15 More Stories from the Oak

White Clay

Day 351- White Clay

A stream cuts through the mounds of rocks, not as if the rocks are moving the stream, but as if the stream has chosen this meandering path. In simple natural harmony, the balance between stone and water flows, edges blurring, no jagged elbows and skinny knees. Nothing to hide, the water transparent, showing its dirty bottom, and proudly. “I am based with dirt, I am brown, and there is nothing wrong with that,” the stream bubbles.

Standing by the side of the stream, a young woman does not notice the lesson the stream teaches. Her skin is dark, taking in the glance of the eye and daring it to look deeper. Get lost in me, find yourself in me, be alone with me. Darkness that allows one to not worry about appearance or self. Darkness that takes “where am I” and swallows the where, silent h and all.

Splash, a blast of whiteness covers the rich color. There is no room for midnight here, not on this sunny day. She hates the deepest tone of her soul, shown on the wrapping of her body. She takes white clay from the banks and paints herself, as an artist covers up a work of art in a fit of frustration. I have not created beauty, the artist would cry, I must start over. This woman does not see the beauty, but instead a grotesque piece of coal to be covered. When she has finished putting herself in a suit of nothing, no meaning, she walks away from the stream, only to bump into a man, white as she wishes herself to be. White, and red, because the sun finds his paleness an insult and tries to die him red to show his embarrassment. He looks at her, sees the wet hands that tried to hide, to recreate blank and takes in a deep breath, through one nostril than the other. Once, twice, three times he breathes, each time gently closing the eyelids, looking at the scent as they close, hearing the scent, and feeling the scent.

“I can smell what you hide. No amount of clay will hide your embarrassment.”

Her clay body cracks and creaks, bursting into a thousands shards of pottery, a broken pot on the ground.

And the creek gurgles on, unchanged by the exchange. Nature feels no remorse, the creek continues moving stones. Crack, crumble, crunch, go the stones in the water, like the soul of the woman.

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