Old Oxen Chew Young Grass

Eric Sidner & Taocheng Wang

Opening: January 25th, 7pm
Concert by Tina, 9pm

There was one man whose tailbone was rotting with gangrene, exuding an evil stench. When his suffering was at its worst, his facial expression actually seemed almost ecstatic: eyelids drooping, mouth pulled into the smile of someone who has an itch he can't quite scratch. He called out all night long, " Miss! Oh, Miss! " The syllables were drawn out, quavering, even melodic. I paid no attention. I was an irresponsible, heartless nurse. I hated him, because he was suffering terrible things. Eventually, every patient in the room was roused from sleep, and unable to ignore him, they began to call out in unison, " Miss. " I could only walk over, stand sullenly by his bed.

" What do you want? "

He thought for a while, then moaned, " Water."

All he really wanted was for someone to wait on him; the task didn't matter. I told him there was no billed water in the kitchen and walked away. He sighed, fell silent for a moment, and then began to call out again, until he couldn't manage anything but a kind of low moan: " Miss… Oh, miss… Hey, miss… "

The day the man died we were all happy enough to dance. Just as the sun began to rise, we entrusted his funeral arrangements to a professional nurse and retreated to kitchen. One of my companions used coconut oil to bake some bread that tasted a bit like Chinese fermented rice cakes. A cock was crowing over another icy white morning. Selfish people such as ourselves went nonchalantly on with living.

  Eric Sidner & Taocheng Wang, The Duck, Berlin