Monday, December 14, 2009

Can Anyone Alleviate This Loneliness?

Can Anyone Alleviate This Loneliness? (Seoul)

Date: 2009-12-14, 11:19PM KT

Is there any way to alleviate this ache in my heart, one that longs for the company of a true friend? Too many times I have stared into the faces around me and seen mirth, astonishment, disgust, and fear. I wish for someone with whom I can feel comfortable and, in turn, will feel comfortable with me. It is to that end that I am reaching out here, hoping against all odds that there is someone out there with whom I can forge a real friendship. If all of this seems a little melodramatic, allow me to explain the circumstances which have brought about in me this terrible ennui.

My story begins many years ago… how many, I’m not entirely sure. There are large gaps in my recollection due to not always having been as keenly self-aware as the being you see before you today. I remember a tranquil and joyous childhood, roughhousing with my brothers and sisters, gamboling in the high grasses, and swinging from branch to branch before my weight became too great to allow for such endeavors. I remember one day lolling about the foliage at the riverside when I was approached by a creature I had never seen before. It was tall, nearly hairless, and carried about it all manner of implements my young mind could not comprehend. It seemed a friendly enough fellow, however, so I approached it with the uninhibited curiosity of youth. It held out its paw to me and said:


Timidly I snatched the colorful bauble from the creature’s hand and retreated to a safe distance to devour it. It was sweet – sweeter, in fact, than even the mangoes my older brothers shook from the tress after the monsoon rains. I approached the creature again, and again it held out the treat, repeating “Candy”.

This time, however, when I went for the sweet delicacy the man-creature withdrew its hand and repeated, with a tone of encouragement: “Candy”.

“Can-de” I mumbled back. I still don’t know why I said that. Perhaps I knew by some long-forgotten instinct that my asking is what the man wanted of me, and that he would surrender the prize if only I pleased him. The man did seem pleased, as well as astonished. Hurriedly he dug in his outer-skin and produced another shiny bauble which I hastily devoured. This bauble, I found, was quite different. Within moments my eyelids were drooping and I was drifting away into a slumber deeper than the waters of the Lethe!

When I awoke, I was rocking and bobbing quite uncomfortably in the hull of a ship. My captor introduced himself as Lord William MCaulley, chief primatologist of the London Academy of Natural Science.

The sea voyage was long and arduous, though I was never bored. In fact, Lord MCaulley spent every waking moment at my side, and I learned that by repeating what he said I would be rewarded with toys and sundry delicacies. Soon, I knew that if I were thirsty I should say “wah-ta”, and if hungry I should say “fud” and so forth. By the time I was taken to the cellar of his London study, I already had the vocabulary of a three-year-old child, thanks in no small part to Lord MCaulley’s erudition in the study of linguistics.

Those were my halcyon days, I believe. Though I missed my ancestral home, everything was so new, so fascinating, that I could not tear myself away from my studies. I was learning not just language, but reason as well – with every new word, a nascent mental concept was ascending into existence, and soon I found myself becoming aware of the reason for things, the scope of the world, and my own identity, things that I never could have pondered back in the cloud-wreathed jungles of my past.

Reading and writing were made available to me. Three years after my abduction I was reading The Times and discussing the latest cricket matches with my friend and mentor. It was on one such fateful day he said: “you are ready”.

The next day I was greeted by three men, all venerable in age and status, who came to stare at me from the other side of the iron bars.

“Hello.” I said. “My name is William Jr. It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance.”
“And you.” Said one of the men, clearly taken aback. “Tell me, what color is a tabby-cat.”
“Why orange, sir.”
“And who is the King?” another one of the men put to me.
“Edward, sir, long life to him.”

And so the questions came for hours until finally the old gentlemen unruffled their coats and turned to my mentor, saying:

“Really William, this…thing you have here is no more than a clever beast. I could have taught a parrot to mimic human speech as well as you have this brute.” said one.

“This is a disgrace to the Academy of Natural Science, and you can be assured your post will come under review for it!” bellowed another.

“Put it in a sideshow and don’t trouble us with these parlor acts anymore!”

And with that they were gone, leaving my mentor speechless.

My friend and teacher took the man’s advice, if only to create publicity. He had tried to appeal to his peers and, failing that, decided to appeal to the masses instead. I hesitate to speak about this period of my life, for the humiliations were many. Every week my cage was unloaded onto the docks to be gawked at, mocked, and abused by throngs of common stevedores and fishmongers. The ruse worked well enough. Within a few months I was in the papers, and the Academy was forced by public opinion to review my legitimacy once more. Fortunately, Lord MCaulley had prepared me for this trial, and I was easily able to dazzle them with eloquent soliloquies from Marlowe; rhetoric from Aristotle; and the rapier wit of Wilde.

I became the toast of the town, the darling of London society. Especially, they all seemed amused at putting me in improbable situations, such as thronging around me with adoring inquiries as I struggled with tripping over my new coat-tails or keeping my head straight after drinking champagne. I was shaved, perfumed, and dressed in the latest fashions, as if such superficial changes could bring me closer to them, to whom I would always be a novelty.

As such, I am in search of woman to help me bear this loneliness. I am now a quite seasoned silverback, and would like a woman who is herself still of reproductive age. I’ve tried, when visiting society friends’ various private menageries, connecting with others of my kind held there in captivity, but it is of no use. They are every bit as dim-witted and unaware as I once was. The females ignore my ardent advances, and the silverbacks simply beat their chests and gnash their teeth at me menacingly. I am, sadly, a child of two worlds, understood or accepted by neither. Can you help me? Can you give me the peace that has eluded me since those carefree days clamoring up vines and tumbling down moss-covered hillsides? I’d prefer a hirsute woman with a stooped posture, sagital crest, and post-orbital ridges, though I promise I am not fickle about appearances. Hit me up!

  • Location: Seoul
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The Omega Man said...

After running that through GoogleTranslate (from weirdo into English)all I can do is say thank you for the compliment.

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