Serve The People - Chapter 6
By now, the news of the banning of this novella in China has slowly crept into the western media (for example, Censors still rule in fast-changing China by Gady A. Epstein in Baltimore Sun and China bans sexy satire on Mao by Jonathan Watts in The Guardian). The novella is readily available in Chinese on any number of websites. For the non-Chinese reader, they ordinarily would have to be satisfied by a synopsis, such as the one given in my previous post.
In the following, I have translated Chapter Six, which has drawn the most attention. Thus, the English-language reader can get to see what is really going on. There is plenty of sex in there, but this is NOT pornography. The author would insist that this is about passion and anger. If Man is a political animal as well as an animal of passionate love, then why wouldn't politics and passionate love intersect in Man at some point? Read on and find out what it might be like.
We hail from all corners of the country and have joined together for a common revolutionary objective. And we need the vast majority of the people with us on the road to this objective ... In times of difficulty we must not lose sight of our achievements, must see the bright future and must pluck up our courage ... Our cadres must show concern for every soldier, and all people in the revolutionary ranks must care for each other, must love and help each other.
[Excerpted from the famous speech <<Serve The People>> by former General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, President of the People's Republic of China and Chairman of the Central Military Commission Mao Zedong]
Liu Lian and Wu Dawang had spent three days together without clothes on at the No. 1 court. The man has gone back to his roots, and after his resources were expended, there followed the fatigue of the resources.
Not just fatigue of the body, but fatigue of the mind as well.
The No. 1 court was geographically situated in such a way that it suited the expression of their primitive natures. In front across the road is the back wall of the recreational hall. In the back, separated by a field of vegetables, is a wall of trees. On the other side of the trees is the unoccupied house for the communication corps. To the east of the court, there was a flower bed next to the house and then there is an empty space of more than 30 meters. To the west, there is the No. 2 court of the division's political commissar. By chance, the political commissar had gone to out on field exercise with the troops and his wife had locked up the house and gone back to her hometown for a glorious visit to her family there.
Everything was heaven sent. The heavens had arranged them to lock themselves inside No. 1 court and they could do whatever they want without any clothes on. They did not waste the opportunity. For three days and three nights, they were stark naked and they did not go outdoors. When they were hungry, they ate; when they were tired, they slept; when they woke up, they made love. Still, their bodies could not keep up with them. Their physical fatigue during these three days and three nights prevented them from experiencing the wild love and ecstasy before. Even if they assumed the same position as before -- she lying on the bed with her legs stretched towards the sky and he standing outside the bed -- they did not have the wildness and ecstasy of that previous time. So they tried their best to come up with ideas and positions, but still they could not have the beauty and wildness of that other time.
Failure followed them like a shadow each time that they made love.
With the fatigue from the failure comes the fatigue on their minds. So they lied on the bed, and she asked, "What is going on?"
He said, "I'm tired to death."
She said: "You are not tired. You do not find me fresh any more."
He said: "I want to put on my clothes and take a walk outside. I don't care if I just go dig in the vegetable fields for a while."
She said" "Fine. You put on your clothes. I don't care if you never take them off again."
So he crawled out of the bed, went to her reddish-brown cabinet, opened the door, reached for his military uniform and then turned around to leave. At that instant, something unexpected happened. It was an unexpected incident that was more serious and momentous than someone stepping on a placard containing Chairman Mao's sayings. It can be described as a counter-trend, counter-history, counter-society and counter-politics matter. When he reached to fetch his military uniform, a plaster statue of Mao Zedong fell out of the cabinet. This full-body statue crashed on the ground, and broke to pieces. All of a sudden, the house was full of scattered white plaster fragments. The head of Chairman Mao broke off at the neck, and rolled like a table tennis ball to the edge of the table. Its snowy white nose had broken off, as rested like a yellow bean covered with dust in the middle of the room.
The whole room was filled with the smell of the white plaster.
Wu Dawang stood there frozen in horror, his face was scared half-green and half-white.
