One day, an elderly person walked out of the gray crowds in the north, walked through the bleak dusk of 5:15 in the early winter, walked into the red iron fence of the No. 1 platform of the Xiayuan Bus Terminal, and met me who was just about to go home after get off work Meet at the bus gate.
The bus stop in the city is always piled up by the faint sorrow and faint hope of time. The No. 1 platform of Xiayuan Bus Terminal seems to be even more like this. It has been at least ten years, and most of the things around have changed. To be precise, they have become newer, let alone the original appearance, but it is still sad. The same. The gray concrete floor and gray prefabricated panels constitute a hospitality area, with a long row of bright red painted iron fences standing in the middle, leaving a white-painted bus entrance. The paint peeled off the iron fence at the bus entrance, and a round hollow iron ball stood on the top of the iron rod on the left.
That iron ball is like a prize standing in time. The first person to arrive at the ride area at different times will always unconsciously stretch out his hand and stroke it, leaving his invisible fingerprints and palm marks on it. At a quarter past five that afternoon, it was the old man’s hand that touched the shiny iron ball. He stroked it lightly, like the head of a docile cat. Within five minutes, the old man and I were the only two passengers in the ride area enclosed by iron bars. There is no other person around, and the old man just keeps his head down, which allows me to take the opportunity to spy on him presumptuously. But this is actually a fairly ordinary old man, with no obvious characteristics all over his body. But in the end, I still found his right hand resting on the iron ball. This is a hand with thick joints, chapped skin and traces of years of hard work. Slightly abruptly, it wears a yellow gold ring on its ring finger.
The ring flickered in the dark from time to time as time passed, but the old man kept his head down as he did at the beginning, not knowing what he was thinking, but the No. 1 bus we were waiting for together has not been seen for a long time. All of this allowed a kind of depressed silence to slowly fall from the gaps in the prefabricated panels above the platform, hiding in front of us with wisps of twilight.
It wasn’t until a screaming man suddenly appeared that this difficult sense of depression was finally broken-this drunk man who drove the bus, like a harlequin with a sense of excitement, suddenly let the depression shrouded in the No. 1 platform suddenly disappear. Get active. He seemed to have fallen from the sky, and started yelling loudly before he could stand still. Amid the shouts, a strong scent of alcohol sprayed behind us with a loud sound. He staggered, cursed, and chased all the way to the already activated No. 39 bus.
The old man raised his head at this moment, and a loud smile appeared on his face. In an instant, his stretched forehead, raised eyebrows, nose wing that fell during stretching, and shiny dentures that were not closed when his smile was about to cease, all worked together in a subtle way to complete the dramatic scene. witness.
The old man probably didn’t know that when he looked up and smiled, I had habitually secretly pressed the camera button, sucking him into my mobile phone photo inventory forever. At that moment, his emotional face was like a busy small warehouse, some things went in and some things came out, and happiness was their common label. But the right hand wearing the ring resting on the iron ball was heavy, showing the strength from old age with a kind of rare stability. In addition, it is quite interesting: Behind the old man, a young man who is immersed in the world of mobile phones is completely unaware of the drunk man chasing the bus, but the old man says The silent and cheerful smile recorded moments of fluctuations in the surrounding world. This kind of reflection makes me inexplicably excited, it is exactly the kind of thing I have been looking for in strangers in the city.
For a long time, in this city, I have gradually become accustomed to using my mobile phone to quietly photograph some strange old people. I can’t remember exactly when this action started, and at the beginning, I didn’t know what I wanted to do when filming these old people. Maybe, it was just because I suddenly felt that every old man had one hidden in his body. The magic box about memory. And this little box with the secrets of life is calling me secretly. I want to enter them quietly and make myself a person walking with a magic box.
That’s right, in the long-term dark self-shooting, my purpose became clearer and clearer, and I felt more and more clearly that if I want to know the city where I am, the best way is to sit silently next to the elderly. , Quietly listen to them. If this is inconvenient, stand far away, keep a distance where you can see the expressions on their faces, see how the sun, flowers, fallen leaves and wind make changes on their faces, and appreciate the deep meaning behind those changes . If this is not convenient enough-after all, many elderly people in the city are extremely vigilant, they are always sensitive to strangers who appear close-if this is the case, they can actually be farther away a little. For example, following behind them, watching their backs, listening to their heavy footsteps, and slowly walking a certain way, you will always gain something, please trust me. At that time, the magic box about time and memory will quietly open to you.
One day, on the same bus No. 1, I photographed an old woman wearing a red cashmere hat from behind. It was the early morning of the last day of November, and the winter sun still did not rise, but the windows of the morning bus that were full of moisture were bright. The old woman looking out the window, wearing a thick black cotton coat and thick gray woolen gloves, nestled in a seat by the window. I was sitting opposite, and I couldn’t see her face at all, only a figure leaning on the side. She is so thin, leaning on the back of the yellow and green chair, like a small ball of chocolate against a sandwich biscuit. But the red cashmere hat was big and thick, covering the old man’s hair and neck, pressing on her collar, like a bright red sun rising from her back.
