On the night of the intense argument with Joan, I just received the bad news of Ying’s death. I didn’t tell Joan, because some of the sorrows didn’t communicate with each other. So she didn’t notice that the sad tsunami destroyed my line of defense. But I violated the principle of no refutation and no quarrel. I roared. I’m wrong.
The reason for the quarrel was inexplicable. Joan categorically asserted that the relationship between me and my ex-wife had revived, and we had a close relationship. One night last month, I took the newly opened subway No. 3 to Liwan Road and turned into Xiaoxian Lane. In a small and dim Irish bar, I celebrated my wedding anniversary with my ex-wife. During the period, I drank a bottle of French red wine from home. Maybe I went back to his ex-wife’s house. I swear to God that since the divorce for more than three years, I broke up with my ex-wife and never contacted her. Needless to say, I met her, even my daughter. Joan doesn’t know how much I want to see my daughter. If the money she gave back then works and Fang finds the right doctor again, her intelligence should be normal and she can call my father.
Joan is good at everything, just suspicious, always thinking that I will be disconnected from my ex-wife. In fact, the ex-wife’s compliance with the contract was beyond everyone’s imagination, and she would never be able to violate the agreement between her and Joan, even if it was an oral agreement. Once, I called her and asked about her daughter’s situation. She didn’t say anything but hung up the phone silently. She didn’t want to have anything to do with me.
But Joan always violated the contract habitually. For example, I often wronged me for no reason, saying that I was either pretending to be Fang or Ying in my heart, except that there was no place for her. I am full of grievances, but I rarely defend myself. Afterwards, Joan will apologize to me and blame me for the mistake. But this day, I was staring at the sofa chair on the balcony, and suddenly I felt that Ying was sitting on the sofa chair wearing the navy blue cheongsam I bought for her. I yelled Ying softly, and she was gone, disappearing on the balcony like a shadow.
At this time, my mobile WeChat rang, and it was sent to me by a friend in Northeast China: An hour ago, Ying was in Sanlitun, Beijing, and she jumped from the 18th floor.
I couldn’t help but let out an “ah”. I think I accidentally alarmed Joan. Really Sorry.
I suddenly became very sad. Joan leaped over and questioned me three times, is it true? Celebrating wedding anniversary with ex-wife. I replied, not really. Joan talked about the so-called evidence, for example, no wonder I smelled Fang’s smell from me that night. I defended myself loudly. There was even a roar. This is the first time. So angered Joan, she was unexpectedly yelling at me, as if she was frightened by a fake snake. She jumped up. I was also angry and dropped a teacup. When I realized I was not qualified to be angry, it was too late. The fire is too strong, and any action to put out the fire will only add fuel to the fire. I just opened my hands and made a hug gesture towards her. I mean reconciliation, let this bad day pass, and don’t let the night wring sadness and anger to swallow us. Joan didn’t understand my intention. She instinctively backed down and fell onto the sofa that Ying had sat on just now.
“Are you planning to kill me, divide the body, and then rush into the sewer? Like the men mentioned on the Internet…” Joan suddenly fell soft and gave up, looking at me desperately, eyes full of sadness , Panic and pleading.
I said: “I am not going to hurt you, I just promise you…”
Joan said: “No, I don’t need your guarantee, I let go, you can go back to the ex-wife.”
I have nothing to say. After a stalemate, I handed her a towel. She took it carefully and wiped away the sweat and tears from her face. She is still that beautiful, but she is obviously old, with eye bags and freckles clearly visible.
“Let’s break up. You don’t belong here.” Joan pressed his anger and pointed the direction of the door with his left. “Take what belongs to you in the house.”
In fact, I already wanted to leave here. I cannot bear Joan’s insulting interrogation over and over again. But I still hope not to leave in this way, especially when I haven’t found a place to stay. I said to Joan, “Can we still talk? Sit down and talk.”
“Get out!” Joan yelled. In the hot and humid south, “Gun” is the most devastating word in Chinese. This is the last roar. The entire community should have been shaken, and the solidified night suddenly dispersed, like a mist that was exploded.
I can refuse fame and fortune, but I have no face to resist the eviction order. I must leave immediately.
Obviously, this place I call home is just my temporary lodging place. Apart from my clothes, paintbrushes, and the few remaining paints, there is only one thing that belongs to me, and that is a gray single sofa chair.
