The Kindergarten



It is said that when one reads the Biography of Napoleon, the most suggestive story was on the page 6, which mentions his first fight with his schoolmate who was powerful and beat Napoleon black and blue. That story shows the character of the famous general and emperor when he was still a kid, and that is what the readers shall focus on, not his romantic love with his ladylove.

Based on the consideration above, I had better go back to my age of innocence and take down some pieces of memory, so that I could finish the first chapter of my future autobiography more easily, and they do offer the best view of my today and tomorrow.

The kindergarten is forever a nightmare for kids, so it is for me. I was not able to tell the difference between leaving home for one day and forever when I was sent to the kindergarten. I scratched my grandfather’s face and neck bloodily with my small hands, and cried my grief and indignation to all over the world with my arioso voice. My grandfather could not have suffered from a more fierce battle since he left the infantry fighting for the civil war.

My Overload Invasion was suppressed by the smiles and cold hands of the teachers there, who witnessed my three hellish years in the kindergarten. They believed that I was the best kid of this class, since I would never move or talk till I was told to do so; actually, even when I was told to do something, I often remained still and silent. Teachers felt quite satisfied about that, because I was the tallest kid in that class, and the tallest boy was often considered the Beelzebub in a kindergarten.

When I was taken back from the hell after my first day with all the strangers, I gazed at the teachers who were waving hands to all the kids. When they were out of sight, I cried, painfully. The arioso became the 9th Symphony of Beethoven, and my mother had to explain to the shocked passersby that nothing had happened, and that it was just a normal first day in the kindergarten for a shy kid. Amazingly, they all showed great understanding and pity for my performance.

I refused to drink or eat when I finally got home in one piece. Or say, I fasted. I went under the bed, which was as dark and cold as my heart. I called upon my grandmother politely, and asked her to bring me a quilt and my gun, which was a toy gun in fact of course. I HAD DECIDED TO COMMIT SUICIDE. (Years passed by, I was acknowledged that most people have suicide intention in his or her subconscious, which may be visible during the childhood.)

I declared my decision to the whole family and refused to negotiate; the situation was tense and tough. Several years later, I came across a poem as thousands of youths had done: Freedom and love! These two things I need. For love I sacrifice my life. For freedom I sacrifice my love. Freedom or death, I did make a serious choice, when I was 3 years old.

I do not know how my family ceased this terrible crisis. No one ever remembers the end of the story—- I guess it must be less interesting—- everyone remembers the key part. But I think it had probably ended in this way: I cried for too long and was not able to use that toy gun appropriately to end my poor tinny life; I kept on thinking about freedom, life and something as important; I refused their suggestions and negotiations time and time again; I was tired; I fell asleep.

No doubt I was sent to the kindergarten the next day, where I had kept on expecting the 5:00 pm since 7:00 am; where I had no friend for 3 years; where I was named Slow Kid because I was always the last to finish my lunch or to get myself dressed. I did not run, I walked; I did not talk, I whispered; I did not laugh, I buried my head in my chest. Twice when other kids fight and I tried to stop them since I thought it was not right, but they turned around and scratched my face. Once when the monitor wanted to show his power and kick my ass off for no good reason, I begged, and he just passed me by for another unlucky kid. There must be something more, but no one would have remembered.

About 7 or 8 years ago, I returned to my kindergarten, the same teachers, the same classroom. I suddenly found that I was too tall, too strong and too odd for this place. I was no longer shy, slow or flabby, and the teachers were happy to find me changed. They called on the kids there to give me a warm welcome, they jumped and laughed by my knees; I could feel that something was booming there. I was shocked and scared: maybe they brought my memory and my time back, too soon and too fast. I almost fell behind, but I tried to stretch my eyesight to the end of the classroom, expecting there would have been a boy, nervous and reticent, off the kid-crowd. However, no one was there.

I have never been back to my kindergarten anymore ever since, because it was shut down before I thought about a second visit. The gate was locked, and the key was gone. But I can still see my classroom through the rusted barriers. No one is there, yet a silent boy who is waiting for the 5:00 pm is locked within, where he will forever be.


作者: 冯唐难老

The road is home.