Jan 16, 2005

Dialogue With Stone

Originally uploaded by macnamband.

What is that? I asked, seeing something in the distance. Looks like someone. Or is it a shadow? A shadow, said Stone.
— No, it's a person. I can see them quite clearly now.
— Allah's shadow on earth.
— His what?
— caliph.
— How do you know?
No reply. He's like that. Just drifts off. Gets to the punchline and won't tell you. I went back to pushing. We were almost to the top.
— I don't understand these berbers, I said after another long time.
— What's to understand?
— You look in their eyes and.... And....
— Yes, and....
— I see pessemism.
— What did you hope for?
— Some sign of hope. But all I see is pessemism, as though their emotions were very far away, just a glimmer. You hold their faces in your hands and you are watching old ruins, you are looking into their dark tents in the middle of winter.
— They're warriors. Think of their empires. Imagine such a life.
— Yes, I understand and then after the battle, what is there? Only sorrow, for the dead and because the battle is over. Life is hope for another battle.... What was her name, Kareena? The amazon, who smeered her breasts with hennae the night before a great battle. Who drank the blood of her enmey's children....
— Think of the power that might give you.
I look at the stone.
— And what is their culture? I said. Nothing. They have none. They're thieves and cons. But I have this attraction for them.
— They're familiar.
I saw something far away just as we reached the top and the stone went rolling off toward the bottom.
What is that? Another Caliph, perhaps.

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