Literary Yard

Search for meaning

By: Yuan Changming

Now I’ve finally found the answer to our question!

“What question?”

Why am I so crazy about you?

“Aha, that’s your question, not mine!”

You know, I’ve been haunted by this question. In fact, I can never regain peace before getting a satisfactory answer for myself.

“Spill it.”

To begin with, I had a crush on you when I first saw you during a meeting in Songzi High School. It’s how you looked that caught my attention and awakened my sexuality as a boy.

“Isn’t that cliché?! Anything newer than the sexual urge of a boy for a girl? Besides, how I looked then was something I was born with. It’s little to do with me.”

True. A year later, when we’re laboring together in Mayuhe, I found you not only had a pure mind, a sunny character, a good sense of humor, but were also kind-hearted, intelligent and hardworking, with a strong romantic sentiment.

“You’re humoring me, but I do enjoy hearing such compliments, hee-hee.” 

Don’t blame ya! Just as men love through eyes, you women through ears. Yet it’s exactly those findings, though, that made me love you all the more before we departed for different colleges. 

“But what do youlove me about now?” 

Well, when we re-encountered in early October of 2019 after separation for over forty years, I observed you looked so young and shiny as if belonging to a younger generation. Unlike all other Chinese damas I’d ever seen anywhere, you’re decorous and unsnobbish, having all the outer and inner qualities of a true lady. 

“Not again! These descriptions are way too high-sounding.”

But they’re as true as steel!

“Whatever you say! To get down to the business, what’s your latest discovery?”

Since we resumed our relationship shortly after the outbreak of the Pandemic, I’ve learned a lot about how we’re both similar and complimentary to each other in terms of, say, personalities, viewpoints, living habits, behavioral patterns, among other things. Most surprisingly, your sexual quotient makes you one out of a million women…

“Hold on. What’s ‘sexual quotient?’”

In a nutshell, you’re still sexually active despite menopause. You see, my wife’s two years younger than you, but since her periods stopped fifteen years ago, she’s been taking sex as a disgusting job, even avoiding the topic of love, always ignoring my bids for intimacy.

“How could that be?”

You can’t imagine how, for more than a decade already, she’s been more like a nasty brother than a tender woman to me. But you’re still a fully functioning woman, a true cougar.

“How can you tell?”

Remember, you once admitted producing natural lubricant when I was making love with you merely in words?”

“Zip it!”

Most women would’ve become dry or sexually withered at your age, like my wife…

“So, this is your newest discovery? You love me most about my ‘sexual quotient?’”

Certainly not, that would make me a sexual hunter, a real animal, like a debaucherous ape.

“It would, but no more suspension, Ok?!”

Okey-dokey! As our relationship deepens, I’ve come to recognize you as my true soulmate, because you inspired me to write over a hundred love poems, a dozen short stories, in addition to a long novel, most of which got published, luckily, and all that as my age, in a foreign tongue, and for the first time in my life! It’s also you who’ve helped me to gain a much better understanding of myself and my life. You know, I often take notes of what we’ve discussed while video-chatting.  

“Hope so, though this doesn’t sound all new…”

I tend to think I’ve been so infatuated with you all these years for all the reasons combined together, but here’s my latest answer to the question.

“I’m all ears!”

Not only that you’re perfectly attractive to me as a women, but that I need you in two profound ways.

“Which are…?”

One the one hand, you’re the person to heal all the wounds my childhood left on my soul. On the other, only you can give me everything I’ve been desirous of, but unable to get from my wife, such as appreciation, support, caring, warmth, intimacy….

“You mean you see me as a projection of your ideal wife?”

Much more than that! I used to focus my attention on how attractive you’d always been to me. Now I begin to understand my obsession with you in terms of how I need you, consciously or otherwise.

“Hmm… in that case, your love for me sounds more like a story of your own invention than anything about me!”

In a sense, yes, but on the whole it’s you who’re completing my soul. I love you for all you are… Look, it’s snowing heavily here. Aren’t the hills like white elements?


Yuan Changming grew up in rural China and has published 15 poetry collections in English. Early in 2022, Yuan began to write fiction, with short stories appearing in Bewildering Stories (Canada), Lincoln Review (UK), Paper Dragon (US), and StylusLit (Australia), among others. Currently, Yuan is working on his trilogy.

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