SURREAL ADVENTURES FROM THE SOUTH SANDWICH ISLANDS

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Burdish soul

When I opened my eyes I felt as if I had come back from a trip to Hell, emerging at last from the worst hangover of my life. The vividly horrifying images of my nightmares had left a bitter taste in my mouth and a very sad feeling in my heart. That was the cathartic process I went through before my memories finally found back their place in my mind.

I was naked in bed, covered with thin silk sheets and soft blankets, wrapped in semidarkness. My waitress outfit was carefully folded on a chair. Ed was sleeping on the couch, right in front of me. I had the feeling that he had been right there beside me from the beginning of time, long before I had drunk the sorcerer’s potion.

I didn’t dare wake him up, but I felt I had to let him know that I was myself again. So I got up, gently laid my hands upon his chest and kissed his forehead. He opened his eyes slowly.

- Good morning, honey. How do you feel? –he asked-
- I feel good, thanks. –I answered-
- Tell me … can you remember your name?
- Yes. I remember that my name is Leni Qinan, but unfortunately I forgot how to play landlord and maid. What about a refresher course?
–I laughed-
- We will play again naughty games very soon, Leni. Let me now enjoy the pleasure of having you near me. I thought I had lost you forever and I need to know that you’re not just a dream.
He was happy, but not in the mood for jokes. I carefully unbuttoned his shirt, straddled him and rested my head on his shoulder.

He enfolded me inside his big leather jacket, wrapped his arms around me and we stood still and quiet for some minutes, skin to skin.

That day I learned what the Burdish soul was.

The good people of Burdishland have endured terrible hardships over the years and borne historic burdens with endless patience, just as they regularly stand the adverse effects of extreme climate, which pretty obviously has an influence on their reserved and shy character.

The average Burdish men and women are quiet and formal; attentive and disciplined. Unfortunately, they don’t much like strangers, as I had been able to notice myself when I visited the country. I felt rejected and ostracized. I've been considered an outsider, an alien, a gaijin, treated like a stranger in the most offensive and derogatory sense.

The Burdish people inherently lead a sad existence: it has long been argued by historians whether or not Burdishland is to blame for causing the major disasters that the world has suffered, resulting in war, death and age-old hatred. But whatever the controversy conclusions might be, the Burdish quietly bear their cross, remaining firm under suffering without yielding, still knowing they will be blamed for ever and ever.

The Burdish are not exactly warmhearted people, but they are emotionally honest. They don’t fake what they feel, which makes them look sometimes harsh, sharp or even rude.

Their language is discouragingly hard to learn; but underneath that barrier and their apparently unyielding temperament, the Burdish people hide a strong sensitivity. They are devoted, committed, sensible people, but unfortunately they seldom show their emotions. Only penetrating deep into the intricate ways to their soul and finding out the exit from that labyrinth, they can become very lovable and endearing.

How do I know all this? As a Southerner who easily laughs, cries and blows up pretty fast, but goes down just as fast, I had to overcome my impatience and take the time necessary to find my way to Ed’s heart. In the core of his essence, and scratching deeper than the surface of his identity, I knew that deep down he was capable of affection and intense warmth in spite of his apparent coldness and lack of feeling.

Rather than just an ordinary Burdish citizen, he was a complex man still in touch with his zeitgeist and mysterious past. This added an irresistible magnetism to his personality.

I had seen him embracing the dark and falling in endless melancholy pools. No human force could drag him out of the blues; he refused my offers of help. He had to overcome it by himself, seeking shelter into his infinite loneliness. But time healed his wounds. And at that precise moment, time was healing a very bad one: extreme fear of losing someone he loved.

So there I was, all naked in the arms of that Burdishman who had been getting on my trail for months and had just found me.

- Don’t ever do that again. -he said-
- What? -I asked-
- Disappear. Promise me you won’t.
- Promised.
- I have something for you.
- Great! I love surprises!
He showed me the wonderful diamond ring he had given me some months ago, when I travelled to Mawi-Mawi.

- You threw it in the well of my house, in Burdishland; then you pawned it in Grytviken. I found it and redeemed it for you. There you go, it’s all yours again.–he said, putting it on the palm of my right hand-

How typical of him to understate his feelings. I always thought that such a beautiful diamond ring should go together with a love proposal.

In my country -the South Sandwich Islands- when a man declares his love to a woman, she expects him to kneel down and tell her that she’s the sweetest woman on earth; that she has a certain je-ne-sais-quoi that makes her unique and special; that he can no longer live without her. At home, this is what we call to be clear.

Well. Each to his own. I wouldn't be discouraged so easily.

- Oh, thanks. What am I supposed to do with it now? -I asked-
- Whatever you want. -he calmly answered-
- Maybe I can pawn it again. I’ll surely need some money when I’m home. I’m now unemployed, you know?
- Leni, I’m not the genie in a magic lamp that you can call as you please to ask for three wishes. I won’t get you the ring back if you pawn it again. If you’re too greedy you’ll end up with nothing. Buddah said: "There is no fire like passion, no shark like hatred, no snare like folly, no torrent like greed".
- Oh, Buddah. You knew him? –I asked, laughing-
- I’m old, but not that old, silly.

