of the exhibition is “Muffler”. Want to retweet? He hesitated. At this time, Xiao Mu sent a WeChat message: Come to my house for dinner the night after tomorrow, braised pork ribs with sauerkraut, this is what I told you last time, it can be fulfilled… Also, I want to tell you about my last night I’m driving, let’s talk about it later. She then sent a video of only a dozen seconds, which showed the intersection directly ahead, the red light turned green, the navigator was a cute voice of a little girl, turning left ahead…

He didn’t know what else to do. The exhibition is tomorrow afternoon, and the dinner and tea are tomorrow night. Xiao Mu’s family banquet is the day after tomorrow, at noon or evening. At two o’clock in the afternoon, he called a car and asked the driver to go to Hedi Road, and then drove east until he was about to leave the city, and then turned back to the hotel. He had no other idea, just wanted to see the scenery by the river in winter. The river has been completely frozen, and in some places it has even cracked. The driver said with a cigarette in his mouth that the bottom of the river could be seen from the big crack, and it was completely frozen. The surface of the glacier is covered with snow. If you look carefully, you can see the footprints of many people who have crossed the river. A few black crows landed silently on the treetops by the river. When the suburban scene began to appear in front of the car, he did not remind the driver to turn around. When the driver suddenly remembered his request, he turned around and asked him, can we go back? He suddenly woke up and said, okay, go back. On the way back, he fell asleep. Later, he heard the music on the radio in a daze, mixed with the voices of some people in the WeChat group of the driver’s mobile phone, and there was a feeling of slow decline in his body, like diving, he felt I was going deeper, the light was dim, there was a soft sound of water bubbles, and then there was a female voice, not the sentence she played, but a bit like the navigation software in her car, it sounds very childish female voice: When Tyndall When the effect appears, the light has a shape…Turn left two hundred meters ahead.

The exhibition site is in the abandoned workshop of the refractory material factory ten kilometers away. When the taxi was about halfway away, Lao Chen sent a WeChat voice: Are you out? He replied that he was already on his way, halfway through. Old Chen sent another voice: That’s it, things have changed, so don’t go to the scene, the electricity was pulled by the factory, and I’m still negotiating with them, but I guess there’s nothing to do… It’s a bit absurd, we should wait later Let’s meet at the hotel. I’ll send you the address. It’s only five kilometers away from your hotel. You can go back to the hotel to rest first. When we leave later, you can go there. He looked at the address that Lao Chen sent, and then modified the destination in the car-hailing software. Putting down his phone, he looked at the cold scene flowing outside. The sky is clear blue, the sun is clear and thin. In this kind of good weather, it seems that nothing bad should happen. Ah, look at the sunshine. She sent another voice message in WeChat, followed by a video of only a few seconds. It was still an intersection, and the green light turned into a red light. In a video that lasted more than ten seconds, she shot the golden sunlight shining among the branches. If you don’t look carefully, you will think that there are swarms of golden bees dancing there and making buzzing noises. He played it back and listened carefully, it should be the sound of the air conditioner. He sent a voice message to tell her that the exhibition could not be opened. What Lao Chen said, I haven’t been there yet, I’m going to eat now, and I’ll know what’s going on when I see them. What are you doing at the restaurant so early? she asked in voice. He said that there was nothing else to do anyway, and he found it troublesome to go back to the hotel, so he just went over and waited. After a few minutes, she said in a voice, this is really interesting, nothing happened, it’s over. He asks where she’s going, feeling like she’s been on the road for a long time. She said that I almost crossed the whole city twice, from east to west, and then from west to east, but this also shows that our place is really small… I don’t know how to answer you, because I have nothing When it was done, it was just a long lap in emptiness, just as if you were enjoying the fine weather, you see, everywhere seemed to be transparent and luminous. He said I don’t have to think about anything now, everything is reduced to a dinner. However, thinking about the stewed pork ribs with sauerkraut the night after tomorrow, he felt that everything was unexpectedly returning to normal. Later, sitting in the private room with two large round tables, he ordered a pot of tea from the waiter, and sat by the window, the color of the sky was gradually fading and darkening. Twenty-six degrees below zero. Lao Chen told him in WeChat that he was still negotiating with the factory and probably would be late at the hotel. He replied, waiting for you. When the last reddish halo fell on the glass on the opposite building, he suddenly felt the coldness and reality. He took a picture at dusk, and this empty

