I’m already on my way to see you. On the left is a Guanjiang River that rolls with white waves all the year round, and on the right is the saline-alkali land where no grass grew in the early years, and now the Guanjiang Plain is a rice granary. Through the luxuriant branches and leaves, there is a gentle slope of green grass, that green gentle slope seems to be a vast and boundless silk and satin, stretching as far as the eye can see, spreading to the blue distance.
This is the path you used to take when you were a loan officer.
How often do you go! Whenever asked, you always straightened your slightly bent waist, waved your big rough hands, and corrected with a smile: “That’s walking every day, walking every day!” Your eyes are full of kindness.
Since the credit union was established in the mid-1950s, you were recruited from rural youths into the credit union. An oilcloth umbrella and a canvas satchel with an abacus account book were all your belongings back then. Sweaty in hot weather, muddy in rainy day, deposit and loan, collection and settlement, in wind and rain, your footprints have already been printed in every village on this land.
There was a wind blowing, which seemed to tear a big hole in the sky, and it became bigger and bigger. A milky white cloud hurriedly passed over the head, accompanied by a shower of rain, which startled a few waterfowls in the reeds. I quickly wrapped up my windbreaker and pulled up my windproof hat. This is the unique cloud and rain in Guanjiang Plain. The sound of crackling rain came from far and near, and then went away. In an instant, the wind stopped and the rain stopped, and the sky was still sunny.
I don’t know why, but I put on my backpack and set out on the road in such a hurry. I went out without even knowing the exact direction, relying only on vague memory and even a flash of inspiration. But I believe, no, it should be in the direction of your home.
You laughed at me again, saying that I am a quick-tempered person.
The year you opened the thick and mysterious door of the bank, you laughed at me like this. Yes, for a person who is new to the bank and wants to adapt to the bank as soon as possible, after unfamiliarity and curiosity, disorder, helplessness, and even a bit of grievance and trance will follow, just like climbing a mountain on a moonlit night but not seeing the top of the mountain. How much I look forward to even a little bit of faint light that can lead the way.
In autumn, under the bright sunshine, I have a feeling of walking into a thousand hectares of rice waves. At this time of year, rice is ripening in northern Jiangsu. Standing on the field path, the whole world is a golden sea undulating with the wind. You walked away from the crowd of the agricultural credit results inspection team, looking so serious and secretive, and quietly handed me a squarely folded note.
I turned around and couldn’t wait to unfold two 400-frame sticky notes, which were neatly filled with ten items. The brief is: first, young people don’t need to be impatient, they can’t eat fat people in one bite, they have to eat in one bite, and they have to do one thing at a time. The second point is the railway regulations and the banking system. If you want to do a good job in the bank, you must thoroughly understand the principles and methods of doing things. Article 3: You must have perseverance in doing things, and do things that others want to do but cannot do, or do but cannot do… Article 10… I have suffered in my life because I did not study much. Now it is too late, you take advantage of it Don’t treat yourself badly when you are young. Please use your discretion. Signed on October 13, 1986.
Aphorisms for doing things and being human!
I haven’t had a deep relationship with you, so how can I speak my heart out? How did you know my difficulties, and how did you know that I was hesitating in my heart? Although we are almost 20 years apart in age, we are both department heads. Are you afraid that the way of admonishing me with words will be difficult for me to accept, or are you afraid that it will hurt my self-esteem and lose my face?
Looking at the layers of rice waves rolled up by the breeze in front of me and the thin and slightly curved back disappearing into the crowd, a warm current surged in my heart and spread all over my body.
Stride down the sloping river embankment and step into the country road covered with yellow rapeseed flowers on both sides of the ditch. Turned one turn, another turn, crossed a small wooden bridge with gurgling water, and another small bridge. I was already sweating all over my body. I held my breath and still walked quickly. At a certain moment, it seemed that I was carrying a mysterious mission, playing an important role, and even felt that I was going to worship a sage I had admired for a long time.
In the midwinter night, it was snowing heavily. Before anyone arrives, you can hear your old-fashioned bicycle creaking. Let’s go and drink. When you enter the door, you feel cold all over your body, and there are a few snowflakes on your faded blue cotton hat. I was stunned for a long time, but you couldn’t help but dragged my arm and walked out.
Lifting his feet to go out, snowflakes poured into his neckline, and he couldn’t help shivering. My dear, in such a cold day, with such a heavy snowfall, the two people who were looking for a drink looked like animals that came out of their nests at night to hunt for food, scurrying from one street to another. It’s freezing cold, which hotel is not closed! Fortunately, in the deep alley behind the theater, I found a tavern waiting for the evening show.