Joan’s house is hidden deep in the dense forest of Lane Community. The community is a residential area for employees of a state-owned forest farm, planted with lush canopy trees, as if they had transplanted all the trees in the mountains and turned the community into a forest. The balcony is blocked by trees, and the sun cannot be seen all year round, and the neighbor on the opposite side cannot see each other with her. Although the house is a bit small, it is very nice, with reasonable layout, ventilation, and Chinese-style decoration to a certain level. I am familiar with these used furniture. At the beginning, my moving company was responsible for moving in. Some furniture was still placed by me. Put it. After I moved in, I only made some modifications to the balcony, and changed the balcony into my “gallery” as my painting place. As for the flowers and wind chimes, I try to keep them as they are. The gray single-person sofa chair, with a wide base, a thick backrest, and strong armrests, always feels that there is a melancholy beauty in gorgeous clothes sitting back on it, making the balcony meaningful, but permeated with faintness. sad. It is these faintly inexplicable sadness that make my relationship with Joan turbulent, and sometimes the turbulent waves hit the shore. Ever since I arrived in the south, I have not been used to sleeping in the dark. I often wake up in dreams, get out of bed, and be in a daze in the dark. And since I had this chair, I couldn’t survive the long night quietly. That chair, like a cat suffering from sleep dysfunction, every time I wake up in the middle of the night, it always lures me to sit in its arms. It seems to be full and comfortable as soon as I sit on it. Sometimes, I fell asleep unconsciously as soon as I sat down, and it was not until dawn was approaching that I hurried back to bed with guilt. I thought Joan had never noticed my actions, but in fact she stood silently in front of me more than once to watch me sleep soundly in the chair. When I was still living with Fang, Fang did the same, but Fang would quietly cover me with a quilt, and afterwards he would say to me without hesitation: “The smell of fireworks on the bed is too strong to suit me. You. You belong to the sofa chair.” I agree with Fang’s evaluation. She understands me.
Originally, I had agreed with Joan, we would be old. Joan said, “If you dare to separate, I dare to die.” It was obvious that what she said was true. I thought in my heart, I won’t be separated, this will be the case for this life, stay with you until the end of life. Joan is satisfied and assured. We had a happy time.
But it must be separated. Love is just a dangerous egg piled up with lies. Although it is so high as a mountain, it cannot withstand a draught.
I put all the paintings and brushes, drawing paper and paint into a plastic bag, and carried it around the nearest garbage pool, threw it to the most remote garbage pool in the community, and burned it. Although it is in the dark, the flames are not particularly hot, just like a little fireflies in the wilderness. I am determined to stop painting from now on. This is the last time to make up his mind. The flame went out, and my heart went out with it. Although I refuse to admit it, the facts have proved that I have no talent in this area. After more than ten years of painting, none of my works have entered the provincial art exhibition. They said that my work has nothing but vulgarity. Except for Ying, no one appreciates my paintings. I do not belong to this era, nor do I belong to this world, like Nietzsche.
Joan didn’t want to see any of my personal belongings in her world, and even asked me to take away all my smells. I have been evicted more than once and I have experience. When I was in the northeast, I was evicted twice by the landlord. In M City, Fang also expelled me in a similar way. It seems that I am a sneeze they sneezed.
It was already night. Wanjia is lit up, and the quiet neighborhood does not tolerate noise.
Everything is quiet. That sofa chair, my only piece of furniture, I gently carried it across the living room from the balcony. Her resolute face was like solidified paint, which had not changed from beginning to end. I gently knocked on the door and closed it gently. I walked down from the fifth floor without taking the elevator. As I passed the sidewalk downstairs, I felt her looking at me from the balcony. I don’t expect her to say goodbye or slow down. At this moment, the determination on her face should slowly turn into sadness, and loneliness and immense sadness will quickly knock her down. This is the emotion that humans must bear. She will bear it, and I will bear it too.
I didn’t look back. I left the complex and walked south and along the road, hoping to find a place where it could be placed.
The night is charming, the lights are brilliant, and the sky is full of stars. Faced with such a night scene, I was at a loss. Just after Liqiu, there was a sudden chill. I also have a backpack stuffed with clothes on my back. The sofa chair is much heavier than the backpack, and I get tired very quickly.
After turning two bends, there is a long slope on the wide road in front of him. At the end of the slope is the most prosperous Wanda Plaza in M City. I couldn’t get there in one breath. Two kilometers away from it, under the camphor tree that hadn’t grown up, I put down the chair and the backpack.
Although it was late at night, the road was still busy, but there were no pedestrians.
When I came out of Joan’s house, I knew in my heart that I couldn’t live in a hotel with the only money I had. It was no different from a stray dog. It seems that I have to adapt to life on the street again.
To live, we must believe that good days will come at any time. This is what Ying told me back then, and now I give it to everyone.
I am a little hungry. The whole body collapsed, leaning on the sofa chair, looking up at the starry sky, looking back at this life.
