Once I had made my appearance known, I didn’t know what to say. There was so much I could say, and so much I didn’t know how to say.
He looked at me in a little confusion and a little bit of snide.
“Can,” I said, coughing from the hot smoke, “Can you stop for a moment?”
“No,” he replied, not blinking or changing his stare.
Then it all came. That’s what happens when you’re a woman, I think. Woman can travail under heavy burdens with quiet hearts, but we must cry sometimes, to ease the pain of it. Even if nobody listens, we must cry every now in then. And so the gush of tears came like a tornado. I couldn’t stop the tears. I was so young, so naive, so childlike. And with the gush of tears came tangled words as I tried to tell him all, hoping he could help me somehow.
His face was as blank as it was before, once I had finished.
He began to get back to his work, as if he had never heard me.
“Won’t you help me?” I pleaded, the tears beginning again, “Please, please.”
“Can’t you see the sky up there, and realize it’s not a sky at all! It’s water, and fishes and ponds and weeds. Can’t you see it?”
He finally looked over at me again, and then peered out of the window, into the above. He glanced at me oddly, and then went back to his work.
“What’s WRONG with you?” I scolded in desperation, and then felt very ashamed of my crossness.
“Nothing’s wrong with me,” he said finally. “Look, I tell you what. I feel sorry for you. Go up that path,” he gestured, “and keep on going. Before nightfall, you’ll find somewhere to sleep, someone to take care of you. You’ll feel better after food and sleep, I think.”
“But don’t you understand–”
But he didn’t understand. Back to his work again in a world I didn’t know.
Who did he work for? He said there were more people. Someone somewhere could help me, I was sure.
He wouldn’t listen to me anymore. Never had I met a man so obstinate. Finally, with sadness, I left the cabin. A bird flew to me, and sat on my shoulder. With it my journey might not seem so lonesome, I thought, but immediately after thinking it, the bird flew away.