Zawmb’yee Takes Over the Blog (Chapter 6)

The Fog of the Caveman’s Blog: Chapter 6



    I know it’s unprofessional for the stenographer to speak in her own voice but I wanted to make clear that I’m typing in the blog while Doug recuperates. Most of the time, I’ll just transcribe his words for him. Oh yes, in case you don’t know, it’s me(I?), Zawmb’yee, posting this stuff for a while. Actually, I guess it’s OK to speak in my own voice for a while, because I’m not a professional. It’s good that Doug tripped and fell, because the bullet just grazed him. If he hadn’t blocked the gun, I’m sure Zusoiti would have killed me[stenographer pauses]. (Yeah. I know it’s silly but I’m trying to be like the court reporter who puts everything in the transcript like “cough”, or “indistinguishable”, and all that…
    Geez, I know I could never be a court reporter because you have to record every word and sound that anyone says without getttin emotional, which reminds me that I can’t get through Doug’s steno poem without flooding the paper. It was horrendous for me as an adult being violated by the gods for their genetic experiments, but I can’t imagine the unbearable trauma for a child violated in any way. Well, I guess you don’t know what I’m talking about, so, be careful: this poem I’m going to show you I find disturbing. It’s fiction but nevertheless…

My Poem For Mommy Steno

Mommy, a Lady’s writing
big hand for me with commas.
Did you write me down, and
everything? Ok. Here goes:
No wait a second. Ok, umm

Mommy don’t let me cry too much.

I didn’t mean to be mean
to Daddy when he yelled

Didn’t want to make you
go to jail

Mommy, I’ll let him
touch my breast again
if they’ll let you out
from jail

Has he gone to Heaven?

Foster people say
you’re trash

Mommy, forgive me.
Didn’t want you to kill Dad.

Mommy, don’t let me cry too much.

My poem. Is it good, Mommy?

Lady don’t cry. Make it good? Ok?
Make it pretty on good paper.

    I’m sick. Doug writes such dark poems, and I’m not sure how he connects to what he writes. I’m so glad he and Utcoozhoo are OK, but still, Zusoiti did escape. Oh yeah, more about that later…

    Because Doug is still too fatigued to write the blog, I’m going to continue. I don’t know how Doug and I expected to stop Zusoiti in her War Room without weapons; it’s just that we were the only ones in position, and time was running out. I was trying to run up the stairs in the War Room when Doug and Zusoiti got shot. By the time I turned around, all I could see was the FBI surrounding Zusoiti on the floor. I don’t know why they took their time, but a trapdoor opened under her, letting her disappear, and then it snapped back up. The whole task force, it seemed, took turns pounding the door with sledge hammers. Just as they smashed it open, there was an explosion. Smoke, dirt, and choking gases filled the air. Putting Doug on a stretcher, shouting into their radios, they moved en masse to the stairs, pushed me up the stairs, helped me put on a gas mask, and we all ran out of the library through the main ballroom, and out past the statute “Aphrodite Foaming At The Mouth,” when the entire Mansion collapsed into a pile of rubble. They never did find Zusoiti’s body. They assume she escaped.
    I could not get to the hospital before they started interrogating Doug. I’m so glad he had sense enough not to tell them everything. I mean, what if he had told them that not only was Zusoiti running for Mayor in the village but also for high-priestess of the Grand Council that governs a secret cave society? Had they heard that, they would presently be tearing apart the “apparatus of the gods”, trying to reverse engineer everything.

