一个字的忧伤 The Sorrow of a Character 2005-2018
The Sorrow of a Character
Not too long ago, there was a new character that had never shown itself to the world. It was not the kind of character that was completely satisfied with the status quo and had no ambition, so it felt a little depressed, as though it had been forgotten by the world. The character really wanted to see itself printed on the newspaper, so one day, when it had mustered enough courage to make itself known, it went to see the Editor-in-chief of a newspaper.
“A character like you is not bad,” the Editor-in-chief said, “but your size is too big, and we have such limited space…” “That won’t be a problem,” the character said, “I can change! I can make myself smaller.”
The character starved itself for several days and managed to reduce its size to less than 10% of what it was before. Weak and pale, it showed up at the Editor-in-chief’s door again. It almost didn’t have enough strength to remain standing.
The Editor-in-chief didn’t recognize it at first. He stared at the character for a while, shook his head again and said, “The size is alright now, but your edges are too sharp. I’m speaking entirely from an ordinary reader’s point of view. Your appearance is too disturbing.
“No problem,” the characters said, “I’ll go polish myself at home!” It bought a honing stone and started to hone itself day and night without pause, until all the protruding parts had been smoothed out. It touched itself—too smooth! So it had to make itself a tripod for support, or it would just keep rolling around.
The Editor-in-chief could no longer recognize the character this time. “Well, that’s not bad…stunning, really,” He said after a long pause, “but have you been used somewhere else before? Did you ever work for other parties? Have you ever expressed anything politically problematic? Do you have any financial problems? Did you mess around with men/women? Were you used by any illegal organizations? Look at you—you weren’t in some kind of cult, were you?…”
“For God’s sake, I’m a clean character!” the character kept shaking its head. “I have never been used before!”
“A virgin character?” The Editor-in-chief enjoyed making jokes, and his mood lightened. “Alright, how about you put in a little money yourself? We can put you on the newspaper immediately, and I’ll also have something to say to the other editors.”
This pathetic character was pathetically uncompromising. They said it couldn’t get worse than having to sell one’s body, but did it have to pay for selling itself too? Sorrow overtook the character, and it broke down sobbing in the Editor-in-chief’s office.
The Editor-in-chief thought for a while and said, “There there, how about this, you can be printed on our newspaper, but there’s one condition—to make sure you won’t make any trouble, you have to stay quiet while…”
Now do you understand? The reason you will occasionally find an unexplained empty space or two in the newspaper. That’s it—the character.