coach, lying with my head on pillow; back down with a book up in the air when I heard the clock ding six times alerting me to the hour. I had been reading for several hours straight and my eyes grew heavy. The sun was setting quickly and with each passing moment the light found a new path through the window blinds. The article I was reading was written by Zhu Ziqing, who became popular in the twentieth century. The article was apparently written as Ziqing was approaching the mid-point in his life and he was reflecting on his earlier years. He was contemplating the style of parenting that he used with his children when they were younger. Ziqing was raised by parents in an authoritarian manner which was typical of his culture and he automatically, without forethought, chose the same style to use with his children.
Finally the light creeping through the window blinds was unable to illuminate the pages anymore. My eyelids became so heavy that I don't think I could have pried them open with a screwdriver. They fell quickly and then all of a sudden the strangest thing happened. I awoke in a frantic and when I looked around my surroundings seemed alien; I had never been there before.
There were children in the room. They were playing with blocks arranging them in various configurations resembling an oddly shaped house or something to the effect. I called to them but apparently they couldn't hear my requests as if I were a ghost. The thoughts inside my head were rushing but my body was still. I wasn't sure how to make sense of what was happening so I froze until something would hopefully make sense.
Two men I had never seen before entered the room in the midst of a conversation -- I didn't recognize either of them. From the other room a feminine voice echoed, "Zhu will you and Confucius have a seat at the dinner table, the food is done; and please gather the children." Now I was really confused, no one seemed to realize I was there. I pinched myself in the arm. It hurt. Was I dreaming? Did I die? Is it purgatory?
Zhu ordered the children forcefully to put away their toys and they complied. Zhu stood over them almost like a lion protecting his diner he towed over the children making his physical presence known to them so that he could strike if they dare question his orders. The children seemed fearful of their father as they scampered quickly to pick up the blocks and put them in a container. After each few blocks were collected they would look up to their father timidly as if they were scared he might pounce of them for not moving fast enough.
I still was in a daze trying to collect my thoughts. The man named Zhu was no more than ten feet from me. I began to sputter, "h-h-h-hello?" No response. I tried again, "h-h-hi…" but nothing. My mind was scanning my memories for creative explanations. Was I drugged? I sat motionless.
When the children had collected all of their toys Zhu muttered some command that I couldn't understand and the children immediately rushed to the table. They continued to sit with near perfect posture as if they were in a military training camp being judged for their conformance.
When the adults joined the table a conversation erupted. My mind was still focused on trying to determine what kind of drug I was given but I began following the conversation. It…