The moment I secretly pressed the camera button on the phone, the hidden magic box hidden in the old man opened to me. It absorbed me, made me suddenly become a part of the old woman, and fell into a illusion. One day, when I was so old, I sat on the chair near the back door of the bus and looked out the window every day. The new and moving life in the morning, shaking trembling crutches to young people, showing trembling hands covered with age spots, enjoying their concession and respect from pity, the ceremonial emotions that these strangers handed over to time It may be something that the family and children and grandchildren cannot give. It would be better if he could meet a vegetable grower with dementia like in a French movie. He would treat me as a wise and kind Margaret and talk to me about life. I will be here. When feeding the pigeons, teach him to read by the way, encourage him to fall in love, and guide him to become a person who constantly discovers his own possibilities. Of course, I also want to see the rest of the world with the cane and the red cashmere hat. It would be great if the bus could cross rivers and rivers without hurries, and even walk across the entire earth into space. I don’t want to get out of the car, I don’t want to be like an old woman in the crowd, I just want to feel like a little woman from many years ago in the first ray of sunlight that enters my eyes through the window, I have been looking for a long time ago The disappeared person.
On the other day, on the same bus No. 1, in the place where the old lady in the red cashmere hat had sat, there was an old man wearing a white soft hat. The reason I secretly pressed the camera button on the phone was that he, who looked sideways at the window, had a Barton-style fearless chin. The chin was fixed to the stubby neck at a slight angle, strong, prominent, and stubborn, like a heavy punch that a fighter who refused to admit defeat would never plan to take it back.
Facing this chin, I instantly remembered an old neighbor of mine who lived outside Chongshan Temple. In fact, I am not familiar with him at all. I have listened to some of his things. When he was young, he worked as a strong worker in a construction company, that is, a laborer who specializes in hard labor, and used a steel shovel for digging earth to feed his old mother. Slowly, he became the captain of the youth assault team, and was transferred to the company agency as a security officer, and as a minister in charge of logistics. People like him are really talented by nature, willing to give up their strength, as if that strength is not his own but someone else’s. Every morning, he would first go for a run by the Fen River, and then be the first to arrive at the unit office building, sweeping and mopping the floor, and scrubbing the stair railing layer by layer. Later, I heard a story from a new college student that Konosuke Matsushita could scrub the toilet and scoop water directly. His cleaning focused on the bathroom on the floor. His desk is spotless, with tea cups, a notebook with a pen inserted, and a daily update of the People’s Daily. His work is extremely busy. In addition to managing logistics, he also holds three positions, serving retired veteran cadres, in charge of various cumbersome affairs of united front and propaganda, and in each case he has become an advanced worker in the system.
But he was finally old, and gradually ceased to be shrewd and strong. In the boring retirement life, except for the tenacious chin and the teeth inside, which were exactly the same as when he was young, the only characteristic he retained was that he always felt that he was particularly reasonable. He is getting older day by day, and day by day he feels that he is more reasonable than others. When he is consciously reasonable, he flexes his hands, as if what he holds in his left hand is truth, and what he holds in his right hand is also truth. With the truth in his hands, he blushed and ran out of the house to reason with the chess players and card players downstairs. At the end of the talk, he had no enemies, and of course no friends. His body is getting more and more decayed, and only the truth in his hand is getting stronger and stronger.
Those truths that have been rubbed by him for a lifetime are now like two fat hedgehogs, often fighting in his two hands. This made him no longer able to control his two trembling but always pointing hands, and then he couldn’t control any of his body’s organs. One morning, I ran into him at the Confucian Temple sheep soup shop. He looked at me with muddy eyes, but the sheep soup bowl in his hand suddenly hit his feet.
But this does not prevent him from continuing to go out to find someone to reason. The more he can’t control himself, the more diligent he is to correct others. Nowadays, you will occasionally see him among a group of fortune tellers outside Chongshan Temple. But don’t get me wrong, he is not a fortune teller who sells hexagrams at a stall, but the person who has always been sitting opposite the fortune teller. He would sit down slowly, stretch out a hand for the fortune teller to examine, or press his protruding and stubborn chin, and show an old face to another fortune teller for a closer look. Then, all of a sudden, he showed his weapon of truth that he had already ambushed. With great fanfare and eloquence, he began to repeatedly build up his house and crush the fortune-teller who was unfortunately dragged by his hand.
Finally, several fortune tellers in this area were afraid of him. Seeing him coming from a distance, he quickly got up from the horse and plunged into the convenience store next to him, unable to escape.
He has grayed beard. In the sunlight outside Chongshan Temple, he often trembles with both hands, pointing at the little magpie on the old locust tree, using up the truth weapon in his left hand, and then using the truth weapon in his right hand, like keeping shooting. Aim at the same posture.
He alone is like the entire anti-aircraft team.