Liu Lian sat up in the bed. She gave a frightened scream, and then suddenly rushed towards the telephone at the corner of the table. She grabbed the handset and then yelled "Hello!" and asked to operator if the security team leader was in. Wu Dawang did not hear a response from the other side, but he recognized the seriousness of the situation. He glared at Liu Lian and muttered "Bitch!" inside. He dropped the military uniform from his hand and rushed over to Liu Lian, snatched the handset from her hand and hung up the telephone. He screamed, "What are you doing!?"
She did not explain what she was doing and she ignored the deep anger on his face. She moved her body and tried to reach the telephone. To prevent from reaching his telephone, he placed his naked body by the table to block her progress. She kept pushing without saying anything, and he pushed her back and grabbed her shoulders to prevent her from approaching the telephone. So they stood there pushing each other, even though they were not fighting. He had no idea that she was so strong. Every time that he pushed her away, she would come right back underneath his hands or shoulder to try to reach the telephone. Finally, in order to keep her faraway from the telephone, he picked her up with his arms, carried her like a struggling bird towards the bed and threw her onto the bed. Then he used his feet to stomp on the plaster fragments on the ground, saying, "I'll let you make that telephone call! I'll let you go get the security detail!" He repeated those sentences while he stomped on the plaster fragments until they were turned into powder. Finally, he went over to the head of Chairman Mao and stomped on it, reading, "Liu Lian, you heartless thing! You report me! You call the security detail!" So he kept grinding his heel while looking at the naked Liu Lian sitting by the bed until all the plaster has turned into powder and nothing was left. Then he realized that while he vented his anger this whole time, he had not heard Liu Lian utter a single word from her mouth. He was perplexed and he looked at her. He saw that she showed no sign of being scared on account of the occurrence of a political incident. Instead, she was staring at his male member just as she did when they had sex, as if she was looking at some wonderful treasure. He saw that she was sitting calmly on the side of the bed, her face was flushed red, her eyes were watery and bright, and she stared fixedly at that spot of his as if she had just discovered a brand new secret.
He lowered his head to look at himself.
At that moment, he realized that their shoving each other while naked and their anger and hatred have re-excited what they could not get during those three days of nights of passion. He saw the thing that had suddenly stood up in rage between his two legs. His anger at her did not vanish as a result, because he had been so angry while she only looked at him from aside as if she was staring at an enraged money. He hated her even more so, and it brought out his accumulated anger. In the end, he used the best method of revenge under these circumstances by making fierce love. Just like last time, he became a wild animal and forcefully pounced upon her like a little bird. He made her stand on the ground with both feet, back facing him and lying face down on the bed. Then he took her from behind like a wild animal.
This time, just as that time before, she cried loudly in pleasure underneath his body.
After she finished crying, she smiled, turned around, knelt on the ground and took his thing into her mouth. She looked up at him with bright eyes then she told him, "I placed that plaster statue underneath your clothes. I knew that as soon as you put your clothes on, the statue will fall down and break. That was why I put the statue underneath your military uniform."
He heard what she said. He should be mad from being set up, he should grab her hair, he should hit her or at least scold her. But at that moment, there had just been a brief shower outside, the sky had cleared again, the sun was out, the house was especially lit brightly with the glory of the approaching autumn. She sat on the bed, she was naked but courtly. She had a serene smile on her face, with a certain golden light, and behind that golden serene smile, there was the shy redness that only a young girl can have but that was combined with the satisfaction that a young woman achieved with her little deceit. So her youthful and beautiful round face had the half-silver, half-gold sheen of agate like a Buddha, and yet behind the serious look was the coyness of a young girl like the light behind white clouds.
So she just sat there quietly.