These years, or this life—if my life ends at forty-one, I’m not going well, and good days have never been on my head. Although the career I pursue is painting, I have sold leather shoes, wood, herbs, and northeastern jujubes, and opened a mounting studio. I started with ambitious and ended with humiliation. I was embarrassed by debts. In order to avoid the creditors, I changed the life in three cities, Manzhouli, Jinzhou, and Anshan, all of which were very short-lived. Every time they flew over the wasteland like a bird, the world became more and more vast. The only thing ever done was marrying a wife and having a daughter four years ago. His wife is from M City, she is very beautiful, weak and capable, she is a typical southern woman, kind, gentle, passionate about life, and responsible for her family. I am very satisfied with her, thinking that I have finally settled down in this life. There is no doubt that I am willing to spend the rest of my life happily with her.
His wife’s name is Fang. Not long after I arrived in M City from the northeast, I was impoverished, with only 500 yuan from Alipay. I went to an agency service company to consult about renting a house. The girl who received me is her.
Fang is very responsible for his work and introduces the city to me endlessly. “M City is the best city, better than any city in the Northeast.” She said. I asked her which city in Northeast China had been to, and she said she had never left M city in her life. But I did not hesitate to agree with her point of view. She encouraged me to buy a house. Now is the best time to buy or rent. I said: “I’ll rent it first.” During those few days, she took me to the surrounding area for house inspections every day. Very patient, looking at the location, environment, house decoration, price comparison…everything she says is impeccable. After seeing many good houses, I shook my head. She became suspicious of my sincerity. I said to rent the cheapest kind. She understood, and finally found a bachelor apartment in an alley on Sixian Road. A suspicious woman had just moved out from there, and her smell and body temperature were still in the house. Dark, shabby, and a pile of dirty garbage. With a monthly rent of 300 yuan, this is the cheapest house in M city. Fang was afraid that I was not satisfied, so he hurried to clean up the garbage before the landlord, playing with the crooked bed dignified.
There is nothing but a bed in the house. The bedspread exudes a strong stench, and the back of the bed is covered with mottled stains. Fang said: “Let’s do it, everything is hard at the beginning, it’s better than sleeping on the street.”
However, I never told her that these days I spent the night under the roof of Industrial and Commercial Bank of Jianzheng Road. At night, the lights are dim, the floor is clean, the air is fresh and quiet, and it is a good place to sleep. There is also an old woman who seems to have a mental disorder who sleeps with me. Every night before going to bed, I laid out the straw mat with a sense of ritual, changed into a white pajamas calmly and gracefully, put her Beijing cloth shoes neatly close to the pillows, sat down, looked around, and lay down comfortably. Cover with checkered sheets. The sheet covers from the feet to the neck, showing only the mouth and face. She went to bed early and got up early. She didn’t snore when she went to bed, didn’t say anything when she got up, and quietly packed up and left. She never interfered with the business of the bank. At night, she came back as if she were going home. It can be seen that she is a frequent visitor and host here. The place where she sleeps is only three meters away from me, I don’t disturb her, and she doesn’t interfere with me. It seems that we are dependent on each other. I never said a word with her. Sometimes, she looked at me blankly, trying to say something but swallowing it back. She opened her mouth to show sharp teeth and yelled at the person trying to approach. But I think it’s safe to be a neighbor of her. How did Fang know that I would sleep on the street? The moment she said this, I thought she was a naturally considerate woman.
I barely cleaned up, just changed the bedspread, and bought a bed sheet and a cheap cassia pillow from a street vendor. He locked the door and fell asleep. This is my first home in M City.
Fang also introduced me to a job, working for a moving company. So, I took a job that I had never done before. Running in this city every day, serving those who move, moving all kinds of furniture, moving from a strange place to another strange place. I envy these people with homes and furniture. Beautiful house, expensive furniture, warm home. I really hope that this or that home is mine, even the furniture. I was not strong enough to move heavy furniture. I was ridiculed by my colleagues. The class leader was very dissatisfied with me. He saw that I could not do physical work. I was just a “literati”.
I am really just a weak scholar, a painter. I have been drawing with my second uncle in the cultural center since I was a child. My uncle thinks I can become an excellent painter. He never allows me to do physical work, for fear of hurting my hand, for fear that my painting talent will be lost with sweat. I am as good at painting ladies as my second uncle. In Changchun, I still have some fame. After my uncle passed away, I had no source of livelihood, and painting could not support me. I lost my enthusiasm for painting for a while, so I tried to do business. As mentioned earlier, the failure of the business made my situation difficult and even desperate. Ying was deceived to Beijing by a print advertiser, and there was no news ever since. From then on, I felt like a different person, the body and soul are not the same. However, neither Fang nor Qiong have seen me look full of love and full of ambition before.
