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Day 10 | pp. 226-242 (through to the end)

July 17, 2021 by Paul Lisicky

The collision of Xiao Fan's illness, her boyfriend's betrayal, her boyfriend's firearms accident, her clueless request of Lazi to check up on him. No wonder Lazi needs to detach and extract herself from the "jaws of suffering" to the point of cruelty.

After Chu Kuang excises himself from Meng Sheng, he talks of “a stain that washed itself out after a good rinse." Is Lazi persuaded by his example? Does she want to be "nice and clean again” post-Xiao Fan? Is she worn out by drama?

The strangeness of section 6’s end is easy to miss. In the wake of Chu Kuang’s loving warning, Lazi thanks him, but she doesn’t react, inwardly or outwardly. I’m worried. She bikes away, and we don’t know what she’s thinking. If she’s thinking.

No one comes to Lazi’s commencement. Which means her family. Which means her friends & former loves. And there she is running in circles on the field, until she lets the flowers & trees take center stage, & she’s getting drenched in her full regalia.

Shui Ling’s accusation is absurd, especially in that it’s Lazi’s commencement day, and this is before the era of cell phones. So Lazi seeks out the company of Meng Sheng, whose shooting up feels like a different betrayal.

Meng Sheng’s doom functions as a wake-up call, and the book that might have seemed like “a burning temptation to die,” as Leopoldine Core puts it, reveals its deeper intention: finding the will to go on.

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