A plate of pork head meat, a plate of fried peanuts, and a plate of cabbage dumplings mixed with sesame oil. You take out your treasures from your arms—two warmed bottles of Xiangshui Daqu. It’s still the old rule, drink first and then eat food. Three, two, one, pour six cups of wine into two bowls, and the two of them drank in one go. This kind of drinking ceremony full of chivalrous pride and Jianghu atmosphere is precisely the tradition of meeting bosom friends in our hometown. I couldn’t drink it at first. However, with your training, I have made progress. The first time was after my research article “It’s too early for the two-way choice between banks and enterprises” was published in the Provincial Agricultural Bank Magazine. The second time was the day you won the title of pacesetter in the province’s agricultural and financial front again. This is the third time up. There is a trumpet-like heroism.
Seeing my suspicious face, you added more wine, took a peanut and chewed it in your mouth, pretending to be angry. You look very cute when you are angry, like a naughty old urchin. You ask, I don’t know why I brought you to drink at night, right? I suppressed my laugh, nodded and said, the old man has gone crazy. Not crazy! But some people do things unreasonably. As you said that, you turned away, pulled out a magazine from your pocket, and placed it in front of me with a snap. At first glance, this is my first published short story “Two Generations”. I laughed out loud. I said it was three months ago. By the way, it’s been three months and you haven’t told me, are you still honest? You tap the magazine with your “rusty” index finger, and say, “This is a magazine distributed nationwide. Why don’t you make me angry if you keep silent about such a great event!” You raised your wine glass and said solemnly, come on, let’s drink three glasses in a row. The first glass is a punishment for you. You continue to write, write a big book, it is equal to congratulations in advance. After speaking, you grabbed the three full wine glasses and put them between your right fingers, like a master acrobat, you sucked them into your mouth one by one.
You said that you are a big bastard, you can’t write, and you haven’t even been published in a palm-sized newspaper. I have always liked educated people and promising young people all my life. But you are my master, ten tips are enough for me to digest half my life. I thought you had forgotten it a long time ago, you looked at me and asked lightly, do you still remember? I pondered for a while and said, I remember, you guided me in the direction of being a person and doing things. This is a big deal, how can I have such a big ability. As you said that, you smiled, showing a smug look, and asked quietly sideways, I heard that the old man in the novel was about me, right? Hearing my affirmative answer, you stretched out your rough left hand and patted my back gently. There are also crystal tears rolling in your eye sockets.
The sun is already westward. Under the light red sunlight, the clear sky, the vast fields, the gurgling canals, the newly built rural cement roads, and the patchwork and green seedling fields can all be frozen into a beautiful still life.
The sound of wooden fish from the temple and the sound of wind chimes from the cornices can be heard in the distance. Did I get it wrong, there are also temples built here. Close at hand, but far away.
There is a crimson hexagonal pavilion beside the road, and there is a village bus stop sign in front of the pavilion. There is a young man and a woman in the pavilion. Seeing their talking, laughing and intimate behavior, I guess they are a pair of lovers. Going forward, I told the boy the village I was going to, but the girl answered first, it was our village. With her slender fingers, she pointed to the village with white walls and blue tiles not far away. Here, it is six or seven miles away. Walk forward and reach the entrance of the village and you will see a road sign. I thanked me, took a sip of mineral water, screwed the lid on and stuffed it into my backpack, and continued on my way.
The last time we saw each other was that clear morning when my family moved to Beijing.
There is an ancient and honest custom in my hometown, which is called drinking horse wine. Anyone who joins the army, goes to a foreign university to study, or moves away from his hometown, etc., will drink horse wine and send him on a long journey, in order to bless him. My family is a common surname in the local area, and my seniority is also high, plus colleagues and friends, if the family is a guest, it will be really difficult to move forward. So we got together by ourselves and saw them off together. After dinner, there were still 10 or 20 close friends and relatives who were reluctant to leave and insisted on drinking with me all night.
But you did not appear in the ranks of drinking horse wine from the beginning to the end, and you did not explain. Yep, I didn’t ask you why not either. I have no doubt that our friendship, the favor you gave me, the advice you gave me, and the strength you gave me are enough to make me gallop on the difficult road of life before or after. But what I can’t forgive myself is that I should ask your body and care about your well-being. But you even concealed it from your family, you were already seriously ill at that time.
Here you are, in the morning light, a merry old man. I jumped off your son’s bicycle, waved my hand at me as I walked, and said cheerfully, “If it’s a bird, you have to fly high; if it’s a horse, you have to run fast. There’s nothing to give away. One piece The coat protects you from the cold in the north.
A group of people looked at him and laughed.
In fact, what I need, you should know, write me another note. It’s gone, there’s only a little bit of parallel imports in your stomach, and you’ve already graduated! The soft sunshine hits your wrinkled smiling face, which is a vivid and kind smiling face that I will never forget.
