What we are doing to the forests of the world is but a mirror reflection of what we are doing to ourselves and to one another. ― Gandhi I feel like I'm going to die in a few hours and this will be my last post.

Actually, that is how it feels to shut down all communication, in adherence to the regulations. After what has happened twice before, I don’t know when I can reincarnate and learn to speak and write again. Thankfully, vanity dictates that there is no way I'd go carrying with me this sense of unwritten.

***

Once, the Timekeeper held me by the scruff, threw me into his rural dungeon house and said, "Khalas, you have fulfilled those basic needs enough. It is time you learn other things."

Since then, I had a series of boyfriends breaking up with me because I could not go over the crux of man-woman relationship, which I used took for granted before the Father of All Intervention cannoned my gender-identity into premenopausal dissolution.

Why? Ah, if only you knew of things worse than sin and celibacy.

***

I once asked a man why he saved himself for the good wife, if she ever came by. (That is, by the way, my way of asking if he ever questioned his sexuality or if there is something wrong with his plumbing.)

He said, “Deeds echo and consequences ricochet,” and that if they were return to him or someone nearby, he might as well hope that it was in goodness.

I called it moral bollocks; that all is fair in love and frolics, and God would be happy for us having a good frisk.

He said, "At a point, it isn't about morals anymore. You have also had your chances to break your friskfast, why haven't you?"

Images of the Timekeeper intervened our conversation to a hush. Of the Timekeeper taking the risk in keeping my scruff in his house, entrusting his material wealth, patting my sobs when Boyfriend No. 1034, 2703, or 3229 lost interest because – for the love of mankind! – I could not step break my goddamned fast.

That, even if I did not care about him, I am too indebted to refuse the Timekeeper this much of obedience: Take everything you want, as long that you can spend all eternity reflected in it.

***

Maybe it would look nice and neat to stop here. Every time I lose my way in a rambling jungle, I want to quit while there is some value to sell at profit, rather than worsen what is already mediocre and morbid.

But something is amiss.

Society provides measurable reflections of validity. By doing things that I was naturally, gender-appropriately, good at, I mattered. ONE MORE VIRGINAL RELATIONSHIP CAN'T HURT, CAN IT? All I had to do was to fuel a system of coquetry that cares for nothing beyond felicity and vanity.

Whereas here? Now? Smack in the crux of the Ring of Fire? How did the earthquake that crushed Japan in early 2011, the Javanese volcano in 2010,and the Sumatran earthquake in 2009, impress the regency, the house and the life I write from?

Not a tinkle on the Boobster scale. This place is as icy as granny panties stuck in freezer that is entombed in an Antarctic iceberg.

And because there hasn't been a lot of natural disasters around, people had no choice but to warm themselves with work. They have had time to raise ducks and grow rice and feed the population. They even had to marry and have children and cultivate endless fields of hope within.

These villagers developed awareness of their higher needs in natural accordance with the fulfillment of the basic. That there had been at least three generations fed and fulfilled that they remember what it was like to listen to the voices within, consequently to seek and trust its guidance.

And because there hasn't been many natural disasters, you have had the time to sit there and indulge my rambling misery. If only I could tell you a story to remember how lucky I am to have your kind company.

That after all the meditation hideaways and yoga practices and linguistic disasters, with the right amount of blahness, I might touch the palest shades of epiphany, merely by recalling nature's effects upon society and - ultimately - upon the individual's partiality.

And be glad for what I have been allowed to live with.

“How can a woman be expected to be happy with a man who insists on treating her as if she were a perfectly normal human being?” - Oscar Wilde

The prophet once said that the majority of the population in hell are women.

If that were true, then there are more women than men on earth. And more women in heaven too.

I don't know my religion well enough to theorize, but my version of the bible (Introduction to Psychology) gave me these ideas why the Prophet said the above.

  • Part I: Genetically speaking

XX chromosomes has a better chance to survive the natural selection than other variations. Hence, if nature prefers the XX chromosome to develop, doesn't it mean that there are more baby girls born than boys? More females walking on earth than male?

  • Part II: Statistically speaking

In countries where the female is subject to social suppression and gendercide, there are always less women than men on the social maps.

On the other hand, in conditions nearest to ideal, where men and women are treated equally (at least in legal terms), there are always more women than men.

Hence, is it possible that the drop in female ratio in suppressive conditions suggest that those unhappy female fetuses, girls and women are already going through a hell of some sort compared to the male population?

