It started on the 27th of February when a friend of mine grabbed me on iMessage and started to confess to me about her frustration and anxiety regarding her job hunting process out of sudden. Before long, the conversation turned to the memories we shared and our dreams and wishes for the future. We shared lots of laughs but I secretly regretted that I wasn’t able to provide any useful advice to my friend’s concern.
During the conversation, a person I knew from my amateur dub club came to my mind. His name is “Kong ”(meaning empty in Chinese).
I joined the dub club last summer and truth been told, I was not at all familiar with this person. We shared limited communication by message and voice calls but one aspect of this guy’s life made me think that he might be a right person I need to talk to about my friend’s experience.
So I began to write to him.
First a hundred words, then a thousand, and soon before we noticed, we began to write messages over 3,000 words. Weeks passed, the messages gradually got longer and the pace, slower.
For most of the time, we used Chinese, occasionally Japanese and English. We gradually moved away from the friend who initiated the whole story and talked about arts, literature, food, politics, anime, carpentry, friends and family, love and trust, the mistakes we made, and our values and views on life.
I see the conversations we made as rebellious to the modern world, where messages and words can be sent instantly to every corner on this planet. With this convenience, messages are replied faster, but words being sent, fewer. We use the same social network platform but we rebelled by saying more and replying less frequently. But I know that these conversations are bound to an end one day since I believe that every human encounter is fragile and no communication immortal. I try to find a way for myself to store and cherish these conversations in a way that is more palpable. Thus, I designed a set of ciphers and coded the messages, as they are honest and important information; I also hand wrote them on paper and put them in envelopes as letters, imitating how people conversed in the past. I used white paper for his messages and blue for mine.