Moving for others made me feel the turbulence of life. I hope to end the turbulent life as soon as possible, and have a studio of my own, even if there is only one corner where the easel can be placed. One day, while working, I became interested in a sofa chair. At that time, a few colleagues and I stayed in the large container of the moving car. They were all tired and fell asleep. I stared at the sofa and chair. When I was sleepy, I suddenly found a person sitting on it, a man in ancient costume. maid. Just like the kind of woman I painted in Changchun, she is slightly fat, round face, well-dressed, small cherry mouth, and melancholy eyes. I was taken aback, awake completely, instinctively looking for a paintbrush. Isn’t she just my model Ying? She is sitting in distress, waiting for my creation. The dark and sultry container suddenly became bright. However, there was nothing but messy furniture.
The owner of these furniture is Joan. It is old furniture. She moved from Xicheng District to Dongcheng District, where she is now. When we moved the furniture into the house, I noticed that she was disgusted with this sofa chair, and I joked in time: “I want to buy this sofa chair.” Joan smiled brightly at that time. , Very charming, her face is white, her eyes are clear, her lips are bright red, like a lady who has just reaped love.
“I have been looking for a new owner for this chair.” Joan said.
The original owner of this chair was not Joan either. When she bought it from the second-hand furniture market, she also felt that it had an unspeakable speciality. As soon as she sat on it, her sad emotions came over from all directions like night, unknowingly making people burst into tears. She wanted to throw it away again and again, but she couldn’t bear it. She wants to find a matching owner for it.
Joan caught me all at once.
I bought this sofa chair with one day’s wages and happily carried it back to the rental house. From then on, I slowly lost interest in the bed. At night, I sat on the sofa chair and stared at the empty bed in a daze. Yes, artists need to have enough time to spend their time in a daze. More importantly, I am trying hard to cultivate feelings with this strange sofa chair, understand each other and love each other. When the feelings between me and the chair were increasing day by day and couldn’t be separated, Fang appeared in my room again. Sitting on the empty bed, she looked at me overjoyed and said, “My mother said you are a good person.”
“Who is your mother?” I asked in surprise.
Fang told me that the old man sleeping under the roof of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of Jianzheng Road every night is her mother.
Sleeping in the street is her obsession, to commemorate Fang’s father. Five years ago, Fang’s father and Fang’s mother left without saying goodbye. When he ran away, he didn’t bring anything, not even his salary card. Fang’s mother thought he was just going out for a day or two, but this stubborn retired cinema artist never returned, and has not returned home for five years. Fang’s mother always thought that Fang’s father must have been wandering in a certain corner of the city, sleeping on the streets at night, because he was so self-esteem that he couldn’t be let alone. Therefore, she would also spend the night on the street without beds and furniture to express her regret and sharing in suffering. His father left Fang a two-bedroom house in the 1980s. It was very dilapidated. It has been demolished but has not seen it. It looks like a prisoner with a suspended death sentence.
“My mother said, you want to marry a good person-a good person like your dad.” Fang said.
I think I can be a good person through hard work. So Fang and I got married, like an adopted orphan, I walked into an unfamiliar life nervously.
I carried my only furniture-sofa and chair from the rental house, and walked all the way south, crossing Dongge Road and Liwan Road, flashing into Xiaoxian Alley, and turning into the dormitory area of Provincial Film Company. Arrived at Fang’s home.
The house was full of old furniture, and it was hard to find a place to put my sofa and chair-in a corner of the bedroom. Fang once advised me to throw it away, but I disagree. I feel that if this place does not have a piece of furniture that belongs to me, it cannot be called my own home.
After getting married, Fang’s mother still stayed overnight under the eaves of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of Jianzheng Road. She only returned home on the day of my wedding to tell me that my sleeping place was occupied by a new homeless man. What she meant was that from now on, I didn’t even have the possibility of sleeping on the street. Therefore, be nice to her daughter and take care of the family like a good person.
Following Fang’s advice, I quit my job at the moving company after marriage. She entrusted me to arrange me to be a teacher in a kindergarten art tutoring class. I teach children to draw rivers, beaches, trains, and snow and large forests in the northeast. In fact, I am helping children nurture dreams. My work has been recognized by my parents and boss, and I am also very happy. Fang suddenly discovered my value and thought I could make my career bigger, and encouraged me to recruit students secretly, start classes at home, and be my own boss. Under her leadership, I recruited five students and counseled at home. Although the house is very small, it is full of vigor and hope.
