Pinyin-annotated version of this page
|When I was 21 years old, I was still in Yun'Nan, having been sent there to work in the countryside. At the time, Chen Qingyang was 26 and working as a doctor in the same area. I was at the bottom of the mountain, in team No. 14. She was at top of the mountain team, in No. 15. One day, she came down from the mountain to discuss with me the matter of her not being a tramp. I didn't know her that well then, only knew of her a little. What she wanted to discuss was this: although everyone said she was a tramp, she believed she wasn't because a tramp would have a lover, but she had never had a lover. Although her husband had already been in jail for a year, she didn't have a lover. She hadn't had a lover before this, either. Therefore she simply didn't understand why people called her a tramp. It wouldn't have been difficult for me to console her. I could have used logic to prove that she was not a tramp. If Chen Qingyang were a tramp, that is that she had an affair, at least one must find the person for her to have an affair with. But one couldn't point to a particular person, therefore Chen's affair could not be established. But I insisted Chen Qingyang was indeed a tramp. Furthermore, there was no doubt that was the case.||我二十一岁时，正在云南插队。陈清扬当时二十六岁，就在我插队的地方当医生。我在山下十四队，她在山上十五队。有一天她从山上下来，和我讨论她不是破鞋的问题。那时我还不大认识她，只能说有一点知道。她要讨论的事是这祥的：虽然所有的人都说她是一个破鞋，但她以为自己不是的。因为破鞋偷汉，而她没有愉过汉。虽然她丈夫已经住了一年监狱，但她没有偷过汉。在此之前也未偷过汉。所以她简直不明白，人们为什么要说她是破鞋。如果我要安慰她，并不困难。我可以从逻辑上证明她不是破鞋。如果陈清扬是破鞋，即陈清扬偷汉，则起码有一个某人为其所偷。如今不能指出某人，所以陈清扬偷汉不能成立。但是我偏说，陈清扬就是破鞋，而且这一点毋庸置疑。|
|Chen Qingyang originally wanted me to testify that she is not a tramp because I went to her to get a shot. Here is what happened: when it got busy on the farm, our team leader told me not to plow the fields, but instead to go plant rice. Doing this, I often couldn't hold my waist upright. Everyone who knows me knows that I have an old waist injury. I am also over six feet three. Planting rice like this for a month, the pain in my waist became hard to tolerate. I couldn't sleep without getting a shot to ease the pain (feng bi???). In our team's medical clinic, the needles were losing their outer coating and all had barbs at their ends, often taking off a little bit of meat from my waist when I received the shots. Over time, my waist looked like it had been shot with a shotgun, and the scars would not recede. It was under these circumstances that I remembered that Chen was a graduate of Beijing Medical School and probably knew the difference between a needle and a hook. Therefore, I went to see her for my injury. Not even half an hour after I came back, she rushed into my room and asked me to testify that she isn't a tramp.||陈清扬找我证明她不是破鞋，起因是我找她打针。这事经过如下：农忙时队长不叫我犁田，而是叫我去插秧，这样我的腰就不能经常直立，认识我的人都知道，我的腰上有旧伤，而且我身高在一米九以上。如此插了一个月，我腰痛难忍，不打封闭就不能入睡。我们队医务室那一把针头镀层剥落，而且都有倒钩，经常把我腰上的肉钩下来。后来我的腰就像中了散弹枪，伤痕久久不褪。就在这种情况下，我想起十五队的队医陈清扬是北医大毕业的大夫，对针头和勾针大概还能分清，所以我去找她看病，看完病回来，不到半个小时，她就追到我屋里来，要我证明她不是破鞋。>|
|Chen Qingyang said she didn't despise tramps in the slightest. From her observations, tramps are all very kind, are happy to help people, and most of all, they don't want to disappoint people. Because of this, she even has some admiration for tramps. The question wasn't whether tramps were good or not, but that she wasn't a tramp. It's like a cat isn't a dog. If a cat were called a dog, he would also feel ill at ease. Now that everyone was calling her a tramp, it made her feel at her wits' end. She almost didn't know who she was anymore.||陈清扬说，她丝毫也不藐视破鞋。据她观察，破鞋都很善良，乐于助人，而且最不乐意让人失望。因此她对破鞋还有一点钦佩。问题不在于破鞋好不好，而在于她根本不是破鞋。就如一只猫不是一只狗一样。假如一只猫被人叫成一只狗，它也会感到很不自在。现在大家都管她叫被鞋，弄得她魂不守舍，几乎连自己是谁都不知道了。|
