Zhang Yushi — Yu means rain, Shi mean poem or poetry or poet … depending.
i met her for the first time back in the days when i was a real rake and rastabout. tenzin my man and i were playing chess in the ole cafe in Fanghua Gai in Yulin. I remember two giggling girls watching us play the fools for them. that was about 7 years ago. a little over one year ago, we bumped into each other again. i didn’t remember it, but you know when you get that feeling, like something is about to change forever? well i had that feeling but i didn’t really know it, i just thought it was a chance for me to — for one time — not seduce a girl and just be her friend and brother and confidante. so for a time, Yushi came to my rundown country house and hung out. she brought her stanky dog around, stole tenzin’s steak, frowned at the weird shit i was cooking, listened to me preach, became my Shifu’s favorite, impressed my sage homie Zhuang with her quick mind and ability to pierce through the bullshit.
she helped take care of my kitties, rolled with me into the earthquake spot, helped me mend fences with my neighbors, took walks with me at night in the last days of the village i lived in. she became friends with Andreas and Julia the photographers and one by one my friends wondered aloud to her and me, what plans did we have? where was this going? I loudly proclaimed that i was her protector and brother and teacher and friend and all that. she just kinda looked at me.
i made her lose her job at the newspaper, when i asked her to help me with a story i am working on and she decided to come with me rather then to her job. i never heard her mother’s voice, she died in february, but i spoke to her just minutes before she did and i can feel her. her pops came up with a name for my tea house Ma Bang Cha Yi, which means … Horse Camp Tea Tent. He feels me. He once told Bean (her nickname, which she got on a ride through the mtns to my Shifu’s school) “nide ba de zhongguo wenhua xvyao liangge ren zai bi de shang!” which means … your pops got game!
She tells me about myself in way that hurts because its all true. its like looking at a painting and seeing a red woman and then tilting your head and seeing the house and hills behind her and maybe the expression on her face if you tilt another way. i can only see red, at best, she points out all the other stuff.
at one point, i rolled to beijing for the olympics and before i did i asked my boy how did he know about his girl and he said, when you roll somewhere, she’s the one you think about. i thought about her all the time. Still do.
we gonna write books together, raise a god together and grow shrooms and bud in china and spread the Word together.
I’m done with work and in a week i fly out.