Lying flat at Guanyin Bridge

That day, a 26-year-old human wearing a plain white short-sleeved shirt, gray knee-length shorts, and dark blue sneakers walked up to the artificial rockery in front of Guanyin Bridge. In front of a pool of water stirred by a machine, he lay flat on the ground, which was heated by the scorching sun to an unbearable temperature.

He lay very flat, as if he was an expert in lying flat from birth.

He lay so flat that he almost merged with the ground, becoming one of the inconspicuous cornerstones in the construction of this square.

But he stood on the surface of this square, inevitably attracting attention and scrutiny.

Passersby showed their attitudes.

Those who truly didn't care ignored him, stepping on the real bricks on the square and moving towards their destination.

Those who falsely didn't care glanced at him, labeling the flat lying person as "seeking attention" in their minds.

Some people avoided him, feeling that this was a political gesture that should not be associated with anything, an opposition to those in power.

Some people criticized and speculated, comparing his flat features to Minecraft characters, marveling at his flawlessly smooth surface, or guessing his gender or lack thereof.

Some people speculated about his intentions. Some believed he was a performance artist, even though there were no hats, jars, or QR codes in front of him, which were not essential for an artist. Some thought he was an opponent, and in a country where dissent is filtered or even banned, any deviation from the masses is an expression of dissatisfaction with the current order. Some simply thought he was a madman, as only madness could explain such strange behavior of lying with eyes open under the scorching sun in the summer.

Some people tried to engage him in conversation, asking if he was physically or mentally ill, asking where his home was and why he came here, asking if he had any sad stories that led him to give up, asking what he was opposing but no matter what it was, it would be ineffective. But he had no answers, like the silent majority.

He just lay there, simply lying there, expressionless, indifferent to the onlookers.

Some people wanted to hold an umbrella for him or give him an ice-cold drink, but they were discouraged by others who saw it as "expressing support."

Someone said, "I'm not expressing support, just expressing sympathy."

"But in their eyes, there is no difference between the two."

"Who are they?"

But no one answered.

After the attention and scrutiny, he received special attention.

The patrolling police officers at Guanyin Bridge sometimes passed by, but they were not necessarily real police officers, as some of them lacked the attribute called "establishment," so they could only be called "auxiliary police."

A group of five police officers found him.

The police officers ordered him to stand up like a normal person.

No response.

The police officers felt insulted and began to take coercive measures.

One police officer grabbed his hair, one police officer pulled his clothes, one police officer used a baton to strike, one police officer put handcuffs on him.

There was also a police officer who pointed his finger at the onlookers: "No photography!"

But the flat lying person continued to lie flat, expressionless, unmoving, as if he had truly merged with the ground, leaving the police officers helpless.

The police officers pulled up a cordon and set up a temporary tent, turning the flat lying person into a secret.

The interrogation team came, but returned empty-handed after a series of operations.

Negotiation experts came, but their efforts were in vain even after consuming a bottle of throat lozenges.

Then came monks, Taoists, and priests, all of whom said that this was an unprecedented phenomenon, perhaps a divine arrangement.

The government also brought in professionals with titles such as physicists, biologists, psychologists, and psychiatrists to collect data, but they dared not provide any results or make any random speculations.

A "supernatural phenomenonologist" with his title on his business card also came, but he said that this proved the birth of a new world. This was a statement that did not conform to the mainstream, so he was immediately removed.

The flat lying person continued to lie flat, impervious to oil and salt, invulnerable to knives and guns, neither producing nor consuming, unresponsive, making no contribution, having no value, and posing no harm.

Later, the water pool under the artificial rockery at Guanyin Bridge was renovated, and the flat lying person was used as material, becoming a cornerstone under a strange and ugly statue.

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