“You woman now. What you want be? I not understand you.”
“I want be more than what I be, Tiki. Better. In good ways, not evil ways. I tired of killing. Tired of blood and screams. Tired all over. Old now Tiki, very, very old. But cannot go yet, cannot leave, cannot die. I first find me, better me. Good woman me. I first do something good for another person. If you not understand, no matter. You remember I say this and put my words in your head. They grow there. Ideas. You say to me woman thinks is stupid. Is not stupid Tiki. I think always. Think, think. I watch men, learn. Design new weapons, train in new way for women to fight so live longer; so you live longer. I stay here, not die because I want help women be stronger, live longer. Is nothing else for me.”
[end blog post #58]
[begin blog post #59]
“You do this for me, not you????” She shakes her head from the novelty of the idea, that someone would deliberately sacrifice herself to help others when there is possibly an easier way out. This is a thoroughly alien concept. I must proceed carefully.
“You know love?” I ask for a reaction.
“Love!” she snorts and looks at me. “I know love. Bad thing. Men, they love me many times. They love girls, hurt them, kill them. They say it making love, it good for us. They lie. It no good. Only with you it good. Different love with you; nice, warm, good. I like love with you.”
I am thankful for the darkness and that she isn’t Cholradil because my tears are flowing freely and I cannot speak for some time. I wipe my face with the back of my arm. These little characters are so simple, remain so candid even through their nightmare lives. It’s like living in a black and white cartoon world trying to hold the little creatures together and reshaping them with a pencil and an eraser. Matter of fact; good or bad. No shades in-between. I want to drop into her space, hug her… fall in love with her… and give her my heart.
Put a check on that right now, woman. Remember she is one of millions, perhaps billions. You cannot help her unless you help all of them with equal power and abandon. Can you do that?
“Love with friend is good, yes. But when friend gone, what you do Tiki?”
“I know. I have friend before here. She good with me. She have accident, die. I know love then. It mean very sad. Much pain here.” She puts my hand to her heart.
“So even with friend, lover, love still mean pain?”
“Yes. Sometime lover taken away, or leave to go with other woman. Then you all alone and very sad. Hurt much. Angry too. Want to kill other woman. I see this here. Love, even good love, big trouble. If you go now, I hurt much. I sad and angry, I know.”
“Listen Tiki. There is love that give no hurt, no pain. Even if all gone, all lost, still no pain. Just good love. Always good love.”
She sits up then and looks into my face, notices the remaining traces of tears. Touches them and licks the salty liquid. “You hurt? I hurt you?” She is incredulous and afraid.
“No, not you. I hurt me. Inside, I be many people, in my heart, in my head. Many people from many places, stars, times. Now and long ago. I different. Not from this world Tiki. We feel things. Know things. Often cry great sadness for what hurt people everywhere.”
“Other places? Other worlds? Many people inside you? Women they say you Desert Beast. Is true this?”
“What do you know of this Desert Beast, Tiki?”
“Only what guardians say when I little. They sing sad song in my ear. Song of long ago before Man take this place. Woman free then. Have place to live, children have mother. Run free outside, run in rain, in grass, swim in river and big water. The man, he my handler when I be little. He say there be bird in sky, many many, beautiful white bird. Bird, it laugh, it very happy, like children, girls, they happy then too and laugh. He say in song this place protected by Great Desert Beast, she mother of all children of world.
“He say Desert Beast, she very tall and she have green scales over body. Green hair, green eyes. Like you have green eyes too. She fly in sky boat that make thunder and it have fire like sun to push. Very strong boat that fly even in night sky. See everything. He say other Beasts like her come with her in other boats. Talk to the people and give gifts, beautiful things, make things grow and build houses and make life happy. It is good, he say, but one day another very dark, very big sky boat come. It kill the people, take girls away. In sky there is terrible battle and Great Desert Beast boat go down into ground, into desert sand with big ball of fire. He say no one see again. Only big black boat sail off, go away far.
“The man he say the black sky boat have home like this one and all females put in cages there. Much sorrow on world after. Nothing same. No one free. Men crazy with anger and rage, kill women until black metal demons come out of sky boat to stop killing. They have fire weapons, kill many men. New law they give. Women now slaves of men. Woman speak, die. Woman hit man, die. Woman do anything displease man, die. No more children for women. Now we born from female, but not have mother, just strange people to care, teach, train.
She stops as if to ponder what she just told me. I can see her mind working, the deep frown on the pale skin of her forehead. She blurts out angrily: “It just stupid sad story, mean nothing. Old men talk, sad old cut men (she means eunuchs) telling stories. I listen then, young and stupid, think maybe I believe. Now no longer. I strong. This real. I learn, I fight, I live. I from this world. If other worlds like you say they not for me.”
She continues with the same angry, disillusioned tone: “Why you want to hear stupid story? They call you Desert Beast for green eyes. You come from desert, yes? This they say. But you no beast, just bigger woman, longer arm, legs, stronger. You die too, like us, like all woman. No different. Same. All same, always same. I know. It the way of it.”
[end blog post #59]