However, he actually did not shoot or quarrel, that was when he was with his wife. Every three or four days, outside the gate of Chongshan Temple, you will see him coming back from the supermarket with his wife. At that time, he was always working hard and low-key. He lowered his head, wore a rimless soft hat, and slung a tape recorder on his shoulders. He pushed the bus bike full of shopping bags with both hands. Accompanied by the rhythm of the tape recorder music, he happily moved towards their home one step at a time. Walking. People who don’t know him will be surprised by this, wow-the old citizens around Taiyuan Chongshan Temple, how can a supermarket be so grand and lively? It’s Feng Yasong all working together.
Only those who are familiar with his details know that it is all because of the old lady following him, that he temporarily let go of his reasoning, and the chin that stubbornly stretched out towards the whole world.
Inside that chin, there was his own little magic box full of life pride. The old lady of his family is also a particularly interesting person. This former postal worker once rode a 28-bike to deliver newspapers and letters in Xinghualing District unimpeded for 20 years, and at the same time collect mail from surrounding units. On a memorable morning, when she was sorting the parcels, she suddenly discovered that a letter she received was actually addressed to herself.
The person who wrote the letter was a young security officer in a construction company. It said that he wanted to build a better life with her and asked her if she would like it.
Believe me, this is not my fiction. Her daughter once told my wife this story about her parents when they were young.
One evening, at the Huanghua Pavilion outside the east gate of Wenying Park, I met an old lady. She was carrying a literary style satchel with two colorful silk fans in her satchel. Suddenly, she inserted my wife and I into a conversation about Shanxi pasta. She Xu had just come out of the square dance in the park, and heard our conversation behind her, she began to tell us about the practice of pasta, and finally taught us all the way enthusiastically, especially the teaching of adding water to noodles The trick. She didn’t finish speaking until the door of my house, so she stopped on the stairs and talked for a while, then slowly went upstairs with two colorful fans.
When the voice-activated light turned on and off, I suddenly felt that compared with this old man, I really didn’t love this life enough.
And in the magic box that belonged to her, there was actually something else besides those early letters that flowed by like water. What is it? I don’t know exactly what it is, but it is enough to be stunned in front of the house, and for a long time forgot to take out the key to open the door.
In fact, I am slowly aging, becoming more forgetful day by day, and more fearful of routine physical examinations every year. I am walking step by step on the road to old age, and my magic box about time and memories of the past is slowly being formed, and it is making an expanding sound. Every time I sit on a chair outside the medical examination room and look at the calm-faced old people passing by in the medical examination building, I can’t help but dream of such an old life for myself:
When I am really old, I must not go back to the country, because I have completely lost all the necessary skills to live in the country. I want to stay in this city with four distinct seasons like a city person, but I will never toss myself up and down repeatedly like those old people next to exercise machines in the park, nor do I carry a thorn stick every day, or Swinging around with the Tai Chi sword on his back. I don’t go anywhere every day, just stay in the medical examination building.
The physical examination building is so good, the atmosphere is full of comfort, and the facilities are so complete. The coffee and music book bar on the first floor and the nutrition restaurant on the fourth floor can’t be better. I’m going to wear a sheep-like medical gown that is not very clean but never dirty, put on slippers, and take two asymmetric elevators to enter and exit every room on the 1st to 4th floors.
The daily arrangement can be like this: first drink two cups of coffee, one cup with sugar, the other without sugar, while listening to light music, read a 20-page book, and then silently recite it, and then start to take the elevator to attack all sides, constantly disturbing the guide The nurse girl at the clinic to maintain the proper amount of exercise and brain activity. If you want to rest, go to the color Doppler ultrasound room, lie down without taking off your shoes, and communicate in-depth with the big girl wearing glasses about the same problem that we must face at different times-health and sustainable development, and continue in her constant affirmation Gain a sense of security-um, my body is still good.
Suddenly he got hungry, got up, went straight to the nutrition dining room, ate two buns, and drank a box of yogurt. Chicken drumsticks and noodles? Just think about it, the elderly, you must be fully aware of shame in the face of food, especially when triglycerides are a little higher.
The multifunctional medical check-up bracelet in the bathhouse locker style should always be worn on the wrist. Lie down on the sofa with your face facing the copy of Monet’s oil painting hanging on the wall, a painting of “Antibes Castle” or “The Grand Canal of Venice”, wondering why the Grand Canal is full of water lilies. I think Monet is really a messy person. Maybe he should come to the Harmony Building on Jinyang Street for this, live with me, and use a muddy paintbrush to draw the perfectly formed magic box in my body.
And I will always lie in my own magic box and dream time-related dreams, saying in my dreams some white words that appear as soon as I open my eyes, and then disappear. They leaped out of my dreams like running water rolled in pebbles. Well, they are beautiful and white prisoners in time, and disappeared in the early morning clues. I only leave myself, I am left alone in the morning like a child, feeling that the kite flying in my dream can be used again when I wake up. And I am the kite itself, with wings, colored, connected to the string, blowing in the wind, going up, not wanting to go down, I want to fall asleep like the sky without opening my eyes, sleeping until every old man grows up into a child again, on the edge of dreams Fly a big kite.