A night Visitor
A true Story a ‘Celebrity’ Being Interviewed
By Lou Shiyi
Mr. Huang was old. People addressed him as “Respected Mr. Huang”. Being old, he easily gottired and could not help it. After supper, having watched News Today on the TV, he began tofeel sleepy, so he went about washing his face and feet before going to bed.
Suddenly the door-bell rang, announcing the arrival of a visitor. As Mr. Huang had neverrefused any visit before, this one should be received with courtesy too. Quickly putting hissocks back on and smoothing his hair, he hurried to the door, and there he was confronted by aman with a glowing face. By the first word he uttered Mr. Huang knew that this man was froma far-off place. The man took out a calling card from his pocket and said: “I’m a reporter of theLiterature and Arts Gazette of S city, and I’m here to see you on Mr. X’s recommendation. I’ve come to attend a symposium in Beijing and in the meantime I’m visiting some celebritieshere. I’ve had the honor of visiting with Respected Mr. Z and Mr. J.”
“I’m not much of a celebrity though. How can I be lined up with them. However, since you’vecome, come on in and take a seat. Whatever you want to talk about please go ahead.”
“What’s your name?”
Mr. Huang was shocked. How come he is here visiting me as a “celebrity” and doesn’t evenknow my name?
“Well, my name is…”
“No, but I’m asking about your original name.”
“You mean the one my mother gave me when I was small? But it was eighty years ago and I’veclean forgotten it myself. I’m sorry about that.”
“What about the pen name you use regularly?”
“For so many years I’ve written all sorts of stuff under all sorts of pen names. I’m not sure I cansort them out at the moment.”
Then came the second question.
“Where are you from? From the south?”
“Yes, quite, but not too far south. In fact I’m from a place where people are known to your areaas ‘Shanghainese’.”
“Where do you work and how much do you earn?”
“I’m too old to work any more. I’m not drawing any salary except some pension－I’m a ‘pensioner’ as the Westerners call it.”
“:I see. You’re retired. How much pension do you receive each month? Not too small a sum, Iguess?” he said, running his eyes around the sitting-room.
“Enough to keep me going, that’s all.”
Thinking that the answers given were too curt and brief, he came up with a new idea.
“Shall we have a photo taken together?”
He produced a camera from his bag and went on: “Let’s ask the old woman to help us, the onewho’s just brought us tea. Give a push to the button. Just as simple as that.”
Feeling terribly sorry for his wife, Mr. Huang protested: “I’m sorry I forgot to introduce her toyou. ‘The old woman is my wife. She knows nothing about the camera, so forget about thephoto. Let’s go on with your questions.” Mr. Huang was kind of irritated to find that the visitor, while asking questions, kept jotting down notes like a security policeman checking householdregistrations.
“What do you do at home? Writing an autobiography?”
“Not qualified to do that. Just sitting idle at home. I haven’t touched the pen for ages, as amatter of fact.”
“Shall we talk about literature and arts?”
”Could you make it more specific, please?”
“For example, these days people are discussing Poet P’s mystic poetry. What do you think of it?”
“I’m sorry I haven’t read any of his poetry and I don’t think I can understand it. I have yet tocatch up. I seldom read newspapers and magazines and never concern myself with thediscussion of his poetry.”
“Would you like to talk about literature going pop, then? This is the theme of the symposiumthis time. Could you air some views on that?”
“Literature going pop? Very Well. Make it understandable to all. This is my view, if you like?” Mr. Huang began to feel drowsy again.
“Could you please tell me how you feel about the general trend of literature and arts at themoment?”
“I don’t ‘feel’ much about that but, ‘ at the moment’, I ‘feel’ sleepy. I ‘feel’ like going to bed.”
This was terribly disappointing to the visitor. “Well, well, I must apologize for havingdisturbed you. I’ll visit you again next time I am in Beijing.” With this he stood up.
“I must apologize to you, sir. You’ve come from afar but I haven’t got much to offer. Pardonme for not seeing you off. You are welcome to drop in next time.”返回搜狐，查看更多