  • Part III: Socially speaking

Every time that hadith is questioned, the muftis say that there are more women in hell because they lack religion and intellect.

That they are impure due to the menstrual cycles, and that the responsibilities of motherhood and housekeeping are more important than religion.

I don't even need to menstruate to lack in religion. And I would seriously question a female's intellect every time she splurges on these, these, or these. Hold on, let me just finish that shopping order I started.

But, let us assume in earnest that the muftis are correct. That women do practice less religion, are forgetful beings with sinful tendencies to seduce and slur.

Albeit, I still dare assume that the female population in heaven exceeds the male. Without even trying too hard for it. Because, even though it is very fun to try going to hell, it is just too much extra work!

  • Staying married to the same man, just being nice to him when he comes home, equals the reward of half a jihad.
  • Staying married to the same man, especially if he is an ass, is even better: everything she touches shall carry a burning witness for her jealousy: Lord, her heart breaks, spare hell from her wrath.
  • Everything that has to do with the childrearing, from menstruating, maintaining dignity, every time she performs her wifely duties, every day of pregnancy, every pang of labor, every drop of milk, to the nights spent in vigil after a sick child is counted in multitudes of bonus hasanats: 70 years of prayer, enters heaven 500 years, 70'000 angels and so and forth.
  • Even if she never married, she still has a better chance at than all the men, because a single pious woman equals 70 saints. Hah!

If you put all of that together, does it add up to you that the female population in heaven and hell exceeds the male?

Conclusion

Alas, there is a running meter for passive femininity to every social situation. Whether virgin, sinful, repentant, widow, in Iddah, divorced, pregnant, mother, childless, victim of gendercide, it is all working on her behalf to send her to heaven.

For, going to heaven is the easy part about being a woman. It is believing that she deserves it that is hard.

Do not be surprised, my brothers, if the world hates you. - 1 John 3:13 It is rarely known that after the ark was built, it spent decades sitting there in the desert, like a public declaration of its builder's insanity, before it did what it was meant to do for the forty days of the deluge.

In those decades, the ark was first a laughing stock, then a public latrine and finally a drug mine.

Since the prophesized deluge never came, and since the man who built the ark never quit rambling about it, it shifted swiftly from a being public joke to a public embarrassment.

To punish the man who had caused that embarrassment, the townsfolk used it as public latrine. They defecated all over it. From bow to poop, from stem to deck, was covered by their communal byproduct.

As legends go, when the ark was entirely pooped upon, came a plague. A rather strange one too, since none of the drugs they had could fix it. The disease was not as fatal as it was ugly and reeked of sin.

One day, one of the sick decided to meditate on his ill-fortune by spending his thoughts on the public's favorite toilet: the ark in the desert.

While he was minding his business, the man slipped and fell straight into a heap of his kinsmen's poop. Washing the damn thing off him, he saw that where the poop had touched him, the disease was healed.

The good news spread fast. Anyone (and that was everyone) who caught the plague, went to the ark to gather handfuls and cratefuls of poop.

Whatever was the method of treatment, as long that the disgusting material touched that area the disease was - miraculously - gone. Kind of like penicillin. It was lathered on, dropped in the eyes, swallowed, diluted, concentrated, injected, and even smoked.

But never replicated.

The only excrement powerful enough to fix symptoms of the plague was stuff brought from the ark. Hence, being so highly in demand, the ark turned into a mining field: Every part of it was covered by townsfolk meticulously searching between crooks and crannies, picking and scooping and tweezing, and finally wiping for the golden dust off the ark.

When the ark was spick and span, even cleaner than when Noah had left it, the plague ended.


That was the last installment of @G30HM, under the theme: “7 days to write fairy tale”.

There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you. - Maya Angelou The carriage was not there.

This was not what she had bargained for with the fairy godmother, she cursed, especially with a smitten prince at her heels.

She ran outside the palace yard and whistled for a cab by the gate. Not a minute too soon either; her ball gown dissolved into the usual tattered dress as soon as she closed the carriage door behind her.

"To stepmother's house, please."

Entering from the back of her stepmother's house, she saw the pumpkin smashed on the side the gate. Mice and vermin circling it, merrily eating the pieces.

A horse's reins were tied tight to a tree nearby. It never left the house to pick her up from the ball.

Entering her cold room, she washed her face and tried to diffuse the smell of merriment off her. She did not want it to show even in her dreams. And especially not to him, the faithful drunkard sleeping there.

