I had been on my way nigh on three weeks when I arrived at a loud little town. The buildings all tall, with pointed ceilings and the ways all wide and clear. The men must have all been off at work because only women peopled the streets. As I gawked I was shocked to notice that all the women who passed seemed to be identical people, ad nauseum. Each face was painted to feign sameness with the rest. Each women’s hair all tied and died alike and it was really very boring there. I was all set to leave with out even getting supplies or even a shower. I felt deceived; this hamlet was to be my momentary reprieve from hermitage.
Just before I left the gates to the long way, I saw a woman whose face shone among all the others. With a kind of natural, revolutionary beauty that was entirely unembellished. Her frailty was severe to the point of vanity. She was clearly the model by which the other women had mutilated their faces and bodies to emulate. She created by merely existing: beauty’s own pretense.
I tried to tell her why she was different, what that meant, “Heaven-sent to show such heights exist.” But she seemed perplexed and eventually vexed, as I spoke faster to coax some understanding. She finally broke my flow saying,
“Why the hell are you so damn dirty?”