Thursday, January 24, 2013
Wow, it’s way past noon already. I’ve been working on Nang’s presentation all morning and half the afternoon, it turns out. It took my stomach growling like an enraged bear to draw me out to the dining room. There was only half a dozen of us in there eating at that time of the day, the midday meal rush having come and gone. So no P.T. to endure, though I missed eating with Mom. She was having outdoor activity time when I checked on her. The Kalquorian minders have their wards doing rubbings in the memorial garden, of all things. You know, where you take a piece of paper, lay it on some textured surface, and color over it with a crayon or coal? It actually looked like fun, and Mom showed me at least a half a ream of her work. Names of the dead from the marble, flowers, and lots of leaves. She was having a blast, as most of them were.
Being in the garden reminded me of when I was here last. You know, in the arms of a big, strong alien, being kissed senseless? Oh man. Now I have that nagging warm ache in my guts again. Until Dusa, I never knew a kiss could be so amazing. If he walked in my door right now, I’d be begging him to do it again, and damn the consequences. So what if he ends up wanting sex? I’ve gotten through it before. It would be worth it just to taste those lips again.
I wonder what he and Esak are doing right now. They’re probably out there in the wide, doomed world, saving humanity. Meanwhile, I have to get my raging libido under control and put my brain back to work.
I have a headache. So far I’ve been gathering information and composing an outline for my presentation. I’ve read over Nang’s reports, which he sent to my handheld with a nice message thanking me once again for my help. He’s invited me to dinner too, asking me what favorite food I might like the cooks to prepare as a token of his gratitude. He says they’re making a real effort to make foods familiar to Earthers, so he’s sure they’ll be able to cook me something special. After the issues they’ve had with chicken, I’m not so sure Thai peanut noodles would be doable, so I’ll just raincheck on the offer.
As for the incident reports themselves, I can see the trouble the Kalquorians are having. A lot of the time they are running into immediate hostility from Earthers, which they correctly diagnose as being based in fear and anger. Such a response spurs them to try and comfort (once they are sure the Earther is disarmed and not a danger). It turns out the Kalquorian idea of comforting women is extremely hands-on. Grabbing, subduing, petting, holding the upset person close to their bodies so they feel safe and protected ... the very things a woman who fears being raped is not going to go for. No wonder things are going badly between our two species.
Of course there was a Bible left in here from the bad old days of only three months ago. I’m going through, pulling passages to better explain the beliefs that shaped our lives. You know, I’ve never paid much attention to the scriptures before. Having them shoved down my throat at every mandatory service by a stern, judgmental priest kind of made me tune out from an early age. But I’m finding verses that talk about God’s love for us, his compassion for his creation. Where were those stories? Why am I only now hearing about this kindness? The only lessons I remember hearing, even as a child, was how we had to act a certain way or be victims of the Almighty’s wrath. To follow the Holy Leader without question as he was the mouthpiece of God, or we would be cast into hell.
I know the state religion had been pulled together from three older ones: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. This was the Ultimate Truth of God, the final word at last made whole. What I didn’t know was that the ugliness I rejected, the fire and brimstone warnings shouted by red-faced priests, is only a small part of the whole picture. From what little I’ve read today, there is a lot more to the story.
Well, it’s something to think on later. Right now I’ve got work to do, and then I pick up Mom and take her to dinner. It’s so good to be productive again!