The Boy Who Could Tune Satellite Dishes and the Pessimistic Oncologist

As a child in our village, I was a little famous for tuning satellite dishes. These are the dishes that receive satellite TV signals, and I could also flash the receiving machine. There’s no deep science involved, but the approach is similar to gradient descent. First, you generally find a place that might have a signal. Occasionally, an image or two may suddenly pop up on the screen, and the people in front of the TV would cheer loudly, “It’s there! It’s there! No, it’s gone, it’s gone…” Oddly enough, I felt both careless and patient. I make mistakes in paperwork all the time, but when I try different combinations to explore different possibilities, I don’t feel the passage of time at all. When errors occur and most people around me lose patience, I debug like a programmer and always feel that the problem will definitely be fixed in the next attempt.

Tonight, my uncle told me that my aunt had fallen into a coma and started talking nonsense. It seemed that the tumor had begun to affect her brain. I asked, even though I knew the answer, “What did the doctor say?” “The doctor said not to bother sending her; she probably won’t make it to the hospital.” I don’t blame the doctors; I understand their helplessness. However, according to my unprofessional and unscientific opinion, from the coast to the inland, from big cities to small ones, the desire to turn the “satellite dish” a bit more seems to be waning. Nobody seems to want to extend the antenna a bit or elevate the dish a bit higher, believing there’s no signal to catch. Yet, once the TV signal is found, everyone would watch intently.

So there’s always a kind of hope, a vague desire. It’s like the anticipation you feel when a meteor crosses the sky. Believe in the light in the darkness, and be willing to strike fire in the infinite solitude. Because when the image and sound appear, we will rush towards it…

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