Babel: Stranger than Fiction

When I carried a smile on my face all the time. This ever-present part of my costume, look, wardrobe, and expression. It was my white flag.

“Look, I like to just be, I want to talk to you but don’t bring your shit, opinions, and too much violent babel over here!” That is what the smile was about. I didn’t need another group of cowboys, outlaws, and sass talking women in my life. I have a family. They had shown me a lot of that already.

My smile was also my way of hiding the beast, the shadow, and the opposite in my clutches. The smile was an innate room for the sadness, disappointments, and rough housing I had inside of me that looked like me. The critic who let me know when something was wrong. I ignore just about anything now. To some degree I must. I must come stepping back into my eyes to peer out and see what is going on. I have gone on a soul retrieval before to go and get the little girl that tried to hide in the underworld below the trees in a room, thinking she might be safer there. Even when I placed her in safe keeping inside a part of me I knew she would like- I still have to meditate constantly and walk very slowly sometimes to stay behind my eyes.

How I am feeling and one thing I have learned is not to listen to no one. I will listen to my gut, but I don’t take opinions lightly anymore because I have realized those who give opinions are probably afraid of something I am or could do. They want things to be designed their way for their comfort. Women I looked up to, the men who did things I wanted to do. The people I loved but walked away from because I didn’t need another disappointment and i could leave just as fast as they could.

Power says that doing such things will make you lonely. Indian gurus and Mexican sorcerers say that doing such things will make you detached, ready, and happy.

I am both.

I came to another country town with my backpack too heavy for some reason. I walked into another man who had far too much clothing in his sack. Toys to play with including his shaver. The most I brought I gave away recently. I won’t speak too far on these things because what I did has already been done. I gave away my Uno cards. I gave away my hacky sack play toy, because there is no one to play it with. A few articles of clothing I had to be brave and cry a little have also crossed the counter at the local thrift store. The bag they came in went to and I still have a heavy backpack because I refuse to get rid of my hand blender which has a food processor and attachable mixer handle. A woman wants and needs her smoothies.

We, me and the stanger, had been at a local man’s house pulling weeds out of his garden for room and board. What a kind stranger he gave me a pair of his pants, which are very comfortable by the way. He gave them to me and I wear them a couple of days throw them in the wash and put them back on. So comfortable. I just change my shirts.

A few days of fun and then he wanted to spend a major holiday in a bigger city. He’d met someone online and he wanted to see the fireworks. I felt I might miss him but when he left I didn’t so much. I helped to drop him off at the bus station and went with the local man to buy mouse traps for his home. I wanted him to buy the humane ones that catch them and you drive a bit away and let them go. He doesn’t like to listen to anyone either much so he brought the ones that you put the cheese in the middle of the trap and the trap snaps and kills the mice. When we woke up the next morning I think he made the mice really angry. They had bitten a few apples, thrown the walnuts, and pooped on the stove. I thought damn! You made them mad!

I haven’t really been singing. I used to but they were the same songs and I had gotten tired of them. I felt like I wasn’t giving it my all. I stopped singing the same old songs with hope that I would find new ones to sing and that I would sing them out loud so that the spirits I like would have songs to hear.

I have been in my own world. I figure this is necessary for me to come to my eyes. I have been helping foreigners improve their English. They have been teaching me French. I have even signed on to help a man who speak Arabic. Yesterday a man who speaks Portuguese reached out to me. He wants to improve his English and asked if I would talk to him. In return he would teach me Portuguese. Well first he asked if I was interested because he didn’t see it in my profile. I wanted to say no, I am not interested in Portuguese. But then I thought here is an opportunity. Here is a free opportunity to learn a language you don’t know. A language you haven’t cared about. Maybe you could use it some day or at least have it around. So I said yes. I need to say yes more.

