Don’t Be a Kept Man
in his heart that felt like being unable to pick something up yet also being unable to put it down.
Perhaps this was the legendary inability to decide and be assertive.
He put on his clothes and looked at himself in the mirror.
Finding that the dye on his hair was already fading and the roots were starting to show, he used his towel to messily dry himself off and then closed the lights and climbed on the bed.
Bai Yang was silently lying there, shrunken into a ball, and only inhabited a very small place.
Wen Chuo liked to sleep like this as well, but in the darkness, he reached out and pulled Bai Yang over.
“Hey, Bai Yang, come and talk to me.”
Bai Yang didn’t utter a sound and even his breathing was very light.
He leaned into Wen Chuo’s embrace before his fingers moved, slowly and subtly grabbing onto the corner of Wen Chuo’s shirt.
Wen Chuo was engaged in his own conversation,
“The color on my hair will soon fade away.
Say, what color do you think I should dye it tomorrow? Blue? Or should it be purple?”
And then felt that he seemed to have already dyed his hair those colors and fell into contemplation.
Bai Yang opened his eyes in the dark and said only one word,
Wen Chuo thought it was a bit too normal,
“A bit commercialized.”
Covered with a thin blanket, his hands folded into each other.
After a while, he used his elbow to bump Bai Yang,
“Do you have a way to earn money?”
Bai Yang lowered his head and quietly said,
“Picking up plastic bottles.”
Wen Chuo didn’t even need to think to reject it,
“Don’t even think about it.
I won’t go pick up bottles.”
Bai Yang thought about it, his eyes looking a little bit lost,
Wen Chuo thought, you pick but that money isn’t mine.
He used the blanket to cover his head, and then as if a thought came flashing by, he suddenly held tightly onto Bai Yang.
my mom had also died in this room.”
Bai Yang paused and then he heard Wen Chuo say,
“I’ve always felt that she was especially agitating.
Even more than you.
What is pride, can it be food? Well she’s even better at this and got sick.
Left without even looking back, leaving me to suffer by myself here……”
Wen Chuo was talking and then suddenly quieted.
He didn’t want to go and pick up bottles on the streets; he didn’t want to go and help others move boxes and restock shelves.
He especially doesn’t want to work under or for someone.
Was there really a difference between him and Liu Ruo Qing who cared for nothing more than her face2 and pride and suffered because of that?
It seemed like there wasn’t much difference……
Right before she died, Liu Ruo Qing had come out.
All the surroundings around her, with the bitterness of being poor, with the pain from her illness, it was enough to make her crazy.
But all this in front of death seemed to be nothing.
Before she died, she had said to Wen Chuo,
“Forget it all……”
Forget their past of wealth, forget their past of status, and take comfort in the state they are in now, living just like this.
Wen Chuo wanted to forget, but he couldn’t.
He was stuck into this mud pit and it was hard to pull himself out.
Being poor was a shackle on him, shackling his feet and dragging down his footsteps.
He had tried to walk out, but he was forcefully pulled back.
At this exact moment, Wen Chuo thought about the words, having a heart that was flying higher than the sky while the rest of the body was deep underground.3
He placed his forehead against Bai Yang’s, intertwining their breathing today as if their two destinies would never be pulled apart.
Wen Chuo quietly asked Bai Yang,
“Being alone by yourself at home, do you not feel bored?”
Bai Yang didn’t move.
Wen Chuo said,
“Buy a computer.
You can watch television and play games.
If you can’t, I’ll teach you.”
Bai Yang: “No.”
“Don’t say no.
What are you saving the money for? Isn’t it all going to be used anyway? Since you are young, enjoy, enjoy this life.
When you get old, you won’t have a chance.”
Wen Chuo wanted to tickle him, but found that there was no fat on Bai Yang.
Separated by clothing, he touched and it was all bone, as if there was only a layer of skin pasted on.
He suddenly remembered, he was only half an adult.
Bai Yang never eats breakfast and only has a steamed bun for lunch.
Working day and night, it would be even weirder if he wasn’t so skinny.
Wen Chuo finally felt that bit of unbearable feeling.
He brushed aside Bai Yang’s bangs and then patted his back, thinking of the times they relied on each other, sworn by life.
“Bai Yang, from now on, we will always be together.
When I earn enough money, I’ll bring you out to live a good life.”
Bai Yang moved his lips,
“No what no, I don’t want you to buy a computer.
Are you going dumb again.”
Bai Yang raised his head, his pair of black inky eyes stared at him,
Wen Chuo paused and then chuckled lightly.
He suddenly reached out to hug him into his embrace and soundlessly shook his head,
…..His limbs were all intact and he was not dumb nor was he stupid.
Why would he want an idiot’s hard earned money? Humans must always learn to bow their heads.
First bow then you will be able to lift it later.
Bai Yang shifted in his embrace and then expended a great deal of effort to lift his head.
He counted on his fingers very seriously,
“How much money?”
Wen Chuo suddenly felt that he didn’t dislike Bai Yang as much as he imagined.
Perhaps it had been a hurdle inside his heart, an unwillingness to accept that he had actually fallen in love with an idiot, with a man.
He squeezed Bai Yang’s hands, finding the gauze still on.
He lightened the pressure,
I don’t need you to buy.”
Perhaps Bai Yang thought that Wen Chuo was playing him and he slightly pursed his lips.
Whether he was angry or not, out of habit, Wen Chuo pressed up against him and then covered them with a blanket,
“Go to sleep.
Go to sleep.”
*1 clothes line stick: Most of the time, most people would hang clothes to dry outside the building/out their window as well as from the ceiling of their apartment.
They have this stick with an end that is like… a fork and a rounded spoon (image below!) that can grab the clothes back/the stick where they hang the clothes.
It can also be used as a “clothes line” as well.
*2 face as in to mean pride and honor and all that, not her beauty.
*3 This is from Dream of the Red Chamber, and I’ve actually referenced it in Volume 3 (Chp 62), but it’s translated a bit differently here, as the latter part of the phrase is written differently.
But as a whole, it’s basically referencing the same thing, where it basically means believing in your heart that you are greater, having pride and eyes up higher than anyone else that are around you, but you don’t really understand the situation/environment you are in, unable to see the truth that you are less than what you really think (and perhaps you do know, but you just won’t believe it) etc.
Of course, this is based on “class” in society so in a way, this is probably to reference how Wen Chuo can’t get out of the mindset he has pretty much been raised up in.
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