My daughter was born. A baby who is completely strange to me occupies a huge space in our lives. Fang resigned to take care of the children at home. In our spare time, my daughter and I often visit her mother and bring her food and clothing. But obviously her mother didn’t want us to disturb her life. Soon, when we went to see her again, she was no longer there. The tramp who was sleeping there told us that she had moved away. We searched the eaves of banks throughout the city, but we didn’t find her.
Perhaps it was because of her daughter’s sickness or her mother’s disappearance that changed Fang’s temperament a lot. She was irritable and often scolded me for no reason in front of the students. As a result, my students were quickly lost, and I tried to return to the original counseling organization but was flatly rejected. Our life suddenly became tight and insecure. One evening, we were cooking, and the electricity went out at home because of the arrears. We turned the cabinets and cabinets, but we didn’t even make up the 182 yuan for the electricity bill. Fang went to the property management office to swear. When they learned that the power outage was not caused by them, she still reluctantly said: “The power supply company is a group with you, born by a mother! Bullying!” She finished her cursing, holding her daughter and crying at a strange pedestrian.
The women in the south are different from the women in the northeast. They like to cry, and their stomachs are filled with all kinds of sadness.
Xiaoxian’s alley is not very narrow. On both sides of the lane, there are shavers, cobblers, needlemen, Gu Sha masters, and electric bicycle repairers. One day, I took out the sofa and chair from my house and put it between the cobbler and the head shaver, and erected a cardboard billboard beside the chair: portraits of people, 20 yuan each. As long as someone sits on a sofa chair, I can draw them a satisfactory portrait. However, I suddenly discovered that they were standing in front of me enthusiastically, but when they sat on the chair, they slowly became deep and then showed a sad expression. I repeatedly reminded them that they can’t restore their joy and sweetness, so they painted All the portraits are full of sorrow, as if they have just lost their relatives or are about to face catastrophe. As soon as they left the chair, they returned to normal, as if they had just escaped from another world.
My business is a bit worse than that of the shaver, but I can draw three or five pictures every day, and the income of two or three days is just enough to buy a can of milk powder for my daughter. Relying on talent to support my family, and more importantly, freedom, I think this is the job I want.
About a year later, one day, someone reminded Fang that your daughter may be a mentally retarded child. Because other children of the same age can sing and dance, and our daughters are still not called parents. Fang yelled at the person who reminded her again, but she was trembling and ran to me, yelling.
“I’m going to die!” Fang said, “If my daughter is really mentally retarded, I would rather die, and you must die with us.”
I was only halfway through painting a portrait, and had to put down the paintbrush in my hand and took my daughter to the Provincial Medical University to see a doctor. I concluded that it was mental retardation. Fang’s world collapsed, as if her intelligence suddenly dropped to the level of her daughter. She held her daughter patiently all day to induce her to call her mom and dad, but the daughter just stared at her mother’s face, always with a dazed expression. Sometimes, Fang was about to break down, yelling at her daughter, and finally, yelling at me.
The scream filled the world. Our lives are a mess.
At this time, Fang’s father suddenly returned home.
That evening, an old man with a shaggy beard and a smelly body sat down on my sofa chair without a word. I asked him to sit more straight, and stretch his brows more… so that I can draw a picture that satisfies him.
“I don’t portrait, I’m just tired and want to take a break,” he said.
I’m tired too, I want to pack my things and go home.
I carried the sofa and chair home. When I walked in, I found him following me.
Fang opened the door and exclaimed: “Dad.”
Fang’s father hasn’t been home for many years, but as if nothing had happened, as if he went out this morning and is now coming back for dinner. He avoided talking about where he went all these years, but asked Fang in surprise, “What about your mother?”
Since then, one person has been added to the family, and it has become extremely crowded and oppressive.
Fang was caught off guard and unaccustomed to his father’s unexpected return. Soon, Fang’s war with his father replaced all conflicts. Fang always blames his father for making his mother suffer from mental disorders, wandering on the streets, and being with the homeless people who have different behaviors. Even if he didn’t scold his father for this reason, Fang had other reasons to scold his father so that he hid in the bathroom for a long time and did not dare to come out. Every time I thought he had escaped from the sewer, he flashed out of the bathroom in despair. If the daughter is not there, he will ask me: Is there any change in the world? I said, no. He neither expressed disappointment, nor did he look relieved. In order to relieve the depression brought by the narrow space, he always leaves early and returns late to find Fang’s mother. Every day I went out with confidence, and when I came back, I was as depressed as a failed hound, and still ate the dinner of a family of four with little left. This made Fang and I frustrated, embarrassed and nervous. Fang takes her daughter out every day to seek medical advice. I yell desperately every day, hoping that people will ask me for portraits in droves. I need money. However, the situation is just the opposite. There are fewer and fewer people looking for my portraits. Not only do people in this city do not need portraits themselves, they even save money for painting portraits of their relatives.