    I’m sprucing up Doug’s apartment, or I guess at this point I should say “our” apartment. He did leave most of my decorations intact from the last time, as he said he would, which leaves just a few final touches — the major thing is that I’m going to put up my paintings. This time it’s really going to feel like home. My quarters in the Cave I’m going to think about as “school”. I want to think about it this way: Doug and I will have a sanctuary here, and our cave apartments will belong to the adventures of childhood.
    Knowing how I am, Doug set up my stuffed animals on the bed to greet me as soon as it seemed like I might be coming back. I felt so comfortable coming here, having my things, but Utcoozhoo says I should wean myself off ebben (I think they call it transitional objects in English). He says teddy bears are like amulets and should not be overused.
    This writing of the blog in English is so tedious — laying out all the pieces of events, each a section of canvas difficult to imagine from the sound of the blind letters. I much prefer the seeing of the Utd’mbts even though I’m just a beginner at it.
    I’m chattering away here, and I haven’t even written about Utcoozhoo’s escape on the thiktdi. I’m going to mount my paintings first.

    Well, something good came of all this. There is a new tunnel in the sacred quarters. I should have known Utcoozhoo wouldn’t allow himself to be trapped anywhere as he knows more about the gods than even Zusoiti. I’ve always wondered how great an emergency was required for Utcoozhoo to utilize the power of the gods, to embrace his prerogatives without shame, neither shaman nor king, an executor of the ancient endowment. Sometimes I think he is too humble for our good, should use his powers.
    Yes, the tunnel is a good example. He and the elders were trapped in the Tzvaleubhoi while Zusoiti made havoc. Finally the legend of Tpiqlat’ng was vindicated when Utcoozhoo declared pcapdyntpa. It must have been a shock when Utcoozhoo and Naztko, from the Forbidden Zone, reactivated the Thiktdi, “the flying mole in fire tube”. They loaded up 500 elders into the Thiktdi that looks like a jet plane without the wings. No one knows how, but it vaporizes rock in front of it, and compresses it off to the side into a kind of slippery glass. At the right moment, they flew through the rock into Utcoozhoo’s anteroom in the sacred quarters. Utcoozhoo got them all accommodations, and the next day, they stunned the Registrar when they marched into his office and registered to vote. That’s one step.
    With Zusoiti away, Utcoozhoo now thinks he can push through a Magna Carta in the Grand Council, but I’m not so sure how many supporters Zusoiti still has.

    So much has happened since the FBI went after Zusoiti — I don’t mean that they caught her, but her fugitive status has been a blessing. Utcoozhoo found her secret interface between the ancient technology and the modern. The good news is that he has developed his own interface device and has hooked up the gods’ grp’nl system to the Internet. Now, I can do my homework for Utcoozhoo from here, and actually, I’d rather do it here than in the cave. The bad news is that there may be other hidden interfaces that Zusoiti is using.
    I’m a little disappointed that I didn’t get my last assignment exactly right. I logged into the grp’nl with Utcoozhoo’s new password and went to the language practice page, thinking it would be easy, because I’ve done pretty well with his meditation exercises. The Utd’mbts language, in its full form, is much harder than I thought. I went to the first vocabulary word exercise all excited and confident. I was to simply learn one word that would be displayed on the screen. I stared at the screen, not consciously perceiving anything as I was told to do, and let whatever it was sink into my subconscious. Then, I lay down on the bed and meditated to await a vision. I saw an angry parent scolding a child, a rampaging gang of kids, a marauding group marching with a flag, heard a National Anthem of some kind, saw the construction of buildings, of supermarkets, of trains, of planes, and of ships, saw all of them blown up and destroyed. I was supposed to say what this word meant in English. I said I thought it meant that “the displacement of anger from family to ethnic group to country, over generations, was the cause of war.” Utcoozhoo said, no that’s not it. He said it’s a lot more complicated than that, and I didn’t allow myself to absorb more, that I was suppressing most of the important elements of the word. That was very discouraging because I thought I had already learned many Utd’mbts words and he said I had only learned a few of the beginner’s training subset language — the baby-talk babble of the beginner.

