Solid Liquid

Yuqiang Chen

July 7th, 2023 4:41 min read 1289 words

When one solute enters a solution, it fuses with the solvent in a rapidly dissipating manner, with each molecule in the solute trying to expand and stretch in the relatively closed liquid system.

You pick up the mug in your right hand and shake it gently, which accelerates the process of dissolution. Soon, the solute and the solvent become one substance. But you look into the round mouth of the mug and you see a portion of the solid impurities, which are pitch-black and unobservable in any detail, curling up into dense, shapeless crumbs that gradually sink to the bottom of the mug, and move gently with your breath.

Your left hand is flipping through a novel at this point, and from time to time you look into your glass and are drawn to the solid mass while recalling the liquid that has gone down your throat.

You feel a wave of nausea and dash to the toilet with a dry heave.

You’re still slumped on the sofa three hours later, yesterday’s exhaustion on full display in your room, the smell of panties and deodorant tossed in the corner filling the room with some new smell. Dark clouds obscure the sunlight and make the room look gloomy, but you can still see tiny bits of dust floating in the air, and you look into your mug, which is slightly hot at the mouth. You think to yourself: the moisture has evaporated from the mug and converged into droplets in the air, which, along with the vapour from the other mugs, turns into dark clouds outside the window and subsequently into a heavy rain that flows into the rivers and into the sea.

Half an hour later, it is not raining outside the window and you tell yourself there is no reason to lie down any longer. You get dressed, glance at your watch, pick up your kit and walk out the door and then start going through the things your neighbours have thrown away. These items, discarded in the local community, are often left next to the rubbish bins and the sanitation workers come to collect them on Monday, Wednesday and Friday respectively. These items are generally useless and worn out, they look older than you are, or they are from small Chinese factories. You try to transform them, to give them some meaning, and as you walk, you actually think: my actions are often in vain, because there is no difference between these used objects, apart from the sweat stains and hairs of their former owners, they do not fit into your life in any way, they are rubbish. They no longer fit into the community in any way, they are as stubborn as the impurities that sink to the bottom of the glass, and being thrown in the recycling bin is their final destination.

You pass a junction, pushing your newly picked up TV, and in the dim daylight and the silence of the neighbourhood in all directions, it occurs to you: repairing and remodelling these things seems to map your life, and bringing unfamiliar memories and objects into your life is an impossible task. You feel a twinge of confusion and then blank out at the intersection. At that moment, your confused thoughts are interrupted by an old woman passing by who asks you kindly: Do you know how to fix things? My iron is broken. You smile and apologise, and leave.

After a day of collecting and sorting, you pile up most of the items you have collected in a corner of the room. Then you lie down on the sofa , feeling tired. You habitually pick up your morning mug with your right hand and stare at the pile of retrieved items.

After a few minutes you feel something different about the pile, you notice that the items seem to change, they take on a particular aura with the way you place them, they gradually take on breath with your breathing, you feel the breeze from the electric fan blowing across your cheeks, you hear the sound of a chair rocking, you see a figure flashing across the television. You rub your eyes in disbelief at what you are seeing. The impurities in your mug gradually turn into some kind of solid liquid, and from underneath the dense brown casing grows root whiskers, and your mug then floats. The soft whiskers cut across your cheeks and slowly fill your room.

Under a sticky and warm touch, you fall asleep without realising it.

The next morning, you open your eyes and the items remain in the corner, emitting a curl of smoke as calmly as if the campfire had gone out. You know that in the near future they will be incorporated into another consciousness in some other way.

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