One afternoon, just in time, a young woman came. She recognized the sofa chair instantly: “Oh, I saw you again, chair!”
I also recognized her instantly.
She is plump and mature than before. The skin is still so white, as white as the sun.
“This chair has such a usefulness.” Joan said, “I underestimated it. I sold it cheaply, just like I sold myself.”
I said: “It belongs to the painter.”
Joan pretended to be distressed, stroked the chair and sighed: it was thin. There are too many people sitting on it, those messy butts!
I painted her very seriously. At that time, her expression was very melancholy, and it was obvious that her heart was full of frustration. Yes, I have portrayed her expression and inner world, lifelike and meticulous. She is satisfied with the portrait.
“You don’t belong to the street.” Joan said.
This is the most intimate sentence I heard in those days, as Ying said to me back then: Don’t get too close to the smell of the fireworks in the world, you will be smoked to death.
Later, Qiong often passed by Xiaoxian Alley, saying that he was going to do errands, and by the way, he came to see me portraits of others. If she sees me sitting idle, she sits on the sofa chair, smiles sweetly, and says, “Draw me another one and I’ll give you money.”
I need money. At the same time I am used to waiting. When Joan appeared from the crowded corner of the street, the waves slammed inside me. Staring at the abyss for a long time, the abyss will look back. Joan is my abyss. When we were painting the portrait, we often looked at each other, and it took only three months from the first dodge to the later gaze. She looks too Ying! More and more like. Her shadow is wandering in Xiaoxian Alley all the time, beating me in my dreams, lingering.
For a while, I didn’t see Qiong appear in Xiaoxian Lane, and my heart was empty. I scolded myself, I shouldn’t change my mind, I shouldn’t think too much, and don’t slip into the abyss of inaccessibility.
Especially, in the mess in this home.
Fang could see that I started to lose patience with the chaotic life and the endless worries. In fact, she also saw my incompetence. She often scolded me and mocked me for nothing. What’s more, she blamed my daughter’s mental retardation on the fact that I brought home low-quality paints and painted those worthless ladies at home. She was still in the night, leaving the bed, hiding on the sofa and chair and dreaming, like a somnambulism. patient.
I cannot refute it. Because in the dead of night, no matter where the chair is, I can smell it calling like a trickle of water. Fang said that one day she would burn the cursed chair.
After finally waiting for this day, Joan came to Xiaoxian Lane and said to me: “I want to redeem my chair.”
Before I could refuse, she then put her mouth to my ear and said, “Redeem you together.”
I was overjoyed, but pretended to be very embarrassed and worried, just smiled at her faintly.
“The smell of smoke and fire is pervasive here, it’s just a salty smell. It’s a miracle that you didn’t smoke you to death. You must leave here with me, and you can’t delay it for a moment.”
Later I learned that Joan had just bid farewell to a failed marriage. It’s not actually a marriage, because she didn’t marry the man at all. She is just a lover of the night. The man just sneaked into her bedroom on a certain night of every month, and hurried away before dawn. Later, she came only once in three months, and finally didn’t come at all. The family moved to another city and left her here.
I thought Joan was joking with me, but I didn’t think she was serious. She unexpectedly appeared at my house the next evening. When I opened the door to enter, she was talking to Fang in the house. Fang’s father was sitting in the corner smoking inferior cigarettes. Joan did not dislike the complex and unpleasant smell in the room, sitting on a small bench, dressed in an extremely ordinary dress, looked unpretentious.
When I was about to speak, Fang’s father got up and pushed me out of the door: “That’s two women’s business.” Then he took my hand downstairs and strolled along Xiaoxian Lane.
“I also paint, do you know?” Fang’s father asked me.
I know that the artist who painted movie posters said that they retired early, but they were actually laid off.
“Joan is right, you don’t belong to the street.” Fang’s father said, “Fang’s mother once said to me,’You don’t belong to the street, but I belong to the street all my life. I am the life of the street.”
I don’t understand what he meant. We walked all the way north, crossing Dongge Road, Sixian Road, and arrived at Jianzheng Road. When passing by the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, we stopped and looked towards the eaves there.
“Actually, I have also slept on this eave, right between you and Fang’s mother, but you didn’t find it.” Fang’s father said.
I was very surprised. At that time, the stranger sleeping under this roof was like a revolving lantern, I didn’t care, just slept.
“I’m leaving Fang again. Compared with the vast streets, the home is too narrow and too suffocating.” Fang’s father said.