(Because Doug is still too sick to write the blog, I, Zawmb’yee, am going to continue to write this blog)

    I’m worried. I think Doug has lost the will to live. It’s odd but I don’t think he ever thought about his own mortality until Zusoiti fired her gun at him. It seems as though he thinks he will go out of existence at his death, and he will not be aware that he had ever existed. He is much too logical and analytical to be happy. I do think that Utcoozhoo is right that he has the curse of the eokxavexa. Utcoozhoo is all mystical and vague, but I could put it bluntly: some of the gods’ genes have been quite destructive to our people.
    Doug has been just moping around, doesn’t want to get out of bed, doesn’t want to eat.
    The other day I said to Doug, “I know you’ve been hurt because most people find it very hard to talk to you, don’t want to hear your ideas, can’t wait for you to gather your thoughts… But then, you hate what you are — you can tolerate neither kegmn, bsoer, bsoei, nor veb.”
    Doug said,“No, that’s not it. I can’t understand how people can talk, talk, talk, chatter, chatter, chatter, on and on, without saying anything. By the time they’re finished, I can’t remember what I wanted to say.”
    “See, that’s the thing: it’s not just chatter to talk about how you feel…”
    “What’s the point of talking about problems, if you don’t have a solution?”
    “It just feels good to vent,” I said, but I could see he was clueless.
    “Yeah. I know. You tell me everything, and I understand how you feel and you always say you feel much better after telling me. But I feel much worse. I don’t know how to solve anything.”
    “You don’t have to solve… just listen… You are a comfort to me…”
    “That is a mystery, but I love to see you smile, hate to see you cry…”
    “That’s empathy, isn’t it?”
    “For what purpose? It’s emotion without solutions, without goals…”
    “There you go again… Y’know, you haven’t seen this because you haven’t left the apartment, but I’ve seen quite a few people on the street wearing royal purple uniforms…”
    “What is that — the latest fashion? You’d look good in purple. You could get…”
    “No, no, no. It’s not fashion. I think it’s Zusoiti’s followers. I think she’s building a secret police. It’s the beginning of a movement. You know, like the Nazi ‘brown shirts’, except it’s the ‘purple shirts’ . ”
    “Oh come on. You’re just being paranoid. Enough already with all this cave culture stuff. Could we just join the mainstream for a change, just be normal people?”
    “Normal people?”
    “Oh hell, you know what I mean.”
    “So, anyway, you should see this… they’re holding rallies and meetings. I just know Zusoiti must be behind this.”
    “Uh huh. Zawmb’yee, could we do a joint painting — you could do a sketch and I could paint over it. ”
    “You see — that’s kegmn. You weren’t listening while I was talking. You were just thinking about what you wanted to say. You couldn’t wait for me to finish, and then you plunge ahead.”
    “No. You just keep talking and don’t say anything.”
    I was so mad, and almost started a tirade, but I don’t know, Utcoozhoo keeps telling me it’s eokxavexa. Yeah, but that’s no excuse for bad manners. Is it?