At that moment, he looked at her and she looked at her. She did not know why, but she started crying and then he started crying too. They were both crying, as if the wild sex has finally awakened them to the deep love within them that they did not realize before. It seemed that they already knew deep inside from the beginning moment that the undying love that they had would eventually result in their parting ways. There would be no happy ending, and the pain always came too early. This is the common fate of people. Nobody said a word and nobody did anything, as if the person who did so would bring an end to this magic moment. So they sat there and cried without words, two feet away from other. One sat, the other stood, and the tears fell on the ground with the sound of water drops falling down the roof beams. They cried wordlessly for a while, then he took one step and, like a child in misery, he knelt before her and placed his head on her thighs and let his warm tears flow from his eyes, down her thighs to her legs onto the ground. She used her small, soft fingers to play with his short hair and let her own tears fall upon his head, flowing down his forehead onto his face and mixing with his own tears to flow onto her body. They cried like this for some time. Then she raised his head, looked at it, kissed it and then coldly asked, "Little Wu, do you want to marry me?"
He said, "I do."
She said: "Little idiot, did you forget that my husband is the commander?"
He said, "So you don't want to leave the commander?"
She said, "He is the commander."
By this time, they have said quite a few words and their tears have stopped flowing. Neither noticed when they had stopped crying as the waves of love had ebbed from their inner hearts. So a grand story had become commonplace, and a sacred white cloth is about to become a rag cloth. Or perhaps the white paper has begun to have strokes that were not the result of careful master craft, and the color of the black ink has become the dominant character on the white page. Wu Dawang was not surprised by Liu Lian's fuzzy response nor did he think it unreasonable, because he also knew that was how it must turn out. Still, he did have some impossible visions at some moments which can take the place of what the future might look like. But for now, the two have shed enough tears and neither would doubt that there is much falsity left in what they have offered to each other. But faced with the reality, they needed to retreat from the romantic back to the practical. To restore that touching moment when the two had a beautiful vision of the future, Wu Dawang assumed the expression of the thoughtful look of a youngster who was still not quite mature. He stood up from the floor, and retreated back to sit on the chair by the table. He looked with the same loving look at the serene and seductive Liu Lian and stubbornly said, "Sister Liu, I don't care how you treat me, I don't care if you divorce the commander or not, I don't care if you get me a promotion or not, I don't care if you get my wife transferred here or not, I, Wu Dawang, will be grateful to you all my life and I will remember you always in my heart."
But Wu Dawang's clearly did not draw the anticipated response. Liu Lian listened to those words, raised her head to look at him with a stern look, remained silence for a while, moved her stiff body on the bed, smiled and said, "Little Wu, you have learned to sweet-talk. You know how to say nice-sounding things to me."
Wu Dawang was agitated. His eyes opened wide and he said, "You don't believe?"
She seemed to want to continue to tease him and said, "Who would believe you?"
He got more agitated, but he did not know how to prove his sincerity. He looked around, and then he saw the plaster powder from the Chairman Mao statue that he had grounded with his feet. He said, "If you don't believe me, you can report me to the security detail anytime. You can say that I not only smashed Chairman Mao's statue, but I also deliberately stomped on the plaster fragments. If you turn me in, even if I don't get shot, I will get a life sentence."
Liu Lian looked at the sweating Wu Dawang who was still using his foot to kick the powder around. Then she raised her head and spoke firmly and seriously.
She said, "Little Wu, you can't forget me. Do you think that I can forget you?"
He said, "You are the commander's wife. Even if you forget me, what can I do?"
She got up from the bed suddenly, looked at the portrait of Chairman Mao on the wall over the table, swiped it off the wall, crumbled it in her hands, ripped it into pieces, threw the pieces on the ground and stomped on them while saying, "Do you believe now? Believe me now? If you don't believe me, you can call the security detail to turn me into too. We are both ardent students of the works of Chairman Mao but we both smashed the images of Chairman Mao. No matter who turned whom in, that person is an anti-revolutionary element. So you smashed the statue of Chairman Mao whereas I deliberately ripped up his portrait. I am a big counter-revolutionary and you are a small counter-revolutionary. So now, you, Wu Dawang, can believe that I, Liu Lian, will have you in my heart forever?"