|When Cheng Qingyang was in my grass hut, she wore a white gown like she did at the clinic, with bare arms and bare legs. The only difference was that she had tied together her long, flowing hair wih a handherchief and wore an extra pair of sandals. Looking at her, I started to wonder what she was wearing underneath the white gown, or if she wore nothing underneath. This could show that Chen was very pretty because she felt it didn't matter what she wore or didn't wear. It's the kind of self-confidence nurtured from one's childhood. I told her that she really was a tramp and even gave her some reasons. "Tramp" is only a name. There's no way to argue about it rationally. Everyone says you had a lover, then you had a lover. This, you also can't argue about rationally. As for why everyone says you are a tramp, I think it's like this: everyone thinks that a married woman, who doesn't have a lover, should be dark-faced and with sagging breasts. But your face isn't dark but pale, your breasts not sagging but erect. Thus, you are a tramp. If you don't want to be a tramp, you should darken your face and make your breasts sag. Then people won't call you a tramp. Of course, this would put you at a big disadvantage, too. If you don't want to be at such a disadvantage, you should find a lover. If you do, you would then believe that you're a tramp, too. Other people aren't obliged to verify whether you had a lover before deciding whether to call you a tramp, but you're obligated, on the other hand, to make it impossible for others to call you a tramp. When Chen heard what I said, her face reddened, her eyes bulged with angry. She looked like she was about to slap me. This woman had a reputation of slapping people. Many have been slapped by her. But she suddenly looked deflated and said: "Alright, if I am a tramp, I am a tramp. But sagging or not sagging, dark or not dark, it's none of your business." She added that if I were to think about these things too much, there's a good chance that I would get slapped.||陈清扬在我的草房里时，裸臂赤腿穿一件白大褂，和她在山上那间医务室里装束一样，所不同的是披散的长发用个手绢束住，脚上也多了一双拖鞋。看了她的样子，我就开始捉模：她那件白大褂底下是穿了点什么呢，还是什么都没穿。这一点可以说明陈清扬很漂亮，因为她觉得穿什么不穿什么无所谓。这是从小培养起来的自信心。我对她说，她确实是个破鞋，还举出一些理由来：所谓破鞋者，乃是一个指称，大家都说你是破鞋，你就是破鞋，没什么道理可讲。大家说你偷了汉，你就是偷了汉，这也没什么道理可讲。至于大家为什么要说你是破鞋，照我看是这样：大家都认为，结了婚的女人不偷汉，就该面色黝黑，乳房下垂。而你脸不黑而且白，乳房不下垂而且高耸，所以你是破鞋。假如你不想当破鞋，就要把脸弄黑，把乳房弄下垂，以后别人就不说你是破鞋。当然这样很吃亏，假如你不想吃亏，就该去愉个汉来。这样你自己也认为自己是个破鞋。别人没有义务先弄明白你是否偷汉再决定是否管你叫破鞋。你倒有义务叫别人无法叫你破鞋。陈清扬听了这话，脸色发红，怒目圆睁，几乎就要打我一耳光。这女人打人耳光出了名，好多人吃过她的耳光。但是她忽然泄了气，说：好吧，破鞋就破鞋吧。但是垂不垂黑不黑的，不是你的事，她还说，假如我在这些事上琢磨得太多，很可能会吃耳光。|
|Let's go back to twenty years ago and imagine the scene of my discussion with Chen Qingyang on the question of tramp. My face then looked sallow, my lips dry and cracked, with some scraps of paper and tobacco stuck to the top, and my hair messy [like bai4 zong???]. I was wearing a tattered army jacket, with many holes that were sealed with glue. I sat with my legs crossed on the wood plank bed, looking entirely like a hooligan. You can imagine that when Chen heard a person like this mention whether her breasts were sagging or not, how itchy her palms would be. She had a little bit of nervousness, all because of the many able-bodied men who went to her for a check-up, when in reality they weren't sick at all. Those people didn't really go to see the doctor, but to see the tramp. Only I was an exception. My lower back felt that it had been raked a couple of times by Zhu Bajie [the pig-man character in the novel, "Journey to West", who carried a rake as a weapon.] Whether the pain in my waist was real or not, just those holes in my waist would be reason enough to see a doctor. Those holes gave her hope that perhaps she could prove to me that she wasn't a tramp. One person acknowledging that she wasn't a tramp would be very different from nobody acknowledging that. But I stubbornly disappointed her.||倒退到二十年前，想像我和陈清扬讨论破鞋问题时的情景。那时我面色焦黄，嘴唇干裂，上面沾了碎纸和烟丝，头发乱如败棕，身穿一件破军衣，上面好多破洞都是橡皮膏粘上的，跷着二郎腿，坐在木板床上，完全是一副流氓相。你可以想像陈清扬听到这么个人说起她的乳房下垂不下垂时，手心是何等的发痒。她有点神经质，都是因为有很多精壮的男人找她看病，其实却没有病。那些人其实不是去看大夫，而是去看破鞋。只有我例外。我的后腰上好像被猪八戒筑了两粑。不管腰疼真不真，光那些窟窿也能成为看医生的理由。这些窟窿使她产生一个希望，就是也许能向我证明，她不是破鞋，有一个人承认她不是破鞋，和没人承认大不一样。可是我偏让她失望。|
|This was how I thought about it: it seemed too easy that I could prove that she wasn't a tramp if I wanted to. In reality, I couldn't prove anything, except those things that don't need proof. In the spring, the team leader said that I shot and blinded the left eye of his family's female dog, causing her always having tilt her head to look at people, like she was performing ballet. From then on, he always gave me trouble. If I wanted to prove my innocence, there were only three ways:||我是这么想的：假如我想证明她不是破鞋，就能证明她不是破鞋，那事情未免太容易了。实际上我什么都不能证明，除了那些不需证明的东西。春天里，队长说我打瞎了他家母狗的左眼，使它老是偏过头来看人，好像在跳芭雷舞，从此后他总给我小鞋穿。我想证明我自己的清白无辜，只有以下三个途径：|
