Monday, January 30, 2006

A Look at the Whore

Perfume wafted in the air, heavy like the steps of a man too heavy to walk home after carousing. It threatened to take down the unsuspecting, but to the familiar, to the one willing to part with some silver or gold, its bearer would willingly lay herself down like an old horse.

We had talked about her in the shadows, and deliberately avoided her name in the open - for fear that people would know that we know of her existence. She is a nomad, with no home; as one of our poet-prophets spoke years ago, "Like a rolling stone, no direction home."

There are other reasons we do not look in her direction. It is not so much fear of the elders. For maybe we know too much of the elders. Maybe we've smelled a bit of a waft on them also, as if they were washing their sleeves in her hair. No one wants to be brought out in public, or embarrassed, but it would not be a shaming finger from the elders that do us in.

I think it is her eyes. Not the mascara. Not the bruises that the mascara covers. Although we've wondered who these men are that would or could treat a woman in such a way. Or rather, how low a woman has to be before she is no longer considered a sister, an aunt, a mother, a daughter.

It is not so much her eye color, not the hazel, the rich light coffee. It is what is inbetween her eyes, the darting pupils. It is the slightest touch of life, as if she knows she deserves so much better and one day she will awake and demand much better, she will leave everything and everyone in her path like the furious winds that drag our homes into the sky, she will demand - no, she will forcefully receive - her dignity, her grace, her children, her true lot in life.

She is not of this world. She should not be trapped in it.