She watched him as she spoke rapidly, and she saw the paleness on his face that came as a result of her action. Obviously, he has not only believed her declaration of love, but he was also shocked and touched by her dramatic action to turn herself into a big counter-revolutionary. In order to prove to her that he loved her even more than she loves him, Wu Dawang turned around and ripped the quotation of Chairman Mao on the wall over the wash basin, crumbled it and stomped on it, saying, "I am an extra-big counter-revolutionary. If I am to be shot, I need to be shot twice."
So she looked around the house and saw the red leather-bound copy of The Quotations of Mao Zedong by the desk. She dashed up, picked up the sacred book, ripped off the leather cover and threw that on the ground. Then she started ripping pages out from the Quotations of Mao Zedong, and then took the picture of the head of Chairman Mao in the book, crumbled it and stomped on it. She looked at him and said, "Are you the counter-revolutionary or am I the counter-revolutionary?"
He did not answer her question immediately. He looked around the messy inside of the room, then he took a few steps to go out of the bedroom. From the wall by the stairway, he ripped out the joint photo of Lin Biao and Chairman in the color photo frame with the words "Sailing the ocean depends upon a great helmsman" at the bottom. He threw the photo frame on the ground to break the glass. He bent down and then used his fingernails to poke out the eyes of the two people in the portrait, so that there are now four deep black holes. Then he stood up and looked at her, saying "Sister Liu, can you do more than I did?"
She came out of the bedroom and said, "I can!" She went into the workroom of the commander where there were many maps, and she took out the life-size gold-painted half-body statue of Chairman Mao. She was also carrying a hammer. She threw the gold statue down in front of Wu Dawang, and used the hammer to knock off the nose of the statue so that there was a earth-tone spot on Chairman Mao's face. She looked neither at the statue nor at Wu Dawang, but said to herself, "I can't do better than you?"
Then she knocked an ear off Chairman Mao and said, "You say that I can't do better than you?"
He did not answer. He got a Chairman Mao badge from somewhere and a big nail. In front of her, he used the hammer to drive the nail right through the nose of Chairman Mao. The sound of hammering was like knocking the Chairman's teeth off. Afterwards, he raised his head to look at her and that was his reply.
So they went around the house trying to use their wits to outdo each other to cause damage and destruction hitherto unseen. They used the degree of sacrilege to show the measure of their love for each other, until evening finally came. When they could no longer find any more Chairman Mao statues, books, quotations or anything else with the highest directives of Chairman Mao printed, they went downstairs. From the wall, she picked off three boards with Chairman Mao's sayings and rubbed black stove soot on them, adding three red crosses across the name of Mao Zedong.
He found four copies of books by Chairman Mao, ripped the books up, urinated on them and then threw them into the wastebasket in the toilet.
She took out all the chopsticks that had the highest directive printed on them, broke them and threw them into the garbage bin.
He took all the MSG bottles that had Chairman Mao heads printed on them, poured the contents into a bowl and put grey ashes into the bottles instead.
She began to open cabinets and suitcases to look for more sacred objects. When she could not find anything else, she stood in the kitchen and thought for some time. Then she went to the dining table and picked up the wooden sign saying "Serve the People" which was the object that was used to initiate their first tryst. She raised the sign and was about to throw it on the ground, but he dashed over to grab her hand, took the sign away from her and put it carefully back on the dining table.
She said, "Little Wu, it was you who stopped me from smashing it to smithereens."
He said, "Yes, I want to keep it."
She said, "Why do you want to keep it?"
He said, "No reason. I just want to keep it."
She said, "In that case, you must admit that I am the number counter-revolutionary in the world. The most. The most. I am the biggest female spy nested inside the party. The most powerful time bomb buried inside the revolutionary force. You must admit that I, Liu Lian, love you, Wu Dawang, one hundred times more than you, Wu Dawang, love me."
He said, "Then you are the number one counter-revolutionary in the world. You are the biggest female spy nested inside the party. You are the most powerful time bomb buried inside the revolutionary force, ten times more power than the hydrogen and atomic bombs. I said that you love me, Little Wu, more than I, Little Wu, love you by one hundred times, one thousand times, ten thousand times."
After he said that, he looked at her quietly. Their eyes were once again filled with deep and meaningful tears.