Lao Chen and the others arrived at the hotel after seven o’clock in the evening. He knew all eight people. They shook off the chill when they took off their coats or down jackets, and they all looked tired and serious. With these people, one table is enough, Lao Chen told the waiter in a low voice, then took out a can of tea from his backpack, asked the waiter to brew it, and took out two bottles of Moutai. Old Chen pursed his lips, serious and calm, as if implying that everything was over, they appeared here and in front of him, they all maintained their due dignity. The expressions of the others gradually relaxed. All he can do is to hint some kind of affirmation to them in his silent gaze. If you were here, he would send her a WeChat message, probably the atmosphere would not be like this. When everyone first came in, it looked like a mutual friend had died… I guess if I was gone in the future, they might not all have such an expression. She never replied. He suddenly remembered that she hadn’t replied since he sent those two photos, more than two hours. When the hot dishes were served, Lao Chen picked up his wine glass, looked at him and said, we are all old brothers, no need to be polite, at least we still have this drink today, so we can drink it with peace of mind, come on brother. In fact, he and everyone here have not seen each other for more than two years. One by one, he nodded, exchanged greetings, and then clinked glasses. A few people politely said, click to the end, click to the end. Old Chen smiled and said, the main reason is that I only have two bottles of this wine, let’s drink it slowly. After exchanging information about the recent art circle with everyone, when it comes to the bad market, he said that the artists he knows have not opened for several years. After a moment of silence, everyone said that it was not easy, so they needed to hug each other to keep warm. After hearing this, Lao Chen shook his head. This is still a superficial problem. Then Lao Chen discussed the works in this exhibition with everyone. He listened, nodded from time to time, or looked intently at Lao Chen’s nose. What he was actually thinking was, why didn’t she reply? Why do old friends feel strange when they get together? He even thought of the unfinished exhibition site and the installations displayed in the tall old factory building, but he didn’t want to comment on them. At no time, under any circumstances, should an artist refrain from talking about his own work or that of others… All seminars are inherently hypocritical and might as well gossip. She said that when they talked about him, most of them pointed to his rich emotional life and rarely mentioned his art. Listening to everyone’s monotonous discussion, he nodded from time to time, watching Lao Chen patiently calm everyone’s emotions. Really, Lao Chen suddenly said to him, even though you are far away from us, we have always regarded you as one of us and our mirror… Your success does not need us to say anything, the key is You can keep us on our toes in some way…I always remember your speech in that video conference last year , especially the last paragraph: We must be vigilant against that stable and comfortable state, just as vigilant against the decay of spirit and body, otherwise we will soon fall, from the surface of this era, just like dust, a burst of dust A light wind can blow us away. In fact, he really wanted to tell everyone that his thoughts now are different from those at that time. If he said it again now, it would be like this: everything is indifferent, no one can prevent the coming of decay, all the stability and comfort , are short-lived, but also worth cherishing. We’ll peel off like the skin of a wall and crumble to pieces. But he didn’t say it. It was past ten o’clock at night when we went to Lao Chen’s studio. Apart from him, only three people responded to the invitation. In Lao Chen’s jeep, he was squeezed in the back row with two people. No one spoke on the way. The shape and texture of this silence is like this jeep packed full of people in winter. The studio is at the foot of Beishan Mountain. It is a two-story building built by farmers. There are yards at the front and back, and four German shepherds are raised. Lao Chen locked the big iron gate according to the code, and a big black shadow appeared on Lao Chen’s shoulder, and the light from the building illuminated its hot breath. He subconsciously took two steps back. Old Chen said don’t worry, even if they bite each other in a hurry, they won’t bite anyone. They walked cautiously across the yard, both of which had receded into darkness.