    I’ve been losing my temper a lot lately, but its just that this place is such a strewn-fest, my things scattered, boxes falling, hell, I can’t find anything, and Chloë’s driving me crazy with hassle, hustle meetings — I’m sick of the damn Moose Café project: I tell her it’s done, it’s done, I’m done — cash the check. An avalanche of building plans and escaping wardrobe snow are burying me in a shoe storm and fashion disasters, even though Doug gave me my own bedroom in case he snores, but the bed is piled high with my dresses and shoe boxes, and the carpenters are just leaving.
    Out, out, damn Carpenters, leave the spots — the painters will do it — give me my space, my closet… I must go on stage in a gown without sneakers if I can finally use the “closet organizer” right.
    I haven’t even used my bedroom yet and Doug doesn’t snore. Actually, I’d rather be with him for the snuggle factor, and getting my feelings onto his hairy chest. Oh, maybe I’m the one who snores. I’ve been angry so much, so often. OK, I’ve got the closet organizer, and Doug gave me his project room for my work. I should be able to bring my furies to the clothes. Where, the hell, are my Viwwa shoes — Chloë’s going to be envious, and I look gorgeous. It’s got heels like stalactites. No one could run around in the cave wearing these if they didn’t want to fall into the K’ut’mbletaw’i. But who would want to be well-heeled in the cave anyway. Chloë says I have to dress well for business. Somehow I have to mix and match, or match and mix, or match and match, put on the make-up… which reminds me. I should go yell at Doug before we make-up. Just kidding. Yeah. I don’t know what I’m so angry about. Utcoozhoo says I should work on my anger. But I don’t know. I think my anger was justified when Doug dismissed what I was saying. But here’s this thing — oh hell, I can’t remember the word for it in any language. It seems I forget because I don’t want to let go of my anger — for some reason I want to keep it. Um, well, the thing was something like “firm assertion that cajoles attention for loving reprimand(is this an oxymoron?).” Oh geez, even if I could remember some level of an Utd’mbts word for the thing, I bet Utcoozhoo would say I’ve got that wrong. Yeah, I’m lost — certain concepts I have a problem with. Yeah, maybe that’s why I can relate to Doug sometimes because we’re both lost souls. I really hate what Doug’s father did to him: made him repress all emotion and even forced him to show no facial expression(said, “Don’t look at me that way), and he remembers his Mom always saying, “That can’t be…” — I bet he had extraordinary abilities as a child and I bet they were frightened by how much he knew their thoughts. That’s why he claims he has no talents — they’re all suppressed or repressed or you know. Damn, I have to work on vocabulary. His father was incredibly destructive. Doug was already born poor at reading body language and he could have used some compensating skills.
    Doug needs to develop at least some skill. As Utcoozhoo says(don’t quote me), “If you can close your eyes and get into someone’s mind, you don’t need to read body language…”

    OK, I think I’m getting my closet more organized. Well, not exactly; I’m getting good at organized tossing and throwing: I tossed some of my shoes onto the racks, threw some onto the lower shelves, but I don’t know what tier a teardrop buckle shoe should occupy. Chloë says there’s a style for every occasion, but should I have a shelf for cocktail parties and gallery openings? I’ve had a pair of Wymucen “Ballerina” shoes in black patent leather that keep pirouetting around the racks and shelves and won’t let me toss or pigeonhole them. Do I have to dance if I wear them — no, I guess, if they’re not red, I don’t have to. Doug heard me mumbling and said I should get an automatic transmission and pump the cheap gas. I thought, huh-what, but then I realized I was mumbling about my flat open-toe PUMPS, and my evening CLUTCH bag. Now, I’m in the clutches of unforeseen consequences at the Moose Café, and we can’t seem to finish.
    Angela had to have the marble slab countertops for her transformation: she wanted an elegant design to scrub out the “Moose” image, but now, we’re on the antlers of a dilemma. She’s all hysterical because she read in the newspaper that some marble is radioactive. She’s the one that insisted on richly grained burgundy countertops. The technician went over it with a Geiger counter and it was fine, but Chloë wants me to get my own Geiger counter because Angela only trusts me. It’s ridiculous. Now, I have to learn how to use this thing. Some granite has uranium in it. I’m trying to tell her our granite slabs don’t. I mean, ours are not even from Brazil or Namibia.
    I wish I could just negotiate on the phone and send another technician, but Chloë says the “customer is always right.” The more I think about it, the more it gives me the creeps, because I’m remembering that Angela was going to vote for Zusoiti for mayor just because she had purple hair.
    Doug loves my long blond hair when I use the Gecmen Creme conditioner. He doesn’t know the trouble I go through — he thinks it’s just always soft and flowing like a self-washing river.
    This morning, I thought Doug’s mood had improved. When I came out of the shower, he said, “Y’know, you’ve been wanting to have a party in our remodeled dining room to show off the crystal and the chandelier you designed. Why don’t we do it tonight. Call everyone and you can invite Chloë and mix business with pleasure and …”
    “You want me,” I said, “to prepare everything on such short notice? How do you know everyone can drop everything and come over?”
    “Well, Chloë will come and…”
    “Uh huh. Yup.”
    “What do you mean uh huh?”
    “It’s not that you really want me to have a party to show off the chandelier. It’s just a little bsoei on your part, but it’s no mystery to me.”
    “So why can’t we keep it a mystery? I mean, isn’t that what romance is about: mystification?”
    “No, Utcoozhoo says bsoei is a form of manipulation,” I found myself saying, but actually, I have always thought that this sort of thing was harmless play and romantic(How did I change sides on this issue).”
    “No, not if we agree to it,” Doug protested.
    “He says bsoei…”
    Wait just a second… Um, what exactly does bsoei mean?”
    “It means when one person is masking his true intentions in order to manipulate the other to get what he really wants. He wants it to be a mystery as to what he wants and um…”
    “Are you sure that’s exactly right?”
    “Well, you know I can’t always explain it perfectly,” I said, “and I’ll admit that, as usual, if I gave this definition to Utcoozhoo, he’d say ‘ubemuwx’ .”
    “Oh geez. Now what does ubemuwx mean?”
    I laughed. “It means, ‘That’s not exactly it.’”
    “Are you sure,” Doug said with a sly smile, “that ubemuwx means that?” Doug was moving in for the coup de grâce. “What would Utcoozhoo say if you gave him that definition?”
    “He’d say ubemuwx to my ubemuwx definition.”
    “Ah ha. I know this one: you’ve made the uxomexn,” Doug said triumphantly.
    “Oh yeah. Well now, YOU define uxomexn!”
    “Um, it’s, um, ‘The spiral of the mirrors — the nested paradox,’ the um…”
    “ubemuwx!” I said.
    “Now, I forgot, what were we saying before?”
    “We have decided to have a mystery party for no purpose, but for the benefit of our friends, and then somehow we’ll be surprised when we end up having sex for purely noble causes.”
    “Don’t you think I deserve to share the Nobel prize with you for deception if you’ll switch back to your old naïve romantic self, so we can both be foolish and playful?”
    “ubemuwx. Love is better.”

