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"Pivot Point" (Excerpt)
The first time Lanbo asked me to wait for him, it was Su Ting’s poem that flashed through my mind: “Wait for love to walk into the sun.”  I want to travel with you to every mountain every water, I told him, and he said, when the time comes, any place is a good place.

Meanwhile, ashamed of a daughter yet to be betrothed at age 26, my mother begged all her acquaintances to match-make for me. I saw in her eyes the fear that I would soon be joining the large crowd of “aging youth,” a peculiar 1980s label for leftover urban women unable to find mates. During the Cultural Revolution, an entire generation had been sent to the countryside, and spent the best part of their youth in alien fields, determined not to marry until allowed back to the city. When they did finally return, the men went for younger girls, while their female peers were left to age alone. It was like the aftermath of war, except that the men were wed instead of dead.