I wanted to ask “Are you going to find Fang’s mother”, but I swallowed it again.
“Do you understand what I mean?” Fang’s father asked me again.
I shook my head.
“You are different from me, you shouldn’t just be satisfied with being a good person!” He announced the answer.
I still don’t understand what he said. I was suddenly full of doubts about everything. I am helpless with all the doubts of this world.
In the end, Fang told me the answer.
Qiong Xiangfang redeemed the sofa and chair for one hundred thousand yuan. Of course, one thing must be given away.
That gift is me.
The point is, I also agree. It’s just that I made a small request to the principle of buying and selling.
Fang didn’t think I would agree. After Joan left my house, Fang told me half-jokingly about the deal that had not yet been sold. She asked for my opinion again, with a smile on her face. I read her intentions. I said: “That’s the only way.”
I’m telling the truth. My daughter needs a lot of money for medical treatment. Fang knew it. She claimed to have found the best doctor, but she needed a huge fee. And Joan’s one hundred thousand yuan is nothing short of a gift.
However, Fang’s face changed suddenly, and then became angry, and smashed her daughter as explosives at me. If it weren’t for her father’s dissuasion, it would be an uncontrollable conflict.
I want to leave this home. I need to be alone. Ying warned me a long time ago: Don’t stay in places where the smell of fireworks is too strong in the world, you will be smoked to death.
I have a small request for this sale: I will not sell that sofa chair, nor can it be a gift. The property right of that sofa chair must always be mine. This is the final dignity of being a painter.
In the bargaining chip of the two women, this request is not a matter of principle. They smiled at each other and the transaction was completed. The agreement does not need to be signed by me, and it becomes effective after they solemnly press the hand model.
Fang can’t wait to drive me out. Her manner of fulfilling the contract is firm and thorough. Everything about me is cleared. Where I came from and where I was going was ignored by the two women. There will be no information about me in the history written by Fang. Before leaving Fang’s house, Fang’s father sent me out and told me sincerely: “When you get old, you have nowhere to go. I, a lonely and sad old painter, recommend a good place to you.”
His face was filled with a weird smile, looking like a self-portrait of Van Gogh.
I carried the sofa and chair and crossed Xiaoxian Lane, Liwan Road, Dongge Road…
I love Joan. true love. Of course, I also loved Fang before. In Changchun, I still loved Ying. I have loved you all. Joan, the days after I entered your house, we were like glue, we met late. Every evening, you sit on the sofa chair on the balcony, like a lady from the Song Dynasty, looking at me sadly. Actually, your heart is joyful and happy, right?
For three years, I have been in your home, you have provided me with board and lodging, and I have been painting without distraction. I drew a lot of pictures. I sent them to the painting and calligraphy company in M City, but they gave me very low prices, which hurt my self-esteem. I took the paintings back, and would rather burn them than sell them cheaply. Yes, I would rather sell myself cheaply than my paintings. Joan encouraged me to say, “You will make them regret in the future.” How do you know they will regret in the future? Joan doesn’t know how to draw. She just admires the scholar. In other words, not to mention worship, she is just addicted to the sense of control of holding a scholar in her hand. Every time I use her as a model and draw the most critical moments, she always reveals the shallowness of a small city worker, which makes me disappointed. She thought I thought of Ying, and she was unhappy. Indeed, I really miss Ying at that moment.
Ying is a real model. She was originally an actor in Changchun Song and Dance Troupe, and later became a model for advertising agencies and clothing factories. Once, I met her in an advertising agency and was fascinated by her beauty and temperament, like the person I had seen in my dream. I stared at her. She walked over, smiled and said to me: “I have seen you. I have seen your paintings.” She refers to a giant propaganda poster that I painted to welcome the Beijing Olympics. A girl with a torch running in Changchun on the street.
“She has a classic temperament.” Ying commented, “Like me.”
The girl with the torch is indeed like her. However, I had never seen her before. When I painted it was pure imagination. I thought that the most beautiful girl in the world should look like the girl in the picture.
Later, when I was about to forget Ying, she suddenly came to my studio and looked at my paintings without humming, like a professional appreciator, grinning at me after reading. Her teeth are white and neat, like blooming lily petals.
“You draw me a portrait. Please.” Ying begged me.
I agreed to her without hesitation. I asked her to change into the costume of an ancient lady. It took an afternoon, but it was getting dark before I painted it. Ying was satisfied, but she didn’t take it away.
“This is your work, I can’t take it away.” Ying said, “Remember, you will die if you leave your work. Like a fish, you can’t do without water. You have to keep them by your side.”