    I think there are two good omens today; Utcoozhoo called to make it official: I’ve been appointed to the Grand Council to fill the vacancy left by Zusoiti. It’s only temporary, but I have all privileges and powers of a council member. And the other thing is that Doug has been writing his novel nonstop for three days straight. Well, that’s good, but he hasn’t gotten any sleep at all. I think I’ll wait a few more hours and tell him he’s got to stop and get some sleep. Maybe I should tell him that I’m dying to read it. If I can just take it from him and get him to lie on the bed, I’m sure he’ll fall right to sleep. Well, anyway, I have to meet Utcoozhoo now for my swearing-in ceremony and to receive my Nipusindi (equipment, paraphernalia, and vestments of office). Doug should be ready for sleep by the time I get back.

    It’s been scary. I came back home after being sworn in. I didn’t realize how much power Council members are given, and how Utcoozhoo had to call in a lot of favors to get me appointed — I even heard some grumbling in the background: someone said, “She doesn’t even know Utd’mbts.” Utcoozhoo just needs another vote on the Council while Zusoiti is away to make some vital changes. He told me not to worry, and that I’d just do some ceremonial things until he needs my vote.
    Doug was still writing at his desk, drinking coffee and splashing water on his face after each page.
    I went back to organizing my closet. Utcoozhoo had seven large ancient hand carved chests, containing the Nipusindi, delivered. I stuck five of them in the middle of the bedroom, heaved one, using a drawing board as a ramp, on top of the bed next to a pile of dresses, and dragged one into the closet. Before the chest arrived, I was going to dump out my old jewelry box and put all my rainbow bangle bracelets on a display rod. But there was some jewelry, ceremonial dresses, and shoes in the chest that didn’t really go with anything. So I became disorganized again.
    I carried some dresses and my old jewelry box into Doug’s bedroom. He was sitting on the bed still writing.
    He said, “More dresses? I thought you were organizing your closet?”
    “Well, I was, but I have seven new chests of stuff, most of which I haven’t even opened.”
    “Seven chests? Yeah, I wondered what all that noise was — I thought you were getting new furniture. What kind of chests?”
    “It’s Nipusindi.”
    “Nipusindi? I thought that was for Grand Council members only?”
    “Guess what.”
    “I’ve been appointed to the Grand Council!”
    “Whoa. Really?”
    Doug finally put down his manuscript and smiled. I took off my shoes, stood on top of the bed, put my hands on my shoulders and then unfolded my arms in a regal gesture, palms up. Doug got up and took my hands and we jumped up and down on the bed, shouting “Hooray, hooray!”. Doug’s manuscript fell to the floor. Letting go of my hands, Doug did a seated trampoline landing.
    I said, “Leave it. You should get some sleep. Tomorrow we should talk about your friend Ziohat — his curiosity is getting to him again. You never should have teased him in the 1960’s with tales of secret caves. Just tell him it was a joke. ”
    Doug yawned, and said, “Well, OK. Um, he always wondered how I used to “disappear.” He’s always suspected their was a secret passageway from the party cave to the real one … and um, hmm, uh … I’m tired and uh …”
    I lay down next to Doug, touched his face. “Never mind about that now, ” I said.
    “Uh, well, umm, oh … Congratulations! You are uh …”
    Doug fell asleep. And somehow, yawn, so did I.

