In Chinese astrology, like Mao Zedong, and like Xi Jinping, I am a Water Snake, 水蛇. 我属水蛇。Mao Zedong is sixty years older than me, born in 1893. I am four months older than Xi Jinping.
Perhaps because I am a Snake, with every moulting, one chapter of my life comes to an end, and another chapter begins. With every new chapter, the dramatis personae change, seldom, if ever, to reappear. The very few who survive the throes and upheavals of my morphological transformations, are, in effect, witnesses, narrators of my greater story. Possessing some blood that is mine, but that I have never known, they have been granted by Destiny this especial tenure and commission in my life. I realise that all of this sounds egotistical from this point of view, but to these few, my true friends, whose lives are less karmic than mine, I offer in exchange, as it were, for their steadfastness in indulging my vicissitudes, my constant devotion in bearing them faithfully in mind and heart, as they endure either the intransigence or the amenability of their apparently less reckless lives.