She didn’t reply to WeChat until after midnight. At that time, he was listening to Lao Chen talk about the local art circle. In order to prevent himself from appearing sleepy and affecting Lao Chen’s interest, he could only keep his expression serious. She guessed right, he was still with Lao Chen and the others, and he was already sleepy, but he had to persevere. Then she said that I was actually about to go to bed and was tired, so I drove back from my parents after eleven o’clock in the evening. After washing up, she sat on the bed in a daze for a while, not wanting to understand what she was busy with that day. However, she still remembered that dream. The reason why I still send him WeChat now is mainly to tell about this dream: You don’t need to reply, just watch it, I don’t want to type, I can only send voice, just please trouble me, just convert it into text… How that dream started, I actually can’t remember it. The clear memory point is that my parents came to my house suddenly and said they would stay for a week and take care of me. I thought, it’s over now, I told you that I’m going to eat sauerkraut stewed pork ribs, and if they come, you won’t be able to come. what to do? Later, I called you to ask you, if you can’t eat food for the time being, let’s talk about where you want to go. Then you tell me that there is a Beishan Temple, it is said that the incense is very prosperous, but this is not the main reason why you want to go, you are not a believer, you don’t care about incense or not, it is the temple that arouses your interest Abbot, that person is your junior high school classmate… You said that he was originally a gangster, and he was sentenced to prison at the age of eighteen. You said it was ten years, but he came out after more than three years. Then this person disappeared for six or seven years, and when he reappeared, he had become a monk. The Beishan Temple was originally small and dilapidated, and it had not been taken care of for many years. When this person came, he brought the appointment document of the abbot, and in this way, it took three years to rebuild the temple. One morning, I picked you up by car, followed the navigation guide, and went to that temple. It seemed to be noon. The temple was built from the bottom of the valley, and then went up from the mountain gate, rising step by step. We walked for a long time before we came to the gate of the main hall. At this time, a little monk came out and said that the abbot is waiting for you inside, but you can only go in by yourself. Before you could speak, I said, then I will wait for you outside. It was actually quite cold that day. I walked back and forth, and I don’t know how long it took. When I felt my feet were frozen and numb, the little monk came out again. He told me that your friend is not leaving, and he is determined to become a monk. , This is his mobile phone, he asked me to hand it over to you for safekeeping. I was stunned, what is going on? I took your mobile phone, and when I got home, I was actually wondering if I should crack the password of your mobile phone? The result is insomnia. I didn’t fall asleep until dawn. Later, in

Lao Chen’s studio also has a basement floor, which was used to store sculpture works and material warehouses in the past. Later, it was remodeled by Lao Chen, and a standard fireplace was built, which is next to the floor-to-ceiling window near the patio. After midnight, the temperature continued to drop. Sitting in the living room, the heating and air conditioning seemed to be failing. So Lao Chen took everyone to the basement floor, and then lit the firewood in the fireplace. After everyone formed a semi-circle around the fireplace, Lao Chen took out the Scotch whiskey that had been preserved for many years, saying that it had a peaty taste, and he wanted to sip it slowly. Although he usually doesn’t know wine as well as Lao Chen, he can still taste the mellowness of this wine. What he didn’t expect was that at this time, Lao Chen was still full of energy and didn’t feel tired at all. The other three seemed to be in a trance. During the whiskey tasting, no one spoke. What still lingers in his mind is her dream and the Beishan Temple. He had already searched on his mobile phone, and there was no temple with this name in the local area. There are a few temples and a Taoist temple in Beishan, but he has never been to them. And his old classmate who appeared in her dream and became a monk after being sentenced, actually had a prototype in reality, but disappeared later and did not become a monk. Had he told her the man’s story? He can’t remember. The fire in the fireplace was burning hotter and hotter. From time to time, Lao Chen filled in large pieces of firewood, splashing a lot of sparks and making a crackling sound. Everyone put their feet on the rough wooden coffee table like Lao Chen did. Two of them fell asleep like this, and the other was almost half asleep. Old Chen was smoking his pipe, staring at the fire in a trance. I don’t know if it was the effect of the whiskey, or because he was thinking about her dream, he was not sleepy at all, and he was also watching the blazing fire in the hearth. In this way, when it was almost three o’clock in the morning, the two sleeping people suddenly woke up, and said goodbye to the other person, unable to bear it anymore. Old Chen looked at him, we can continue. He nodded, yes. After seeing off those three people and sitting down again, Lao Chen poured him some more whiskey, then raised his glass, toast to you, to all the accidents… We can sit until this time, we still have something to say, that’s fine. He took a sip of his wine, shook his head and smiled, at least until now, nothing here is accidental… I didn’t say I would come back this time because I only have two days to visit The old father still has to deal with his parents’ house, and then he has to rush back to Shanghai to deal with other things… The buyer of the house was introduced by Xiao Mu. Old Chen nodded and said, Xiao Mu told me everything, and she said she apologized to you, so I have to say sorry too, the exhibition was not completed, and you wasted so much time. That’s going too far, he said. Old Chen tilted his head, understood, and didn’t talk about it. He put his feet on the tea A few days later, the heat from the fire from the soles of his feet to his face covered him with an invisible warm film. After a long time, Lao Chen suddenly broke away from the silence, and talked about Xiao Mu, this girl is really nice, we all like her… You have also watched the documentary, it is really not just for fun, I cut this film as a work, and I have thought about every frame in it… In front of her, we are all patients, it’s as simple as that. It was very late yesterday, and I talked about you on WeChat with her. It was not easy. For so many years, all the achievements that others see are just halos, but on a daily level, your feet still step on others. In the mud that can’t be reached. Hearing this, he suddenly smiled, his expression almost arrogant. Old Chen silently smoked his pipe. He asked Lao Chen, is your projector easy to use? When he came in, he saw a reel of projection screen above the floor-to-ceiling windows next to the patio, and a projector hanging opposite. I want to watch the film, he said, and return to the hotel after dawn. Old Chen froze for a moment before saying, it’s easy to use. Then I pulled out the remote control, started the relevant equipment, lowered the curtain, called up the theater page, and demonstrated the operation method. After throwing a few more big pieces of wood into the fireplace, Old Chen said, this way you won’t be cold until dawn… Are you really not sleepy? He smiled and shook his head and said, I’m really not sleepy, you go to sleep. Lao Chen cleaned up the pipe patiently, and moved all the wine and tea utensils on the coffee table into the sink under the stairs. Halfway up the stairs, Lao Chen stopped, turned around and asked him, what movie are you going to watch? He tilted his head sideways and said slowly, “Interstellar” is my constant option when I suffer from insomnia. shows how to operate. After throwing a few more big pieces of wood into the fireplace, Old Chen said, this way you won’t be cold until dawn… Are you really not sleepy? He smiled and shook his head and said, I’m really not sleepy, you go to sleep. Lao Chen cleaned up the pipe patiently, and moved all the wine and tea utensils on the coffee table into the sink under the stairs. Halfway up the stairs, Lao Chen stopped, turned around and asked him, what movie are you going to watch? He tilted his head sideways and said slowly, “Interstellar” is my constant option when I suffer from insomnia. shows how to operate. After throwing a few more big pieces of wood into the fireplace, Old Chen said, this way you won’t be cold until dawn… Are you really not sleepy? He smiled and shook his head and said, I’m really not sleepy, you go to sleep. Lao Chen cleaned up the pipe patiently, and moved all the wine and tea utensils on the coffee table into the sink under the stairs. Halfway up the stairs, Lao Chen stopped, turned around and asked him, what movie are you going to watch? He tilted his head sideways and said slowly, “Interstellar” is my constant option when I suffer from insomnia.