Now when I am talking to someone my languages have been mixing up. I say Hola, Guten Morgen, Comment vous-tu? Oh dear. But what I most love about it is that no one has an opinion about it. The only ones I hear now is the ones where someone is correcting my spelling or context. Far away in a land that I do not know I can be myself. I can speak my quirks. One man wanted to know why I kept a green hoodie on. I shared the quirk I have about my neck and ears being cold. He nodded. The guy I dropped off at the bus stop the other day, he has the same quirk. I didn’t share mine with him he said it himself, that he doesn’t like the wind at his neck.

He was the second person to share his babel with me. A list of words while he tried to convince me I should drink hard cider with him. I drank apple juice instead and asked him to write the list. I think he had two drinks. He wanted me to write it. He only got excited and really wrote the rest when he pronounce at the pub that I should learn a few cuss words to boot. The first one in German he shared was shit. We had a little in common. That’s my favorite cuss word in English.

A day and five hours from the country I called home I am embracing that I had better make promises to myself and keep them as best I can rather than not. I had better live life so that life doesn’t live me. I had better dance my ass off. I had better look and stop trying to atone for what I don’t control. Love now! Practice now! Learn now!

My paternal grandmother passed away last year. My Father put up some of his property and some of her’s to pay for her funeral. My cousin took it and the deal was he would be paid back in a year or he could keep it. The year past and my sister found out about the deal. Which meant the property we had been told since we were little kids would belong to us when my grandmother passed and my dad was no more, might not belong to us anymore. For some reason as I listened to my sister’s very violent rant about what she wanted to do and who she was going to cuss out in a more white way sounded so beneath what I wanted and how I wanted to deal with this. I want no more parts of it and the only thing I could think of was that I hope my Papa who made it so clear before he died that the only way land could pass from one person to the next in our family was through each other and there could be no outsides, wouldn’t be disappointed with me.

That’s why my sister was so angry, my dad has only his children and his land but no real male son to inherit his “place”. We are his “sons” to carry on his line. I was thinking as she went on and on that I would give my son my last name to be sure my great great grandchildren could find their blood line. My dad had passed the land to our cousin and once our cousin was gone it would pass to his children and in his line. Yep pretty biblical and royal I know.

My cousin tried to use his best speech to explain why this was a good idea. My sister tried to use her most diplomatic cuss words to explain to him why he could kiss her ass and be thankful she couldn’t hurt him. My great aunt just held her head a little low, I think because she has witnessed her family unravel and the new generation speaks to each other like so.

I snapped my fingers at my sister and asked her to let it go. I thanked her for dealing with it, somehow she felt that dealing with it she was protecting me. She said she will load and I can shoot and that’s how we are supposed to be. She said while I was over here with peace she had been dealing with those MFers for me. I thought I want nothing to do with this. I wouldn’t like to have anything to do with them. I wear a smile for them. My smile says look this is my white flag… mask. It is and it isn’t real. It is partly a I love you too much to come down to your level and underestimate you, it’s partly don’t come over here with that bull Scheisse, and it’s partly don’t make my beast leap out and tear you to shreds I am holding it back for your safety and the care of what some may call my karma. Trust me you want non of this.

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Meet Yi (Featured in 2pi Journal Vol.2)

Preview of Chapter 2

Rod Luff

2.

Blessed Yi stepped his toes to the house of the Sorceress, who lived outside of the city limits in a dank cabin off a fertile highway and very close to a overtly dirty meadow. Avoiding his reflection in the mirror by her door, he thought twice about knocking or ringing the very worn bronze bell on the splintered wooden porch. Cracked red paint and the precision of a scent of something with many spices caught his sensory attention. This Sorceress had a reputation above par with many people. Yi had overheard some stories with her as its subject in some communities where he ventured. Someone would speak in a quiet knowing tone, of a woman in the woods very close to the city with miraculous healing abilities, who had seen their own grandparents before them. When Yi heard this he knew he could use such potent guidance.