    Today has been an odd day. This morning, Doug was so sweetly dreaming that I wanted to fondle him awake to rock me fondly before the sunrise might intrude with exigencies. But because he hadn’t slept for three days, I didn’t want to wake him at all. I fumbled around quietly, and in the bedroom got dressed in the dark. I had to go to the Moose Café. Having only to just reassure Angela about her marble table top, I thought casual nonchalance would be the best look for my accessories. I had the jewelry box on the night table, but didn’t want to turn on the light and wake Doug. The box had my bangle bracelets, rainbow-colors collection, with the blue one on top that I easily snatched. I started to push on my blue bangle, but it was hard to get over my hand. I thought I must be getting fat or my hands were hot and swollen or something. I thought, gee, I’m not going to be able to wear my favorite blue bangle anymore. I pushed hard for a while until it grudgingly slipped on. Feeling my way around, I got to my coat that was slumped on the chair in the corner, put it on, and rushed into the living room to call a cab. That was no problem, but then something odd happened. I remember getting into the cab and telling the driver the address for the Moose Café, but then I went blank. I woke up with the driver shouting at me, “Hey, Lady, we’re here.” I didn’t remember anything in-between. I was startled, but I looked up and there we were on Darling Street diagonally across from the Antique Shop, in the first parking spot past the street light, right in front of the Moose Café. I paid the driver, and marched to the entrance. I had my shoulder bag, and my Geiger counter.
    I went in. Angela was waiting. She said, “Hi, I’ll take your coat.”
    Taking my coat off, I said, “Don’t worry. We researched this: your marble counter tops are certified safe. But I brought a Geiger counter, and I’ll prove it to you.”
    Angela put my coat on the rack. She said, “Yeah, I know. I’ve calmed down since I last spoke to you … Hey, I like your purple bracelet — where did you get it?”
    “Huh? I’m wearing my favorite blue bangle.”
    “I think I know purple when I see it.”
    I looked down and saw that it was purple. “Oh,” I said, “I got dressed in the dark. I thought I put the blue one on.”
    “That’s funny. I’ve always wanted one of those. It has a very pretty design engraved in it. You can only get it in very exclusive boutiques — very expensive. I hope you got it on sale. But not everyone likes them: you have to get it an extra size bigger because it shrinks over time. So tell me the secret. Where’d you get it?”
    “Oh. I think Chloë gave it to me that night that we came back from the psychometry lecture at the Blue Attic Club. I don’t remember where Chloë got it from but Chloë has expensive tastes.”
    “Well, never mind — I could never afford it, even on sale. So, as long as you’re here, anyway, why don’t you try out your Geiger counter.”
    We walked over to a marble counter top, and I said, “Well, it’s going to click a little, but that’s just normal background radiation — see, I put the wand over the table and the meter stays in the normal range. OK?”
    “Yes, alright. I guess we’re done then.” Angela tossed her hair off her face, and ran her hand over the counter top.
    I started to feel dizzy. I said, “I don’t feel well. I have to sit down and … ” The next thing I knew, I woke up home again on the living room couch.