He said goodbye to Lao Chen in WeChat, saying that he was already at the airport and was about to board the plane. In fact, he was still in that hotel. He stayed for another three days, but never went out. On the morning of departure, the temperature had risen to minus ten degrees. On the way to the airport by taxi, he clicked on WeChat and found that her circle of friends, which was set to be visible for three days, was still empty. In the past three days, he has not texted or called her. So does she. Is this some sort of tacit agreement? They seemed to have fallen into a space-time gap, unable to make a sound. When boarding the plane, he found that the crew of this flight was exactly the same as when they arrived. When the flight was taxiing towards the runway according to the tower’s instructions, its turning action gave him the illusion that what he was experiencing now was just a rewind of the scene when he came. On the plane, he opened a thick book and put it on the small table, but fell asleep not long after. It was as if there were no dreams at all. As the descent began, he woke up. After a few minutes, he still felt empty in his head, his ears were buzzing, and the sound in the cabin became very distant. After the flight landed, the first thing he wanted to do was to send her a WeChat message. He had thought about the content before boarding the plane: That night, in Lao Chen’s studio, that is, in the basement with a fireplace, I later It’s a person who watches movies until dawn. Watched Interstellar. At that time, I wanted to send you a WeChat message, asking if you could guess which scene made me sad the most? I have watched this film three times in theaters and I don’t know how many times I have watched it on the computer, but I have never watched it in its entirety. That’s right, every time I watch it, I will fall asleep unconsciously , Continue to watch after waking up… A few times, I woke up and found that the movie happened to be at that point, that is, Cooper and Emilia escaped from the planet with thousand-meter waves captured by the black hole, and returned to the When they were in the orbital module of the Persistence, the black scientist Romily, who greeted them with a dull expression and a white beard, told them that twenty-three years had passed. Think about it, is this a matter of timing, or is it a matter of feeling? Or, is it some other level of problem that we don’t know about? Until now, until now, I am still thinking about it, but I haven’t been able to figure it out. Also, I like the guy who composed the music for this film, his name is Hans Zimmer.

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