He had never met her, this sorceress, before, but was astonished by tales of her and partly fear crept into his breath as he walked to her screen. How quickly his chest rose and succumbed, and rose and barely succumbed to a normal motion of inhalation and exhalation. The abnormality made his head swarm with a high and then a pain, but he thought of that particular faith of his and remained steadfast on his intent to see her. “Come in!”, she yelled . He nearly jumped. I wish Yi knew that he was feeling a particular kind of emotion for a particular kind of reason.

She was dressed up from head to toe in the body of a young man complete with nappy brown chest hair and cotton black boxer shorts that did no justice to cover the happy trail, and a bit too big for the private parts. The belly button jewel she wore shined a dull light in the dimmed daylight stream still seeping into the house, the sun was on its way to setting. Yi was expecting to see the person that matched the voice. Yet in his heart of hearts he knew this person before him was her, and he was subdued by a comfortable grasp in the air around him that made him think twice about moving too quickly. Yi was a smart man and although he knew he was no match for this magos, Yi also knew that too many movements spoke louder than words and if she could read him, of which he had no doubt, she might read something he hadn’t meant to share.


What can I help you with, Yi?”, she asked with a lightness, as though she could give it to him on a plate from her pots strongly smelling up the house. “I’ve come for your guidance in how to calm the city. How can I get them to be quiet, to have peace?” he said, “…the city is so loud.”

Well Yi,” she said, “…dirty coins make change no matter how shiny the nickels look.” “Besides, it’s only a program, Yi, and some of them there get touchy when you try to change their programming.” “Maybe the question could be, and this is only a suggestion, how do you stop yourself from being so loud?” His heart began to speed again as he noticed she was not looking directly at his face, but completely and without shame, at his body.

Yi’s stomach shuddered. “You feel that Yi?” said the sorceress, “you take away their comfort which they have grown up with and they might want to fight for it.”

Why are your eyes so red?” she asked. “I’ve been burning my tongue,” he said. “With my pipe.” He pulled it from behind his ear to show it to her. “Oh!” she replied, “Now you know how words feel.”

Watch this.” she said. She climbed the walls of the ceiling and hung upside down till her male bodied shell turned the familiar female shape and she slept like a bat with her feet to the sky. Yi stood at first with the lie of confusion in his midst, but in his stomach he knew their meeting was over. He went over in his head what she had said to him and tried to make more sense out of something he felt sounded too simple.

Yi bid the sorceress farewell and stepped on the road again leading farther away from the metropolis.

He came upon a path of yelling, playing, babies and toddlers. They were alone near a deserted overgrown highway. Thickets of vines grew close by the road and the area in which they played was filled with johnson, orchard, and bermuda grasses, as though it was once a place used heavily for the cultivation of something, he wasn’t sure. He did notice that the wildflowers blowing in the wind must be coming from the south, he thought, something he learned in his days of being a sailor at sea.

The babies and toddlers ran through these high grasses, some leaping like frogs and some running as fast as cheetahs and some laughing while running through trees. They turned themselves into vapors so as not to disturb the trees, then back into chubby or thin complex solids. Yi’s very mind was blown so well it hurt his head to see these fascinating images.

We are the munchkin patrol.” The voice came from a little person as jovial as Yi has ever heard, and he turned to stare down into the tangled matted hair of a girl child who wiped her mouth of leaves and picked petals from her ears. Yi knelt on the ground to be eye level with her. He was honored to be spoken to by, and seeing clearly what appeared to be either dieties, demigods, but certainly a group of mental pedagogues. “What does the munchkin patrol do?” he asked. “We garden.” she said. “What is it that you garden?” he asked. “We plant seeds!” she said, her smile spreading almost into a wicked smirk. She was leading him somewhere and was excited about his questions because that’s how he was going to get to where she was pulling him, he knew.

We water the seeds, we harvest the fruits, and keep the peace.” “Where is your harvest?” asked Yi. “You’re reaping it,” she said. “What seeds do you plant?” he asked. “You’re speaking them,” she said. “Where is the water?” he said. She spit in the air and said, “There!” Before her saliva touched the ground, it flashed into the clear hue of blue.

