When You're Dancing Just Dance
"Don't think about anything else while you're dancing." You have just met her, and are dancing together for the first time when she says this to you.
"What do you mean?" you ask.
"When you're dancing just dance, don't put on an act of being lost in thought."
"Be a bit more earnest, put your arms around me."
"All right," you say.
"Why are you laughing?"
"Can't you hold me tighter?"
You hold her tight and become aware of the springiness of her breasts and the fragrant warmth of her next from her open-neck top. The room is dark, the table lamp in the corer has been covered with an open black umbrella and the faces of the couples dancing are indistinct. The tape recorder is playing soft music.
"This is good," she says quietly.
Your breathing blows the soft strands of hair brushing against your cheek.
"You're lovely," you say.
"What are you saying?"
"I like you but this is not love."
"It's better that way, love is stressful and worrisome."
You say you feel the same way.
—Gao Xingjian, Soul Mountain, pp. 371-2.
I'm really liking this book. Another quote, p. 391:
What about the drawer?
He goes through that. He seems to recall opening the drawer. He used to have a habit of putting the key in the right-hand corder of the drawer but stopped doing that a long time ago. The drawer is full of letters, manuscripts, bicycle licence plates, medical cards, gas supply cards, and all sorts of bills. There are also some commemorative badges, a gold pen box, a Mongolian knife and a small cloisonné sword. None of these are worth anything but its a pity to throw them out because they hold a few memories.
Everyone has memories they treasure.
Not all memories are worth treasuring.
Losing them is a form of liberation. [...]