1. The team leader's family didn't have a female dog.
2. That female dog was born without a left eye.
3. I don't have hands and can't hold a gun to shoot.
|In the end, none of these three could be established. The team leader's family really had a brown female dog, that dog's left eye really was shot and blinded the day before, and I not only could hold a gun and shoot, but was extremely accurate. A little earlier, I had even borrowed an air rifle from Luo Xiaosi and, using a bowl of mung beans as bullets, had shot two pounds of rats in the an empty grain depot. Of course, this team had no lack of people with good gunmanship, including Luo Xiaosi. That air rifle was his. Furthermore, when he shot the team leader's female dog, I was standing on the side and watching. But I couldn't snitch on others. I was also on good terms with Luo Xiaosi -- not to mention that if the team leader had dared to offend Luo, he wouldn't have been so insistent that it was me. Therefore, I held silent. Silence was admission. Thus, I went to plant rice that spring, bent over the ground like a utility pole snapped in half. After the fall harvest, I went again to herd cattle and couldn't get a warm meal on returning home. Of course, I wasn't willing to do just nothing. One day, up on the mountain, I just happened to have borrowed Luo's air rifle, and the team leader's female dog just happened to have run up there and come into my view. I shot once and blinded its right eye. That dog had neither a left eye nor a right eye and so couldn't return and let the team leader see the injury. Who knows where it ran to?||结果是三条一条也不成立。队长家确有一棕色母狗，该母狗的左眼确是后天打瞎，而我不但能持枪射击，而且枪法极精。在此之前不久，我还借了罗小四的汽枪，用一碗绿豆做子弹，在空粮库里打下了二斤耗子。当然，这队里枪法好的人还有不少，其中包括罗小四。汽枪就是他的，而且他打瞎队长的母狗时，我就在一边看着。但是我不能揭发别人，罗小四和我也不错。何况队长要是能惹得起罗小四，也不会认准了是我。所以我保持沉默。沉默就是默认。所以春天我去插秧，撅在地里像一根半截电线杆，秋收后我又去放牛，吃不上热饭。当然，我也不肯无所作为。有一天在山上，我正好借了罗小四的汽枪，队长家的母狗正好跑到山上叫我看见，我就射出一颗子弹打瞎了它的右眼。该狗既无左眼，又无右眼，也就不能跑回去让队长看见——天知道它跑到哪儿去了。|
|I remember, in those days, I did almost nothing beside going up the mountain to herd cattle and lying down at home. I felt nothing had anything to do with me. But Chen Qingyang again ran down the mountain to look for me. It turned out that there was another rumor, that she and I were having an affair. She wanted me to present proof of our innocence. I said, to prove our innocence, one must prove these two things:||我记得那些日子里，除了上山放牛和在家里躺着，似乎什么也没做。我觉得什么都与我无关。可是陈清扬又从山上跑下来找我。原来又有了另一种传闻，说她在和我搞破鞋。她要我给出我们清白无辜的证明。我说，要证明我们无辜，只有证明以下两点：|
|1. Chen was a virgin.
2. I was impotent and didn't have the ability for sexual intercourse.
|Both of these were hard to prove. Therefore we couldn't prove our innocence. In fact, I was leaning towards proving our guilt. When Chen heard this, she face first became pale with anger, then it was completely red, and finally she stood up and walked out without saying anything.||这两点都难以证明。所以我们不能证明自己无辜。我倒倾向于证明自己不无辜。陈清扬听了这些话，先是气得脸白，然后满面通红，最后一声不吭地站起来走了。|
|Chen Qingyang said that I was always a scoundrel. The first time she asked me to testify to her innocence, I rolled my eyes and started talking nonsense. The second time she asked me to testify to our innocence, I suggested to her in all seriousness to have sex one time. Thus, she decided that sooner or later, she would slap me. If I knew she had such plans, maybe what happened later wouldn't have happened.||陈清扬说，我始终是一个恶棍。她第一次要我证明她清白无辜时，我翻了一串白眼，然后开始胡说八道，第二次她要我证明我们俩无辜，我又一本正经地向她建议举行一次性交。所以她就决定，早晚要打我一个耳光。假如我知道她有这样的打算，也许后面的事情就不会发生。|