What do you want Yi?”, she asked. “I want to stop the noise in the city”, he said. “You wouldn’t lie to a munchkin now would you, Yi? I don’t think you know how to care about their crying and carrying on… seems to me you might be conditioned to be emotionally stupid. Maybe a good fruit for you,” she said, as she held out her hand to produce a purple apple, “is to see the treasure in your own silence. Then you will be a BIG HELP!” she yelled. She clapped her hands and jumped up and down. “Importance can be tricky, Folly! Folly! Yi! You think you’re exempt from making the noise when you’re so loud yourself. Let them play! never stop them from playing.”

Suddenly the munchkin patrol turned to Yi and he could see now that they had surrounded him in a circle. How long they were standing there in that formation he wasn’t sure, but he was intimidated but relaxed. The tone of her voice was as a child’s and he had a feeling by the way they acted, with the trees running wildly through them and not destroying anything, that they would not touch a hair on his body in a disrespectful manner. Then they ran towards him with all the speed their little legs could muster and spit on the ground, and just as Yi fell on his knees to the earth to cover himself, yelling out loud for the anticipated crash, they dissipated, and the scent of ocean water went with them.

Yi had certainly seen quite a bit between the two meetings in this one day. First, with a Sorceress who clothed her self in the bodies of both sexes and yet never really intruded on his being. She even stated her intent to suggest something to him without suggesting it before pronouncing her impressions. Then there was the munchkin patrol, these wild children who obviously were more interested in playing than taking him seriously. Their intent had nothing to do with him but everything to do with their fun. Maybe, he thought, he did take himself too seriously, neurotically thinking he was so important that people thought cunningly what they would do to him to try to hurt him, instead of going on in their own worlds with their own things living and letting him live peacefully as they wanted to live. He thought about his trust of people and things working out in his favor. He took that knowledge in, like the smoke from his pipe as he sat on the grass still relieved and able to inhale. Yi stood and walked further south from the region.

He heard a voice shout,“Sir, can I just talk to you for a minute? Just your ears for a moment.”

What is it?” asked Yi. “Brother, it’s my eyes. Sometimes I see just fine, then there are times when I feel that I’m just waking up after just having been awake, or so I thought. I just need to ask you something.” “What’s that?” asked Yi.

Are you real?”

Yi laughed, “Last I checked, I was”.

Well, said the elder man, a straw tattered hat on his head, jeans on his legs, a worn t-shirt on his chest, and most noticeably, the largest black eyes you have ever seen, “It’s this here river that you’re walking on, I fish here all the time, I know where you’re standing, there are no rocks for you to step on.” Yi looked down at his toes in a quick passing moment of disbelief, until he realized it was true, he was standing in the middle of the river and must have been walking along it for a while. He started walking toward the boat, but in an instance of hesitation he fell into the water. “Sir!” yelled the fisherman. “Grab hold of this!” He threw an oar over the side of the boat for Yi. “You can walk on water but you cant swim!” The elder man laughed till he held his sides from what looked like a joyful aching. “I can too swim!” said Yi, with defiance, “and if you want me to listen to you, don’t tell me something I can’t do!” Now even Yi realized his discontent for being told he couldn’t do something , when he felt he could do anything after what he had seen throughout the day. He calmed after his revelation.

Touchy, touchy,” said the elder fisherman. “Let me tell you something ,Yi,” the man said, with a clear sense of belief in himself, “I like you.” He starting pointing his finger at Yi as he spoke, spitting at times when using certain letters. Some folks indeed do get touchy when you try to destroy their programming, and some are still trying to break the codes, and get touchy if you remind them that they ever had a program in the first place. “Well, now that I know that you’re real you can keep the boat,” said the fisherman as he stepped out and walked away. “I didn’t want to give a phantom a boat, might creep some folks out,” he said, raising his shoulders and making a surprised face. Yi stared at the man as he went off into the woods along the beach. He heard him still laughing to himself long after he disappeared from sight. 

Meet Yi by Sabrina Davidson Copyright 2011