Memories of My First-time Prison

by Li Bifeng

15th June 1998, sunny after a shower

Always after dinner in those days Liao Yiwu would come up to me and invited me for a walk together. We walked in circles around the small courtyard. We didn’t have any specific issues and we did talks just for talking. So our conversations were always casual and relaxed. But there were also some troublesome moments. Because Liao Yiwu is a shrewd man. In conversation one has often to be very cautious. I stay with my principle, that I don’t seek any quarrels with people who are contentious. No matter what he said, I expressed neither my own views nor opposite opinions. Perhaps Liao Yiwu is a genius. He was trying to sell everything to me, in a way almost like the British had sold the opium to the Chinese. The deal between the seller and the recipient is unfair. Of course, Liao and I are friends. I should not make such comments on the relationship between us. The reason that it now comes up to my mind is, because I am in fact rather surprised about the nature of flooded human desire. Liao is a friend of mine beyond any disputes. But why this disparity occurred whenever we exchanged ideas with each other? The phenomenon is similar to the reality here in prison. The prisoners are aged between the teenage to about over twenty years old. The desire for sexual intercourse cannot be fulfilled in the cell of prison. So the most prisoners choose to masturbate in order to satisfy themselves. If a genius is imprisoned, he got no chance to let his thoughts go. Once he sees an opportunity, he will certainly spill out everything. It does not matter whether the counterpart accept it or not. This reminds me of the life of Mao Zedong. Even though the life was very hard during the long march, he made love with He Zizhen again and again. This led to a series of abortions. Only after he had arrived in Yan’an, he wrote a series of writings. This is a kind of excretion of desires. The excrements also influence the process of excretion. A prisoner who is sex-starved, dreams of the objects of an opposite sex or sexual organs. What are the “seeds” of a genius then? These are the thoughts, the heterosexuality that is hidden in the human collective unconsciousness. Perhaps while the bearded Liao reached his spiritual orgasm, I received inevitably many seeds of his thoughts.

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