41 years had past.
For some, those years had been long, too long. After all, so much had changed.
For others, the world was as it had always been and would always remain: people were people. People which had hopes and joys, both of which often left them terrified in broad daylight. They had disappointments too, which animated them the way that a body wears a coat. They had deep yearnings, most of which they would never even suspect. And sacred objects, sometimes even ideals, for which they might give up everything. Some had cherished memories while others things they had negligently forgotten, but either way it was the same with people, and these things lived alongside them like a phantom twin. Yes, for some, all you needed to know was that people were people: it was memory that ran long and it time that runs short.
Special Agent Purple saw her targets approaching. He, the son of a US political dynasty, and her, the daughter of a self-made Greek-american supermarket tycoon. They spoke so blithesomely of the past, noticed Special Agent Purple, as if it all had somehow ended. Yet here they were once again, retracing the very same steps of their grandfather, the President, circling a path around the Forbidden City.
"My grandfather always said that a peaceful and prosperous China was critical for stability and peace in the world. And I think that that is more true today that at any time. If you look at the Korean Peninsula, and what is happening in the Korean Peninsula, clearly China has a very important role to play. And I'm very encouraged by the meetings that happened between State Councillor Yang and Secretary of State Kerry just a few weeks ago, and how China reaffirmed its commitment to the 2005 Six-Party Talks and to the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons in the Korean Peninsula."
They spoke of that week in 1972 as "the week that changed the world". But Special Agent Purple knew differently. She was there. What is it exactly that people think has changed, she wondered. Did people really think those days of old were over?
'Funny they should bother talking at all', thought Special Agent Purple. For her, knowledge was an ideal she gave up long ago. She did what her role required of her, figuring that was all that could ever be asked of a person. Effortlessly Special Agent Purple approached her targets. Her heavy disguise made the job easy, and making use of the Mid-Western manners and persona she had learnt from a textbook helped her cause all the more. Special Agent Purple arranged for a photograph to be taken together with her targets. Her superiors would be satisfied with that.
From the Forbidden City, turning away, Special Agent Purple slinked though the endlessly renewed jetsom of people, pathways and things, joining the amorphous mass that they still call Beijing.