i want five hours with you
in a train running south
maybe ten hours
in a greyhound bound for the border
the two seats side-by-side that become a home
an island of light in the continental dark
the time that takes the place of a lifetime
i promise i won’t fall asleep when the lights go down
i will not be lulled
promise you won’t jump the train
vanish into the bus depot at three a.m.
that you won’t defect
that we’ll travel
like two snails
our four horns erect
回到圣地亚哥之后教两门课。本以为去年教过，今年不用费心。结果还是有点责任心，觉得要更新论文和slides，时间又哗哗哗流过。又忙着帮D君申请H-4，自己申请瑞典签证日本签证等等等等。连每天的报纸都没有心情去看了 — 倒是怀念起在芝加哥的时候，每天需要三个钟头在火车上，早上看报纸，晚上看点闲书。
On the bus from Calgary to Banff，there are three passengers, a Chinese (me) and two Japanese. The bus driver is listening to an opera. I have no idea what it is. To the world in which I grew up, opera is as foreign as cheese. The two Japanese are chatting enthusiastically. I can only understand “Hai” (ye) — why do they keep agreeing with each other? I am reading a book by John Landers, a British historian writing about population and wars in the pre-industrial west.
At some moment, I feel lost, in space and time. In the meantime, I have a strange feeling of being at home. During the past thirty years of my life, I always feel being an outsider. Being adopted, I was an outsider to the family; moving from a village to Beijing, I was an outsider to the city; moving to Stockholm, I was an outsider to Europe; getting a PhD in Europe and a job in the US, I was an outsider to the US academia. But now I am more relaxed about this, and prouder of this.