I am so bored!
All this time, all these stories that you skin jockeys created about me, and now I am just here and I am bored. Best years of my life are gone – big talk for an immortal, trust me – and now I see that there isn’t much else for me now. I am just watching the passing scene and wondering where it all went wrong. And I’m bored.
I know, I know… It is hard to feel sorry for someone with my history, my rep; my truly incredible powers (again, there I go), but see it from my point of view. You guys gave me all the chances I needed to teach you how to be like me, and you totally wrecked it. Totally.
You said that I was one of your animals – rabbits, spiders, ravens, wolves (a little insulted that no sea life was mentioned; dolphins are closer to my personality) – and gave me all those traits and names that did not even come close to the truth: Anansi, Hermes, Br’er Rabbit (at least give me some credit in pronouncing the word “Brother” properly; again, very insulting). I was always the same one; the same trickster; the same one who was going to be disappointed. Better than disappointing you all, I guess, right?
This was not always true. I gave you some great tricks that I thought you’d learn from, and those stories you still share with each other (the tortoise and the hare? That is all me; the emperor and his missing wardrobe? Don’t get me started). My mistake was when I started to care too much about you meat sacks and my talents spread too widely and too quickly to pull back. It was both impressive and terrifying.
Let me tell you about the re-invention of lying.
Like all the important things in the world, this was a pure accident. I had been told that there were incidents with these new things called “humans” (still think it is a weird name), and that I should try to investigate and find out if I could help.
That was arrogant; that was me (they expected as much).
“We decided that you have not done enough except entertain yourself…”
“And others…on this council.”
“Be silent! We have no need of you here. Now, you will go to them and assist them in any way you can. Discover their errors and find a solution.”
So, they were serious. You did not debate a group of people who could erase your very existence with a thought (teasing was acceptable, especially since that was why I was created).
And what did I do?
I really tried.
It started with a man and a woman.
People still talk about that one. You might know about it under that whole Adam and Eve story you made up (are those the names you chose?). And yes, it is a myth; totally made up by you…humans. You keep telling each other that the world was created in seven days; that we put all those animals on one boat; that you can get to heaven – wherever that is – by being…nice. No wonder things are so screwed up down here.
But let’s blame me for helping someone out (as I was told to do).
“Where were you yesterday?”
I am cleaning up the translation so that you follow the conversation, but that was pretty much all she said. Poor human looked so pathetic and on the verge of collapse that I had to help him uncoil his tongue. And this is what he said:
“I was out hunting for you.”
“Yes, see?” He did have a dead something with him (real natural at this).
“But what about that thing over there in the other cave?” (Again, I am translating – most of you know what caves are, right? And she did not use the word “thing” for another woman; so many new words).
“Darling, I can’t go out without passing them. You know that. And ever since they moved in, I have tried to ignore them. In fact, I think that I am the victim here…”
And so on and so on… Really, he fell into it so easily that I did not have much to do. All I did was give him a simple push.
Okay, okay, maybe more than a push. You were all already using lies and learning to not tell the truth, but that was just to hurt someone. Instead of crushing each other to death with clubs and stones, I gave you a different way to use that tool. It became a shield, not a sword. Defense provided by what no one thought of as a good offense.
And did anyone thank me for it?
“Did we not tell you to fix the situation down there?”
I was really shocked by the question. And I did not say a word for a moment.
“I went among them and gave them a new way of using an old tool.”
“And created chaos! Look at what has happened to them. They are now…creating things that they know are not true. All those stories and fantasies about love and life, adventures and tales that could not possibly be true; it is absolutely reckless. If they had simply stayed with their fantasies and myths about us, that would have been fine. The council could have accepted that. But you gave them the chance to look at each other and develop lies about…each other!”
They were waiting for me to say something. I was not that naïve. But they did not say anything after that last outburst. And maybe I could have picked my words carefully, but they were waiting.
So I did.
I will not bore you with the whole speech here, but I did let them have it. I told them that I thought it was ridiculous to create a creature that could think for itself and yet deny it the ability to use its words for something that could protect it from unforeseen dangers (yes, I did say “unforeseen”; a little pretentious, but still); I told them that they sent me there to fix a situation where you bone and blood creeps were killing each other for no sensible reason, and that the best way to do so was to open up their minds and uncurl their tongues (yes, again, all my language). And then I said the one thing that guaranteed they would never forgive me.
“You can either have creatures that tell the truth and get hurt, or tell lies and get everything they want. But you cannot get what you want. Let them be.”
And that was that.
They did not erase me or, far worse, leave me in the council as an understudy (a true nightmare, believe me). Instead, they wordlessly gave me exile. I did not even know that it was their decision; until I ended up down here and found myself observing a dialogue between those people you call “politicians”. Some sort of back and forth blabbing about money and something called “taxes”.
Yeah, I am still learning the ropes (a great expression; think I can take credit for some of your language). But you know who to blame now when one of your so-called leaders says the wrong thing, does the wrong thing, or ends up being, well, too “human”.
So, things are not that bad. I am keeping busy, shifting from one part of your wet marble to another when I am needed (no rest for me). And I am learning a lot about how you see yourselves.
It was very amusing to me at first, but as I said… Boring now!
Wonder if I should have given you that push...