The Blind Game

Ma Yu

Translated by: Liu Qing

Original text: "盲人游戏 "


Artwork by Liu Qing

Please, you can choose not to crash into me, the blind man's black walking stick says.

The blind man rests in the child's hand, people would say that he is his grandson.

The sun is shining brightly, the blind man behind the black glasses need not close his eyes.

The child's eyes are half open, the child is a melancholy child.

At first, the child learnt to say, please, thank you, sorry. Only now, he says nothing.

The walking stick is being held in the hand, since the child is leading the way for him.

The walking stick exists, only to re-affirm his identity as a blind person.

However, this is a manner of disguise.

The child is like a guide dog. He completes the task in such a superb fashion, the guide dog will reveal his fangs.

The sun is shining brightly, accompanied by the moonlight.

There is no Christmas in the streets, as summer is hanging on the phoenix tree.

Summer is holding on extremely tight, in order not to fall.

If summer falls from the tree, a thunderstorm would strike a non-existent zone.

The blind man is thirsty, he sits on the marble stairs. The child runs into the store, he does not say water, the cup is filled, he does not say thank you.

The blind man drinks the water, he passes the cup to the child, the child refuses.

The wind escapes into the blind man's trousers, the wind blows up the trousers, like a balloon.

The child drives the wind away, he squeezes the wind out bit by bit from the blind man's trousers.

The child has a pair of black eyes.

The black eyes are half open, the streets are empty.

The child has no hair, he is wearing a cap, a dark red cap.

The sun flares on the cap are falling towards death.

Death has a black mouth.

When the black mouth is filled up with souls, a belch arises.

The cow has bellowed for an entire day, people killed her child.

The old lady is rummaging through the mud in search of her husband. She has been searching for 10 years.

10 years travel through everyone’s skull in various forms.

No one opens up their skull to clean up the accumulated filth.

The blind man cannot see death, as he is wearing a pair of black glasses.

The eyes behind the black glasses are looking, looking at the things that eyes cannot see. They are so intensely focused, that nothing can be seen anymore.

The child is also looking, with hands, heels, and black eyes.

The cow expresses grief through her bellowing. People use an axe to knock her child down. They let out its blood, peel off its skin, take out its organs. People dissect her child, right in front of her.

Everything has happened, if nothing has happened.

As a mother, the cow bellows, bellows, and bellows.

The black mouth of death sucks the calf’s steaming hot blood.

The blind man cannot see death, nor can the child.

Death collects skulls through the wind.

Death hangs them on the barren willow tree to play tunes.

The street is empty, the blind man still rests in the child's hand.

There has not yet been a view that has lifted up the blind man's black glasses, the eyes have not yet felt thirsty.

Sprawled on the street the entire afternoon.

The child is feeling melancholy, the black eyes are half open.

The old lady drags the pickaxe, rummaging through the mud in search of her husband.

She eats white flowers, wind, and ants.

The old lady eats mud.

If tired, she would lie on top of the tall mound.

The four feet on the green tiles remain still in two parallel lines.

The blind man would never be able to meet the cow nor the old lady, no matter what the weather may be, neither would the child.

With blood and heels, the calf struggles.  

Sweat trickles down from the old lady's white hair.

What are you thinking about, the blind man says.

The child's head is underneath the cap, what is the head underneath the cap thinking about.

The blind man's index finger is in the child's hand, grasped tightly.

All afternoon, they walk and stop along the way, their footsteps in sync with one another all along.

The man gulps down a small cup of baijiu,[1] the woman rolls up his sleeves. The children are watching, two children, squatting behind their eyes, they squat on their tip-toes and watch their father's hairy arm, an ant is being squashed to death, leaving a slanted black line on the arm, the woman wipes it off with a cloth, she puts the cloth in the bucket.

Inside the bucket, there are floating bubbles, the bubbles are alive with colour.

The man kisses the calf's forehead, the place that had been hit hard by a de-rusted pickaxe, the calf's white forehead blossoms under the man's kiss. The children watch the father's bulging muscles, they watch the calf fall down within one third of a second, with its head smashing hard onto the trough.

The woman cuts up the calf into cubes, both the knife and the axe have been de-rusted, on the grindstone which had been spat on. Together, she places the grindstone and the cloth in the bucket, the bubbles there are alive with colour.

The veal is being weighed and placed in a red plastic bag which had been used but may still be clean. The woman hands the red with the veal to the two children.

The veal is passed down from 2 pairs of hands to 7 pairs, then cooked in 9 pots into 11 flavours, leaving through 29 anuses via 31 mouths.

The lady has been digging all afternoon, strings of tunes rise into the air. The music is absorbed by the earth, so too, is the sound of digging.

Far away, a black dot, another black dot. A black dot becomes smaller and smaller, slowly and slowly sinking into the earth. Another black dot grows larger and larger, taller and taller. Slowly, a coffin pit is formed.

In the grave, over there, her husband is not in there. 

People say that at first she waits, waits and waits, then she digs. People talk and laugh, and swallow their dentures inadvertently.

All the village doctors are not qualified to be a dentist.

All the dentures in the villages are soaked in glasses of water on nightstands at night time.

As for the dentures, they would rather chew veal.

The cow has bellowed for an entire day, she did not eat any grass at all.

The sound of the old lady's singing is so quiet that she can not even hear it herself.

The blind man walks in the blind man's identity, the time is still not too late, the red evening glow says that tomorrow will be a sunny day.

The blind man hands over the black glasses to the child, he says, now, you are the blind.


[1]    A traditional Chinese white wine made from one or more of the following ingredients: sorghum, wheat, rice, sticky rice, and corn.

Ma Yu

Male, currently residing in Shanghai, born in May 1986, date of death unknown. He has a wide range of interests, such as mopping the floor, following stray cats, and standing underneath ginkgo trees waiting for ginkgo nuts to fall.

Liu Qing

Female, born in China (May 1987) and having left at the age of 8, has since lived in Auckland, Melbourne, and Sydney. With a background in architecture, she dabbles in photography, translation, filmmaking, and making leather goods.