父亲打了我的时候，我就在祖父的房里，一直面向着窗子，从黄昏到深夜——窗外的白雪，好像白棉花一样飘着；而暖炉上水壶的盖子，则像伴奏的乐器似的振动着(13)。 祖父时时把多纹的两手放在我的肩上，而后又放在我头上，我的耳边便响着这样的声音： “快快长吧！长大就好了。” 二十岁那年，我就逃出了父亲的家庭。直到现在还是过着流浪的生活。 “长大”是“长大了”，而没有“好”。 可是从祖父那里，知道了人生除掉了冰冷和憎恶而外，还有温暖和爱。 所以我就向这“温暖”和“爱”的方面，怀着永久的憧憬和追求。
My Everlasting Dream and Pursuit
In 1911, I was born into a petty Landlord family in a remote county town in Heilongjiang Province—a town situated virtually at the northeastern tip of China. We had snow there for as long as one third of a year. Father, driven by avarice, often became very unfeeling. He would treat his servants, his own children and even my grandpa alike with meanness and indifference, not to say with ruthlessness.
Once, due to a dispute over house rent, he took away by force a tenant’s horse-drawn cart and drove it home. The tenant’s family came to see grandpa and, dropping to their knees, tearfully related their troubles. Grandpa unharnessed the two chestnut horses and retuned them to tenant. That touched off a night-long quarrel between father and grandpa. “The two horses mean nothing to us, but everything to the poor,” argued grandpa. Father, however, refused to listen. Mother died when I was nine. From then on father went from bad to worse. Even a mere cup accidentally broken by someone would send him into such a violent rage that we all shivered with fear. Later, whenever I happened to walk past him, he would even have his eyes directed sideways, which made me feel like being pricked all over on thorns. When he looked askance at me, superciliousness gushed from his eyes down the bridge of his nose and then off the corners of his mouth. Often of a snowy evening, we children would hang about grandpa by a heating stove, listening to him reading poems aloud and meanwhile watching his busy ruddy lips.
Whenever father had given me a beating, I would seek solace in grandpa’s room where I would stay gazing out of the window from dusk till late into the night while snowflakes were flying like cotton and the lid of the kettle over the heating stove rattling like a musical instrument playing an accompaniment. Grandpa would place his wrinkled hand on my shoulder and then on my head, saying, “Grow up quick, poor child! You’ll be all right after you’ve grown up.” I fled from home at twenty. And so far I still live the life of a vagrant. True, I’ve “grown up”, but I’m not yet “all right”. Nevertheless, from grandpa I’ve learned that apart from coldness and hatred, there is also warmth and love in life. Hence my everlasting dream and pursuit of this “warmth” and “love”.