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blues for a late friend 2023-09-30 06:08:35

Maybe I should do this in Chinese, the lanaguage which

we were taught from our first years, to elementary school

middle school, high school, and university years, the language which

we were trained from our first days at work and into the society

what a language! my friend, what a language!

In life, we grew and then connected with each other many years 

later. In time, we became friends. More than old alumni, old colleagues,

and old roommates. More than the relationships heaven had assigned to us

what a friendship! my friend, what a friendship!

For a time, we developed that routine: strolling into the second hand book stores,

walking around the familiar streets in and out of the university campus,

eating at fast food places, talking with each other for hours 

as if there was no tomorrow

what a routine! my friend, what a routine!

A week ago, the news came:

you were gone unexpectedly

at work

I wept

I wept like a baby

Half a planet away, I wept

Half a planet away, you died

The distance does not help

what a death! my friend, what a death!

It is strange that I am writing this to you in English,

the third or fourth language, for you and me. A language which

you had a hard time to learn but I chose to adopt 

just as I chose to adopt a new country, far away from

the fatherland, of you and me

Thousands of miles, or tens of thousands of miles

The distance between you

and me. It is strange that I am writing this to you 

in English. I guess you don't need translation any more

do you feel me now? my friend, do you?

There is no distance between us

despite half a planet between you

and me. There is no language barriers between us

even though we are speaking our fourth language

what a connection! my friend, what a connection!

For many days I struggled to talk to you

my friend, despite that I write thousands of words a day!

I could not find the right words to speak with you, my friend

what a death! my friend, what a death!

Dear friend, the words we have been working with, the languages which

we have been conversing with, how good are they now? how powerless

are they! what a language! my friend, what a language!

A week ago, the news came:

you were gone unexpectedly

at work. I wept like a baby

Half a planet away, I wept

Half a planet away, you died

The distance does not help

what a death! my friend, what a death!

Dear friend, do you feel me now? do you?

we will meet again one day, we will!

until then my friend, fare thee well! 

until then my friend, fare thee well!


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