Unknown Story: Queen of the West’s Ghost Banquet 2

I looked at the writer, suddenly alert. In my line of work, it was a big taboo to show such clear interest in something. I wasn’t used to the other party expressing their intentions so clearly, so I kept thinking he had some other scheme set up.

He took out his notebook and continued to explain, “Mr. Guan, I think I’m a very good writer. I just need a chance. I won’t let you down.”

I didn’t care whether he was a good writer or not, I just needed him to record all the information. I looked into his eyes and knew that his way of thinking was very simple. He believed that he would surely succeed as long as he got the chance, but in fact, the most important thing in this world was to distinguish whether this opportunity was really an opportunity or not.

For a long-term unsuccessful person, their so-called “opportunity” was often wrong. After all, sticking to your own ideas would often lead to more mistakes and setbacks. This writer’s face was full of this kind of frustration, but he was still determinedly chasing the opportunities he believed in. This stubbornness somewhat reminded me of the person I used to be.

It wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, nor did it make you a failure, to stubbornly stick to your own ideals, but success often came later.

This is fine. A good recorder should be unsuccessful. In this way, he can cherish the things he records instead of pursuing his own thoughts.

I lit a cigarette and asked him to sit down. What should I say to him? What are the most memorable things that come to mind?

I chased any traces of Poker-Face all over China. On the snow-capped mountains of Nepal, in the process of marching to Motuo, huge white mountains covered the sky, with only a trace of black rocks on them. It was a reminder that they weren’t actually the sky but the god of the mountain.

Poker-Face used to walk through this snowy mountain forty years before I ever arrived here. He and I often walked the same path, but one was forty years ago and the other was forty years later. When the time and space happened to intersect, I often saw a mirage.

One day, when I was at an altitude of four thousand meters or more, the low oxygen made me imagine that there were halos of color around my retinas. An hour before sunset, the gorgeous sky and my damaged retinas made the colors look extremely magnificent. I knew it wasn’t real, but I was still stunned anyways.

At that time, I was wandering around the pass of the snow-capped mountains. I looked at the distant mountains and imagined seeing Poker-Face standing on the cliff in front of me, facing the sky full of colorful clouds. This situation must have been exactly the same as the day he left Kangba and walked into the world.(1)

Everything I experienced must have started on that day.

<Unknown Story: Queen of the West’s Ghost Banquet><Table of Contents><Unknown Story: Queen of the West’s Ghost Banquet 3>


TN Notes:

(1) Mentioned back in Tibetan Sea Flower. Kanbga (also read as ‘Khampa’) is a subdivision of Tibetan ethnic group/former Tibetan province of Kham, now split between Tibet and Sichuan.


4 thoughts on “Unknown Story: Queen of the West’s Ghost Banquet 2

  1. Any backstory involving Poker-Face and those long ten years is a good story! I’m excited for more pieces of the puzzle!


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