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"Tell me the long story."
The old woman laughed and shook her head, "No, no. Not the long story. Not tonight. It's too late."
"Please. Please tell me the long story. There is still time."
The old woman laughed again, pleased and with a warm heart. "Okay, but you must sleep."
"The Long Story" was an embellished version of The Story. The story that the old woman knew best and told often. The story of how she left home long ago on a train and didn't see her family ever again. Of how she saw in her palms the lines like a map and followed them to the North, where she met a camel trader and fell in love with his cunning smile, his warm and heavenly eyes. How they lived together in a little room on the 14th floor and didn't bother anybody else for years. How eventually the police came looking for her and she hid under the sink and they inspected with dogs and they went right by her cheek pressed against the cupboard door and they didn't find her. How they beat up her husband and took him away. How she ran through the streets to the worst man in town, Herake, and asked him for a favour: to find out where they had taken her husband. How she followed her husband into prison, she got herself arrested under a charge of praying incorrectly, and when she was released after a few months, she brought with her a throng of women who escaped and open the doors to the men's prison. How they ran and cried and lived off help from strangers all the way to the East. How they started a home here in the trees and how their new family grew into what it is today. How he still watches over this land, he still has his cunning smile and that will never die. That was The Long Story and it was the long version that had all the details; about the way the water tasted, about the way tears tasted, about the way food tasted when you hadn't eaten. About love and the way it feels. About the sky and the way it forced light through almost anything. About how guns make people cold, and uniforms make people unable to listen. About money, about talk. They way a person can talk all around you like a puff of smoke or talk directly to you like a gift, cupped in their hands like water.
(image)Posted by Dan at August 23, 2011 8:47 PM
Lovely, Dan. During dark days, it's lovely to be reminded of real wealth.Posted by Moominmamma at August 24, 2011 12:49 PM
i'm glad they asked for the long story.Posted by q at August 28, 2011 5:36 PM
beautiful.Posted by MCO at August 30, 2011 1:58 AM