Life is a precious journey. It’s about relationships. Here are some excepts from Precious’ Journey; some relationships that went wrong and some that went right; and what some people thought along the way.
Traveler Stumbles on the Cave
“She left me!” the heart rending and spine-tingling wail echoed from the darkness of the cavern like Rachel weeping for her children.
“She’s gone!” No, make that like Gollum weeping for his Precious.
“She left me, my Precious.”
“There, there. Calm down,” said the traveler. Maybe it’s not so bad as all that. Perhaps your precious is just lost and you need to go and find her.”
“No. No. She left me! My precious left me.”
“Why did she leave you? Did you hit her?”
“No. No. Hitting is wrong. I would never hit my precious.”
There was silence in the darkness. Then the wail began again.
“Make her come back. Make my precious come back. She left me.”
Patiently, the voice from the darkness asked again, “Why did she leave you? Did you take another lover in her place?”
“She left me. Didn’t you hear me? She left me.”
The wail melted into heaving sobs like a scoop of ice cream slowly spreading into a puddle. The wail continued in a murmur,
“Happy we were, in our little cave, away from the noise and crush of the crowds.”
“Well then, was she isolated, lonely?” prodded the voice.
“No. No. Not lonely. We had each other.”
“In the darkness?”
“No, not always darkness. She had a lamp. Only darkness now because I spend my days exploring the dark part of the cave. Around the corner and up about 50 paces there is a fissure in the rock where the sunshine streams in. Precious loved that place. There is a back exit to the cave through a lemon squeezer. Precious used to climb through the lemon squeezer and go hike along the tiny stream. She said the running water sang to her and showed her wonderful things – like gold in the water.”
“So, Precious really loved this place?”
Oh yes, loved this place, did Precious. And I.”
“So, if your precious loved this place so much, why did she leave?”
“I don’t know. She left me, my precious!”
“I know, I know, your precious left you,” said the voice with quiet annoyance. “I am trying to figure out why. If we can figure out why, perhaps we can take some steps to get your precious back.”
“She belongs here. She should come back.”
There was a pause in the blackness. After some thought, the traveler asked, “Did your precious ever get away from the cave? You know, go down to Metropolis for concerts or shopping?”
“Every day!” he wailed.
“What? Precious went shopping every day? This is an unexpected development.”
“No, no. Precious left me and went to work every day. She didn’t love the cave as much as I did or she would not have been able to leave,” he stated petulantly.
“Precious left you everyday to go to work?” inquired the voice.
“Yes, yes,” he wailed, “Precious, stubborn Precious. She wanted me to go to work everyday too. She said the only way we could keep living in our wonderful cave was for both of us to work. That’s not true. This cave belongs to me!
“So, you didn’t want to go to work?”
“No. No. It is more important to hold tightly to the things you have than to work for something better.” He paused for emphasis, then continued,
“It wasn’t possible for me to go to work. I was busy working here in the cave. There were so many tunnels I hadn’t yet explored. I found some fascinating stones and minerals in the lower tunnel and I needed to catalog them.”
“Are you a mineralogist then?”
“Me? No. I’m a horticulturalist….I just know a lot about minerals because, my precious, she came with a degree in mineralogy when I married her.”
“So, she went to the city every day to work as a mineralogist?”
“No, she was just typing orders for a bakery.”
“Do you think it bothered her that you got to stay at the cave doing research in mineralogy while she was away typing bakery orders?”
“Why would she leave the cave every day if it bothered her? What it all comes down to is, you do the thing you are interested in. I had more heart for the cave than she did. You only do what you want to do.”
There was a moment of silence as the traveler shrugged along with the man.
“Besides, while my precious was doing her little bakery job, I was conducting an experiment and was deep in research.”
“Oh?” said the voice.
“Yes. I noticed I had to stoop to bring the rocks from the lower tunnel to daylight to look at them. I was collecting data to find which way of carrying rocks made me stoop least.”
“I see,” nodded the voice. “What did Precious think about your experiment?”
“See?” wailed the man, “I just realized she was never supportive of my work! She was a woman, so she was shorter. How could she know how difficult it was for me to bring up rocks? She didn’t have to stoop.”
Again, there was silence.
“One other question,” began the voice. “Just out of curiosity, how did that work when your, uh, precious came home from the city each evening; did you have a fresh garden salad on the table for her?”
“What?” asked the man with a good deal of incredulity as though he had never heard the word salad before.
“A salad,” repeated the voice. “You are a stay-at-home horticulturalist. Did you greet her with a fresh green meal at the end of the day?”
“I didn’t have time,” said the man indignantly.
“I worked hard at my research, right on into the evening. But, she never appreciated that. Most of the time I wasn’t aware of her arrival. At first when she came home from the bakery, she used to call down the tunnel, ‘Hi! I’m home!’ But after a while she quit doing that. Once after she had finally fixed us dinner and we had eaten, she asked me to do the dishes.”
“Really?” inquired the voice.
“I told her it made me feel less of a man to be doing dishes.”
“Did she apologize?”
“Are you kidding? She didn’t say a thing. The next night when I came up to the kitchen, there was no food on the table. She should have been home for two hours already. The dishes were clean and neatly stacked in the cupboard. She was gone.”
The silence was pregnant with profound thought. At least it seemed that way, until the man burst out,
“Maybe she wanted to be a Goblin Princess.”
“A Goblin Princess? That is highly illogical. Logic says Precious was more inclined to be Superwoman than a goblin princess.”
“It was those goblins who stole her!”
“What? She was kidnapped? Why didn’t you report it? Set your ship at warp speed and go after her?”
“I did go after her.”
“Did you find her?”
“Not exactly, but I found out about her – more than I wanted to know. I waited a few months to see if she would find her way back on her own. Then, I told my friends and asked them what I should do. I wrote her a letter begging her to come back, but I couldn’t find a stamp. Can you believe it? She didn’t leave me any stamps in the drawer. Finally, somebody offered me a ride back to University Town where I heard she was living.”
“Did you go?”
“I went to University Town, but, I didn’t get to see her. I ran into an old friend instead. We had been enemies for many years; but, when he saw me back in town, he slapped me on the back and was glad to see me. He said he knew things about what my precious had been before she found me. He said she used to be a Goblin Princess,” the man fairly spat the words. Then he added self-righteously, “Once a goblin princess, always a goblin princess, you know.”
“You were satisfied with that story? You lived with her for over a decade and you think she actually left you to be a goblin princess?”
“I guess so. Why else would she leave me? It makes sense. She always did have goblin tendencies. They love rocks, you know. I remember now how she always loved rocks.”
The man sighed heavily. Once again the wail began to build. The traveler with the questions covered his ears and retreated to the mouth of the cave and the sunlight. When the echo subsided, he stepped back into the cavern.
“Say,” he said. “I came through University Town yesterday. I was there for the gem and mineral symposium at the college. I think I saw your precious. You might like to know that she is not a goblin princess. She was the guest lecturer on the hidden value of gold and rubies and how to tell the difference between the real thing and the fake.”
Copyright © Cherry Odelberg, 2013