Ying came to my studio to see her portrait every once in a while, spent a long time at the front end of the painting, and then left melancholy. Half a year later, once, she stood in front of her portrait and cried, which frightened me.
“You are the best painter I have ever seen.” Ying said to me very seriously.
I am flattered. After she left, the second uncle said to me: “What she said is right.”
However, I forgot to tell Ying: “You are the best girl I have ever seen.”
It’s a pity that I never said this to her, even if she became my girlfriend later, I didn’t say it.
Later, many of the ladies I painted were modeled after Ying. Unfortunately, nobody cares about my paintings. It’s not that I painted badly, but that Ying’s reputation was corrupted by others. In Changchun, there were overwhelming rumors about her, and she once became synonymous with “bad women”. She was unemployed, had nowhere to hide, and worked as my model in my studio all day long. The second uncle was quite critical about this, worried that Ying would affect the reputation of the studio. I don’t care what others think of Ying, I love her, that’s enough, to her mother’s reputation!
Ying also really loves me. She is someone who has seen fame and wealth, so she has a thorough view of fame and wealth.
“Fame and wealth are shit, it’s not worth pursuing with your best talent.” Ying said, “You are the best painter in the world. Paint your pictures well.”
However, I began to think about making money, because Ying is a colorful goldfish, and I must give her water and nutrients, even though she vowed to say that she doesn’t need material, and would rather live a life of poverty with me. However, I can’t let our love fall into the danger of poverty. Regardless of Ying’s objections and advice, I tossed all kinds of businesses and failed. Finally, I lost my second uncle to my studio. The Northeast has fallen.
The reason why Ying left me was definitely not because I had nothing, but because I didn’t listen to her advice. But she was not angry with me, she just felt that it was a pity that I wasted my talents and consumed my vitality.
“You can’t get too close to the smell of fireworks. It will kill you.” Ying was right. However, when I returned to painting, I couldn’t find the feeling of leaning over the sky and being invigorated.
Now, when I think of Ying, regretful snow piles up like a mountain.
The moonlight is like snow, like the white northeast in winter. At this moment, there are no fireworks in the world, and she is as pure as a lady who is still in love. Countless ladies descended from the sky with sorrow, and it was Ying that was the leader. I couldn’t help myself, and suddenly wept and burst into grief.
A homeless man with tousled hair and beard walked past me, stopped and grinned at me.
“Am I funny? Or, you try?”
The tramp is noncommittal. I stood up, choked up and said to the tramp, “Sit down.”
The tramp was still hesitating, I pulled him and pushed him. He finally sat down on the sofa chair with a half push. I watched the change in his expression. At the beginning, he was still smiling, and after a while, his expression slowly became solemn and sad. A gust of wind blew his eyes and tears finally came out of his eyes, and finally cried loudly in the direction of Wanda City…
“Why are you crying?” I asked him. He did not answer me. I couldn’t stop crying.
The cries attracted curious people. More and more people are coming. There are men, there are women, there are old people, and there are young people. I understand that the seemingly quiet and peaceful night in this city is not impeccable. As long as there is crying, some people will always be attracted.
“Did something happen?” People who didn’t know the truth kept asking.
I said: “Nothing, this is a sad chair, no matter who has sadness, sits on it and weep.”
They don’t believe it. I asked the homeless man to stand up, give up his seat, and let another person sit on it.
The tramp is unwilling to give up his seat. I pulled him. He glared at me.
“I sat down to shit.” The tramp stood up and mumbled.
I took a closer look, isn’t this tramp Fang’s father? There is a bright scar on the corner of his right mouth, gleaming in the moonlight. When I want to prove it again, he has gotten out of the crowd and walked away.
It was a fat middle-aged woman who took the place of the tramp. She just sat up, covered her face and cried, intermittently telling us about her miserable life.
The unbeliever is a strong man. He picked up the fat woman and sat on it himself. He sat for a while, and we thought the chair would fail. When I persuaded him to give up his seat, he actually cried like a flash flood, beating his chest and saying that he was sorry for his wife. He completely broke down. I have never seen a man cry like that. I really hope that both Fang and Qiong witnessed this moment with their own eyes, not for anything, just to witness the magic of a chair.
There are more and more people around the chair, all with strange faces. They are also strange to each other. Where are so many people at midnight? How many strangers are there in this city?
It seems that they have just walked a long way, tired, and scrambling to sit on that chair. I was squeezed outside by them, and it was almost impossible to squeeze in again. I was expelled again.
I knew in my heart that that chair no longer belonged to me. My tears have dried up and I forget how sad I was just now, but the cry from the chair is getting more and more sad…
All this increased my regret, and even fear, I hurriedly left, taking advantage of their carelessness, hurried into the night.