He stirred groggily as she removed his shoes and pushed him aside, making room for herself in their tiny cot. He reeked of cheap wine and whiskey, the smells of jealousy and grief.

When she felt his eyes on her, she said, "You forgot to pick me up."

"I thought you wanted to live there." He looked at her, the drunken glaze gone from his eyes. "Did he take bait?"

"For certain."

"Well. Then."

He scooted further away from her, as if there was any room left in their cot, his back turned to her, avoiding the sad thought of her leaving him for something better.

She sighed. Caressing his back, she saw that her hand was bare. Taking it out of her pocket, she slipped the ring back on her third finger.

They still had time until the prince found her, she thought. She refused to spend it in argument with him, the simple man she married out of loneliness in that big, cold house.


Been Tooted

“Is that what they call a vocation, what you do with joy as if you had fire in your heart, the devil in your body?” ― Josephine Baker After tea, the good King asked his son whom he would like to take as wife, for it was only proper that the Crown Prince of Cumbok celebrated his coming of age by choosing a wife.

The prince told the good King, that he had his heart set on marrying the woman of his dreams: a poor farmer's daughter in a nearby village.

As legends go, the king tried to dissuade the prince, the prince insisted on the same girl, the King relented, by and by, a royal convoy was dispatched to bring the girl back to the palace.

When the royal convoy finished reading aloud the royal declaration of intent in making her the second most powerful woman in the Kingdom, the farmer's girl said,

"What is the prince's job?"
"Madame?"
"What does he do for a living?"
"Why, he is the prince," said the ambassador. "All is provided for him. What does he need a job for?"
"You're telling me that - with all due royal respect - he's good for nothing and is foolishly squandering his life away. Tell him to learn a skill - any skill - and get a job. I have no need for a man who does not know how make his own living."

Enamored as he was, rather than taking offense, the prince took the advice to heart and tried his hand at a number of skills until he found that weaving carpets was something that his soft, princely hands were pretty good at.

The prince trained diligently in the art of weaving carpets, an art that was quite popular (even today) in his Kingdom. When the Royal Convoy arrived again at the farmer girl's house, they had a carpet worthy enough of princely credit as proof to what the man had done (so far) in the name of love.

A gesture that romantic was too difficult to refuse even for the most pragmatic girl in Cumbok. Hence, that part of the fairy tale earned its happily for that month: The crown prince got a job, and his girl agreed to marry and move in with him, albeit it is to his parents' house.

A few months after their marriage, the prince took a stroll alone in the city. When tired, he entered a decent and clean cafe to rest. Unbeknownst to him, the cafe was actually a burglar's watering hole.

The burglars, in return, seeing that an impeccably dressed tourist - for no sane local would - had entered their nest, decided to kidnap him. All the while not knowing that their victim was a prince.

The burglars, though, were soon disappointed to discover that their catch had no money on him and the best thing they might do with him was cut him up and sell his organs.

Not exactly thrilled by his captors' proposed business plan, the prince offered them a bargain.

"I'm a carpet weaver by training. In fact, I'm so good at it that I once won a girl's heart by weaving for her. Rather than making a one-time profit out of this delicate circumstance of kidnapping me, why not invest in getting me tools of my trade and win yourselves an even more sustainable resource for as long as I keep both of my kidneys?"

Long story short, the prince weaved a bunch of carpets, each was more beautiful than the other, filled with intricate details that pleased all who saw and touched it.

The burglars, having made a small fortune from few of the carpets they had sold in the public market, thought that they could make even more gold by selling it to the King of Cumbok.

When the carpets were spread at court, the prince's wife - a.k.a. the poor farmer's daughter who once refused a royal proposal lest the man had a job - recognized the carpet as her absent husband's work of hand.

Conveniently, she saw the secret messages weaved into the carpet's decorative details, disclosing information on the prince's whereabouts and location.

What happened afterwards, I will not insult my readers' intelligence by spelling it out. Though, I will freely assume that my readers can guess why, in the evening after his rescue, the Royal Crown Prince of Cumbok was seen kissing his wife's feet for the life she had saved him.


Footnotes:

  • Cumbok is in Pidie Regency, in Aceh Province, and it is still a carpet weaver's town.
  • The above legend was ripped from "Rangmanyang Menjadi Batu": A collection of Acehnese Folk Tales.
  • This post was a submission for another one(!) of my side projects: "Writing for 30 Days Movement on Social Media". This week's theme was Fairytales. Yesterday's story, in Indonesian, was posted on the other blog.
 
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