    I didn’t know how to couch my feelings. What had happened? Was I forgetting things — having blackouts? No, probably, I thought, just fatigue and exhaustion.
    For a while I wondered if I had actually gone to the Moose Café, but the phone rang.
    I felt panic, but reached for the phone on the end table, picked it up in trepidation. It was Chloë. She said, “Good job. Angela is pleased with our work, and we got the bank transfer, paid in full.”
    “Finally. And I went out there for nothing.”
    “No. Answering a client’s questions and concerns is always a good idea, and it helps our reputation for satisfaction … ”
        “Yeah, but I spent a lot of time — more than the project is worth.”
    “Hey. Just think of it as a down payment on a future project from a referral.”
    “I guess so. But … ”
    “Stop fretting. You did a great job and Angela said you were sick, so just relax for a few days and …”
    “You’ll never believe what … ”
    “Shush. Lie down, drink some warm milk or whatever … I’ve got another call. Gotta go. Bye.”
    I think Chloë has been a little too efficient sometimes. Words couched in concern, but cynical in execution.
    Maybe all this was language overload — trying to learn Utd’mbts and idiomatic English. I vowed to call the couch a sofa. But in any case, it was no place to rest.
    I went to Doug’s bedroom, and turned on the light to see that he looked dead in bed. I jumped on the bed. Doug opened his eyes and smiled. He said, “I was dreaming of you and here you are, gorgeous one. Can a council member give me a kiss?”
    “Yes.” I gave him a quick kiss.
    “What’s wrong?”
    “Um nothing. I finished the Moose Café project.”
    “That’s great. Finally. It was giving you a real headache. How is Angela?”
    “Oh she’s OK, but we didn’t talk much because … never mind. I need a vacation. Maybe I’ll just do my art work and take more acting lessons and … ”
    “Hey yeah: ‘You’re a class act’. I just learned that. Do you know that expression? ”
    “Thanks, yeah. I’m tired of language studies — I think I’ll just grunt … ”
    “And what a lovely grunt you have Grand… Oops sorry, I almost said ‘Grandma’. ”
    “You know, the ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ story, except that I got the wrong character. You’re nothing like a wolf and … Oh sorry, I’m just rambling … ”
    “Uh well, before I forget, we have to discuss Ziohat. He’s … ”
    “What are you staring at?”
    “You’re so beautiful, so … ”
    “Not now … ”