Excellent. He was in a good mood again.

- Please tell me what is it you want me to do with the ring. -I asked him seriously-
- I've already told you: you can do whatever you wish. -he answered in an undertone-
- Wrong answer. But I feel generous today and I’ll give you a second chance: please tell me, what is it you want me to do with the ring, Ed?

He laughed, but didn’t answer.

I looked in his eyes and asked directly:

- Would you like me to wear it?
- Yes. -he answered-
- Does it mean that you love me?
- No. It means that I hate you.

I couldn't help wondering whether he was speaking seriously or just joking.

- I hate you like I never hated before in my whole life. I hate you to the top of my strength and more than my words can say. This ring means that I don’t want to wake up in the mornings and see your face beside me; that I don’t want to make love with you; that I don’t want to take care of you for the rest of my life; that I just hope you hate me as much as I hate you.

Touché.

He put the ring around my finger and stared deeply into my eyes for a seeming eternity without even blinking. I couldn’t resist his gaze, but I wished with every fibre of my being that I could melt into him.

- I hate you too, Ed. More than anyone else in the world. –I whispered, smiling-



"Can't take my eyes off you" (Muse)

16 comments:

sage said...

do things now mean the opposite? Interesting.

Gorilla Bananas said...

In When Harry met Sally, Meg Ryan accepted Billy Crystal's proposal by telling him that she hated him. Maybe Ed has seen the movie and is hoping you have as well. Unambiguous declarations are obviously not the done thing in Burdishland.

Grass said...

I see that Burdish guys may be independent and reserve, but they're good teasers..LOL I hate this blog sis! LOL.. What happened in the end was adorably sweet. ;)

Forgive me if I'm slow, or if I forgot, Germany is Burdishland, right? If so, I totally agree with your description. I met a German in a mining project whom I thought was a very serious and rigid person, until, I asked him what are the different types of potatoes and told me all about it that's worthy of a novel (about potatoes! LOL)

Gaijin. Now why does that word sound familiar? Hehe.. I"m glad to see a Nihongo word in this entry sis. Nice touch. :)


xxx

Leni Qinan said...

Yeah Sage, some people like to play with the meaning of words and speak in code to mean exactly the opposite. Like Ed this time. ;)

Leni Qinan said...

Mr Bananas, I do remember much better that other part of the film where Meg Ryan fakes an orgasm and the lady at the table next to her says: "I'll have what she's having".

Yes, Burdish people are a bit devious sometimes.

Leni Qinan said...

Hi Grassy!

There's a Burdish sense of humour -you don't want to know it- but the Burdish are real good teasers! (You hate my blog, you're so cute, sis, hahaha).

As usual, you don't miss a thing, Grass. There are fake names to real countries here (Sandwich, Orsinia, Burdishland, Britland, Zeewland...) and as always, you're right!

Germans are nice, but a bit square and hard to reach. Soooo different to Sandwichians! (you must have experienced the same feeling with the guy who wwas an expert in potatoes).

Gaijin. I learned it when I worked for a Japanese company (for 6 years). They are too cryptic for my taste. There wasa communication problem indeed. I suppose you don't have it -lucky you!-

Take care!

Jimmy Bastard said...

Deliciously langorious. Once again you capture my attention with a myriad of class, humour, and female fantasy.

Brilliant hen....

max said...

Nice analogy drawn by GB.

You and Ed make me think of the best episodes of 'Moonlightning' (young Bruce Willis and cute Cybil Shepherd, with their sharp dialogues and so much sexual tension. 'When Harry met Sally' is also a genuine example of it.

A very lovely post, Leni. And the video you chose is a great cover of the Frankie Valli hit.

Leni Qinan said...

Dear Jimmy,

You always encourage me to keep on writing! My imagination never stops producing new stories. Thank you so much for your lovely words!

Take care!

Leni Qinan said...

Thanks, Maxi.

Do you definitely think I should contact Tim Burton about it? (LOL).

((Anyone interested at BBC, HBO, FOX, MGM, Dreamworks... etc?))

XXX

mutleythedog said...

I think you should give him the boot - he hardly seems committed.

Leni Qinan said...

But he's filthy rich, Mutts. And I'm now poor like a churchmouse...

Dumdad said...

I enjoyed this "hate story".

Also, about the only bit of that film I remember is where Meg Ryan fakes an orgasm and the lady at the table next to her says: "I'll have what she's having".

mutleythedog said...

I eat church mice I am so poor....

Leni Qinan said...

Welcome, Dumdad!

I'm glad that you enjoyed reading the story.

Ah that's my favorite part of the film too, and a very funny scene! And just like Billy Crystal, I firmly believe that men and women cannot be friends, but something more sooner or later.

Leni Qinan said...

Dear Mutts,

I'm small and skinny, really not a tasty bite ...

*stares at your mouth watering and shiny teeth, then dashes out of the blog without even waiting for a reply*