Brotherly Uncle Big Meeting

There was that thin soft wall between our homes in our old neighborhood, we were nicely living there, got nice memories there, especially for me. I had great attachment to that little house my father built by hands for special reasons.One of the reasons is that house ’s parting wall to the left was a music wall; next wall neighbor Zhangs produced great singers:)) That wall had a feature. On that wall there was a lightening shape of crack! It was a whitely washed outsides, the crack was like a slash of a shaky line. I often turn my head a bit twisted looking into it. I saw the material inside was the mix of yellow mud and straws. I did often attached myself and my ear to that wall hearing someone practicing songs -oh, Big Meeting, he sang again!

At this moment, a video about his singing gradually plays open in my mind…He stood there, his waist was so small that was called noodle like, and yet his got wide smooth shoulders, soft feet, on which i often looked at, those were in his black “lazy man” shoes. He stood naturally opening stand, while at the higher pitch his arm would rise up outwards stretching to sky! Can you imagine? that’s a sexy good folk song singer!! In front of him the little me was often as crazy as insane! My face tilted towards him drowning in his reverberating, melodious voice and songs.

In my tender mind Big Meeting’s was of many streamlines- pigeon lines, including his lips, the eyes, the nose…his chin and cheeks. In our neighborhood he won the reputation as " very Ren Yi" 仁义the first two values in classic Chinese value set (仁义礼智信)For me he was the brotherly uncle, he was quite close to me..he might touch my shoulder lightly. I don’t know why i have the view in mind that he liked to looked my shoes or feet?? whateverm something about my dressing was linked to him, i can’t recall it all. I do remember the sunny muddy spring scene in the crowded community yard, we often pass by each other, my head /hair near his arm..and i was often seen like a flying swallow jumping dance to the rubber band i attached in between trees or lamp poles, as child’s game. He was my neighbor uncle- Big Meeting. Actually i have always feel he is ever been very young in his 20s, i do feel he is a brother instead of uncle.However, I noticed Big Meeting was not happy after following Mao’s calling went to the countryside then returned back city..in that period he was really down. So he sang more, i still remembered he said:" While getting sad women cry, men sing" . Therefore that sharing wall to my neighbor became a special music screen for my ear. In further a few years he became even more somber, often sigh a bit in front of me, face turning a bit aside looking down. I didn’t understand that completely. Later i heard that it was very difficult for him to find a right girl friend, but finally we knew he got one introduced- a nice taller girl with bigger eyes. But still he seemed not very enthusiastic, that was strange to me. After another a few years, i grew up to a bigger girl,i could go down town to the public bath house on my own, i met him there!

It was quite surprising and strange seeing him there. He got surprised too seeing me, " Oh, Juana!" then his eyes looked down again. He told me he was working there as staff who was in charge of the burner that was for heating up the bath water for all the people lining up to have a bath. That means he had to work with black coal and fill up the burning stove every day, a sweaty job. He obviously felt shamed. He told me he felt insulted almost. But he said: " what could uncle do? after being gone to countryside to" fix the globe"instead of schooling, without any skill.’ He then went away with lapping down ears.. A little later he found his colleague working at check in point ( collecting paid coupons) to arrange me a bit further up to the queue. Then he went to work on the burning boileragain . From that time i saw him a few times in that bathhouse. Sometimes he seemed was waiting for someone. When i was there the hot water was very hot and steamy. After i went there a few times i did notice that i got treated specially by the in check lady. I got the chance to use the doubt bath room by myself. Once was in the first chamber,which seemed linked to the stuffs resting room.

Anyhow, i have to say i was deeply impressed by the bathhouse. It was of two flowers. with wooden floor. the stairs were so steep and narrow and old, with left over red paint/ lacquer, there were hard for me, the very slim girl with carried clothes and stuff to get up. After finally overcoming hardship I went up to the bath chamber to the tub that was very hot for me to get in even. The beds at two side of the lounge part in that double bath room were really hard, with partingsof white tiles separating the tubs and the two changing beds. The bath tubs were white and used and very deep. I had to clean one of them every time i went there ,before i started to wash myself. Yes it was hot and steamy in it. Finishing the bath, I went off the building, looking back, I saw the black painted balcony Loki pattern. In winter, I put my red scarf on..steam came out of my head, in the yard..i walked back home, happily.

Then i could enjoy the songs from next my home. Big Meeting sometimes was training himself, his throat got dry sometimes, sometime he choked a bit. Sometimes he sang the Modern Peking Opera- beating the tiger up to the mountain, or Red Lamp Story, and I could sing a lot a bit too! when i got the role of Iron Plum. The song was about a grandma telling her grand daughter about old time when Japanese Soldiers assaulted us all over and what they conducted… Big Meeting uncle listened to my high voice pitching up..he mysteriously smiled:) he would say:"now uncle sing a piece for you! "

That was my brotherly Big Meeting uncle, my idol with smiling slimming up eyes. I know his good time, bad time, and his sorrow. He could just sing out. His brother the Second Bin was his rival in singing..but the Second Bin was not the match. he looks really dark, with white teeth, he lost his girl friend with contact lens on on sadly:), the little brother- the Third was smaller darker too, he often had his nose run loose, he had to weep his dirty nose on the sleeve that sleeve got icy shiny. Yet i hardly heard he sing a song, he was very funny. The mum in the home was very strong. My father often told me that she was the good example for ha ha life, she was a young looking mum, got nothing bothered. She held arms and shoulders to her chest shrink up, meaning" that’s it! I have to accept".

OK, that’s the Big Meeting uncle that sang out all.

Brotherly Uncle Big Meeting

LisaBeth

Joined February 2010

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