In November, a Tsinghua undergraduate killed herself by jumping out of a building. She kept a blog. After her death, a friend of mine read her blog — as did a few thousand other people — and told me it was full of sadness. My friend, a Tsinghua student, was puzzled that the friends and family of the dead girl had read her blog and done nothing. Will you translate some of it for me? I asked my friend (who translates other things for me). She begged off. I was puzzled: Surely the girl had wanted others to read what she had written, I thought.
I found another translator. After a few minutes of translation I had to stop: It was unbearably sad, maybe the saddest writing I’ve ever come across. I could see why my friend didn’t want to translate it.
Here is one entry. It takes the form of a questionnaire:
Question 1: Which student phase [primary school, middle school, high school, college] do you miss the most?
Answer: High school. Get together with a lot of friends. I know where I should go, even if it turns out to be wrong.
Question 2: Talk about your current life.
Answer: Listless. Feel half asleep. Do not want to wake up. I want to kill the people who wake me up. I love this world. I live for my goal.
Question 3: Do you have dreams? What are they?
Answer: I have many dreams. Make a movie . . . performance art [she was an art major]. Her [she was gay]. Forgive me. Dream this day will come. Believe.
Question 4: Which kind of friend do you like best?
Answer: Any kind is fine. Understanding me a prerequisite.
Question 5: Could you give up going back to your hometown to be with your parents, to be with your lover?
Question 6: What do you most want to do right now?
Answer: Sleep, dream. Find her. Just dream, do not want to meet anyone.
Question 7: Up until now, what is your happiest event?
Answer: I didn’t lose my past.
p.s. I don’t want any blessing. [A custom/game among Chinese teenagers is that after you answer a few questions you are “blessed” by your questioner.] Wish everyone happiness. Don’t ask me these boring questions again.
News of the girl’s death was posted on the student forums. What was the response? I asked my friend. Most of the comments were “Bless,” she said. The English word bless. That’s a customary thing to say when you learn someone has died.