    I wondered why I would say, “not now,” when I had always succumbed to a moment. I could have fallen as, oh, I was feeling so engulfed in a metcar or maybe a ipzabexr, and Doug is such a cute animal, but Utcoozhoo wanted me to resolve this problem with Ziohat, and I didn’t really know that much about him. I said to Doug, “How did this Ziohat character get the idea to create an artificial cave in the rock bluff above our cave complex?”
    Doug, sighing in disappointment, said, “He just wanted an exotic, out of the way location on a cliff suitable for a Guru. It was his way to hype the hippies, make a movement. You know, be groovy, far out, cool, an avänt-gärde, he thought, but no matter how much he tried, Jack Chelka always called him the ‘fake guru’. ”
    “Jack Chelka?”
    “Yeah, I think he was the only one in the group who had a genuine interest in poetry itself.”
    “What group?”
    “Ziohat called it the Xyiwa poets, and Utcoozhoo told me to join the group to learn up-top poetry. It was supposed to begin a rebellion in poetry to embrace the Zeitgeist: love, peace, compassion, and rock-and-roll — ‘power to the people.’ You know, all that jazz and blues, and psychedelic enlightenment ..”
    “Supposed to … ?”
    “Well, as far as the poetry went, it was mostly angst. But actually Ziohat wasn’t really interested in promoting poetry … ”
    “The guru thing I guess was a little bsoei and veb, uh, games. Right (and if you say, ‘ubemuwx!’ again, I’ll slap you silly) ?”
    “Yeah. I think you have it pegged. Yeah, he was all excited about Camille, a rich older woman, who was his patron, and paid for the construction of the poetry cave. The whole thing to him was just a gimmick to attract chicks and an excuse for an orgy. There were some pretty wild parties in the cave.”
    “And you?”
    “Uh, me too … ”
    “Thought so … ”
    “Don’t think so much … ”
    “I have to . We have a problem with Ziohat, and I have to get to know something about him … What ever happened to the group?”
    “Well, it was disbanded years ago, and the club was closed down and sealed. I guess I’m the last of the Xyiwa poets. But recently, Ziohat has been cleaning up the mess left behind, and has been rummaging through the storage boxes. I gave him a blog to post some of the poetry he recovered.”
    “What poetry is that?”
    “I made copies of what he found so far — I can show it to you, but could we do this tomorrow?”
    “Uh, well, the thing is: he seems to be remodeling and expanding. We don’t want him finding one of our secret entrances … ”
    Doug sighed again. “Don’t worry, he won’t … You know, I was dreaming of you before you jumped on the bed .. ”
    “Yes, you told me.”
    “And you came in here to unwind and relax. Right? ‘Cause you love me, you came here, blue eyes, gorgeous one … ”
    “Sometimes it’s not love after a hard day, but a desperation to avoid metca, you know, anxiety.”
    “I relieve your metca because I love you.”
    “And I don’t suppose you enjoy the process?”
    “You are beautiful you know.”
    “Well, um, Utcoozhoo, always says, eujxami.”
    “Well it’s somewhat like the French expression: ‘La beauté sans vertu est une fleur sans parfum’ ”
    “Which means?”
    ” ‘Beauty without virtue is like a flower without perfume’. ”
    “And that’s what the Utd’mbts word means?”
    “Sort of … ”
    “ubemuwx! ”
    That’s when I lost it and couldn’t help but pull down his pants and see that his beauty was already standing erect saluting me. I gave it a few licks and got up from bed. Doug grabbed my arm, but I managed to reach the night table. I let Doug pull me back onto the bed and I rolled a condom over his beautiful hardness.

    This morning I felt strange. The purple bracelet on my left wrist only would slide a little bit. I wanted to put on my wide silver bracelet and then put on my gold charm bracelet. I thought it would be a funky tricolor expression. There wasn’t enough space for all three.
    I took a shower wearing the purple bracelet that seems to have shrunk and is too small to take off. I was thinking that I should read Ziohat’s blog to see if he is really a bumbling, harmless person not capable of stumbling into anything important. Doug seems to think that Ziohat has no idea about our secret culture, and just thinks that we’re a bit eccentric. Yeah, I guess we should try to be a little less eccentric and blend in better. I’m beginning to embrace the up-top culture which, I think, is what Utcoozhoo wanted me to do — uh, well, I suppose he really wanted me to learn about it, but not embrace it.
    I got an e-mail message from Fewo Jegucso saying they had a way-out, blowout designer sale. Yeah, maybe, I should run out while I have the chance and get Christian Nuiduim suede booties at only $700, and the Marc Pestymorvo totes for only $600. Hey, all the designer handbags and shoes that I could ever dream of getting are all now on sale. Well, I don’t know, it seems all about prestige. I mean, it can’t really cost that much to make a handbag or a shoe as a raw leather object with stitches, can it? I buy a brand name so other women can admire me? I mean, Doug likes me naked, doesn’t he? No, I don’t mean sexually, just that he likes me as a person without decoration. Uh, well, most of the time, I think.
    Dare I say that fashion is empty. No, I think that blasphemy should always be a last resort. I think I’ll just print Ziohat’s blog while I think about it all.

— Zawmb’yee Nuje