Unexpectedly, life and death are twofold, this time it became a farewell.
The third intersection, blue road sign, country cemetery, I repeated it twice, confirmed the words on it, and turned to the northeast. Pass through several seedling fields waiting to be transplanted, pass a long and slippery field ridge, and step into a dense forest overgrown with weeds and thorns. From time to time, weed seeds fell into the shoes from the opening of the shoes, and the thorns of the thorns scratched the trousers, making a rattling sound from time to time. I had to walk staggeringly in the forest. This is a forest with a radius of five acres. It seems that there are few people on the road. I searched and identified it all the way, and I felt like I was trekking in a wilderness without a scythe.
Walk for a while, stop for a short break. Looking up, the purple and white poplar flowers are like a bunch of pink pendants, rippling in the breeze. Looking down, there are luxuriant new shoots several inches high growing out of the withered grass everywhere.
The sun was burning on the top of the western mountain, creating a huge fireball, which reflected the peaceful woods red. This is the kind of dazzling sunset that is rarely seen.
Oh, I finally found you!
What a quiet place. How come it is like your character, hiding deep but not revealing. Old man, it was hard for me to find it. Deep in the dense forest, the breeze blows the thick weeds on the grave. Around the tomb, a circle of green holly trees was planted, and under the fragrant poplar trees, there was a comfortable and peaceful home.
Before, we didn’t discuss life and death, we didn’t talk about where we belonged, never. I always feel that you are deliberately avoiding the topic of life and death. Maybe you can see it openly, and see it lightly, so lightly that it is not worth mentioning. Just like you have devoted your whole life to the rural financial business, and the highest position is the section chief. With your experience, knowledge, technology and character, you can change jobs, get promoted or make a fortune.
Put down the backpack, take out two bottles of wine, a pack of cigarettes, and a book, and lay them out in front of the tombstone.
I’m sorry, the hard liquor you like made from dried sweet potatoes has been discontinued a long time ago. This Erguotou is specially brought to you by me. It’s 600 and tastes good. Cigarettes, the kind of rose cigarettes you smoke in a pack of 20 cents have long since disappeared from the market. I am sorry for you, but this pack of northern cigarettes can also satisfy you. As for that book, didn’t you always think about me writing a big book? Yes, it’s my new work. I wrote more than 400,000 words in two years. What content? Oh, don’t worry, there must be your story.
Cigarettes stuck in the graveyard flickering, the rising smoke disappears among the tall branches and leaves. Open the lid of the wine bottle, pour one bottle on the tombstone with red letters on a white background, hold the other bottle in your hand, sit on the soft grass in front of the monument, take a sip of wine, open the book, and turn to page 361 .
During the Ching Ming Festival, the leaves are pulled out and the buds have not yet fully grown.
From the car window, I can see a row of eight bungalows with blue bricks and blue tiles from a distance. The father bent slightly and smiled at them at the door of the main room.
Father was wearing a black sportswear, but he was wearing a pair of black foam slippers. The father, who has never liked western clothes, was obviously “armed” by his sister temporarily. However, the black sportswear and the bronzed face match well, and they look energetic.
Lu Xiao walked up to him with a smile, supported his father’s arm and asked Gao Qingxing, “What do you call the old man?”
”My name is Master.” Gao Qingxing smiled.
”It’s called Ye, isn’t it Daddy?”
”No, we call grandfather Daddy here.” Lu Xiao thought to himself, it’s not because of his seniority. She couldn’t figure it out for a while, so she called “Dad” kindly and stuffed the red envelope.
The father pinched the red envelope with his rough fingers, looked at it, put it into the right trouser pocket, and said to Lu Xiao: “Ji Yazi, what a big deal.” Lu Xiao couldn’t understand, Gao Qingxing translated: “Father said that you girl Why do you still bring gifts?” The dialect of Dagang Fishing Village is really difficult to understand, so I will describe it in Gao Qingxing’s translated language. Father asked, “What’s your surname?” Lu Xiao said, “Father, my surname is Lu.” His father nodded and said, “Oh, good girl, her surname is Lu, and she has two mouths.” Gao Qingxing said to his father, “This girl’s surname is Lu.” Lu, Yuri Lu, the Lu Zhishen of Hua Monk in “The Romance of the Three Kingdoms.”
Lu Xiao covered his mouth with a smile and said, “Your translation is not good enough, and the Water Margin of the Three Kingdoms is also down.”
Gao Qingxing also laughed. In short, it made sense, and my father understood.
The faint sound of wind chimes disappeared, and no human voice or bird song could be heard. Looking around, there was silence all around, as if time had stood still. My heart, just like the wind chimes washed, is empty and quiet.