It has been three days since my beloved Sette disappeared. I have asked all my friends, the big T and also the heroic Sonblu but none of them has seen her or heard about her, although the gossip network is almost better here than in a village full of chatty old women. Without Sette I feel alone and unwholesome. Her absence burns a hole in my soul. I can only hope that my body won’t actually get perforated by all this suffering… I have had these hypochondriac fits since I was little and it is just worst since I don’t have her warmth cuddling against me. But I am happy that I had this great idea to start a diary because it is a bit like I had Sette with me. She would always listen to what I had to say. You know how it works, you find somebody with whom you can share everything, it is a bit like as if you were cut out of the same material. You don’t have to bother to explain things in detail because the other just understands you.
I try to avoid talking to the others; I don’t want them to feel sorry for me. I am also afraid that, if Sette doesn’t come back in a few days, I will become a Lonely One. It would be a fatal blow .Lonely Ones are the pariahs of our society; everybody tries to avoid them, pretending politely that they don’t exist. Everybody knows that after a while the Lonely Ones get dumped. Now it is time to sleep because nothing like dreaming helps to ease the pain of waiting.
I wasn’t on duty today as it could have been expected. Duty is always given to pairs and my usual partner is absent. I hope somebody registered the disappearance of Sette already. Today it was the turn of the silent Kutsu brothers, Shih and Tah, to serve our Master. We are a multinational crowd as you might see.
Actually, I find diary writing quite fun. It is at least something which diverts my mind from the emptiness which is chewing on my inside. Days off are quite boring. Our flat, which is actually a small wooden house, is small and we have to share it with a lot of other folks, so one has to resort to all kinds of tricks for privacy. Now that they see that I occupy myself with such intellectual pursuits, they seem to look at me with a respectful awe and avoid me most of the time. Since I like this peace and quiet, I will try to prolong diary time as much as I can. For today I thought I would tell you a legend of my people.
The old ones liked to say that once in the ancient times the Yarns were a proud and free tribe roaming the lands of the Loom. We were serving no masters but ourselves. One day, however the tribe of the giant two-legs arrived and they caught us, domesticated us, and now we are serving them as their lowly slaves. I don’t know if I believe these stories. I simply can’t see ourselves as self-sufficient and liberated but Sette would always say that my mind was already begotten in slavery, that’s why I am unable to think outside the box. She was too much of a revolutionary. She was also a freedom activist, so I had been suspecting deep down in my heart that this day would come. We went to our weekly bath to the great and fierce whirlpool, everything was normal and happy. But after we returned and I was napping on the sun the thought hit me that I hadn’t seen Sette for a while. Everybody else had their pairs and big T and Sonblu were hanging out together. Only my courageous Sette was missing. Where can she be now? I hope she is alright and Freedom is a nice place to be.
Another day off duty. Now it was a worn-out pair of sisters who were chosen: Zokzok and Nini. To be honest, I haven’t really spoken to them. They are very peculiar and seem to be living in their own little world. But aren’t we all peculiar?
Our society is very much couple centred. It is not necessarily couples in the romantic sense of the word; we have brothers and sisters, parent and child, sometimes even cousins. Every pair is similar to the others in shape and general properties but we are all unique in the shade of our skin or the lines of our face.
That is why it is a huge blow if somebody loses their other half. We are practically useless without each other. I have heard that there are Masters who pair up random members, separating the accustomed couples; either because they simply don’t care or because they want to demonstrate their alleged superiority by violating the laws of nature. I don’t think our Master is like that, he would send me to the Death Bag rather than pairing me up with somebody else.
I could not imagine cooperating with one of the Kutsu brothers, for example. They are disturbingly silent. I heard somebody say that they were hiding their dangerous nature this way. Local gossip says that they fled their homeland, the Country of Eastern Sun, hiding in the darkness of a suitcase. What a dangerous adventure!
I think they would rather kill me silently in my dream than to go on duty with me. At least, I imagine them to be so. Maybe I am just prejudiced, that is what Sette always told me. She was dreaming of a world where everybody is free and we all live under the aegis of peaceful fraternity. One of Sette’s great-great-great grandmothers died in the French revolution and I think my love somehow inherited all the big ideals. It breaks my heart that she left me for the sake of bodiless ideals. We had a steady life here with a secure, although stuffy, home people of our kin and of course we had each other. It is a good life, we have a lot of free days and when on duty, our job involves a certain amount of travelling. Sadly, we usually go with a covered vehicle so we don’t see much. Not like big T and Zonblu who journey on the highest floor and can always enjoy a wonderful view. They are also lucky because they belong to the tribe of Singles who roll alone. They can be perfectly whole without having their partner and they are never threatened by the impending doom of becoming a Lonely one.
I think I have come to understand something today. Actually, it was two somethings.
First, I don’t think Sette is coming back. She either broke free and left me cruelly behind or she was found judged to be a Lonely One and thrown into the Death Bag to be taken away to the wastelands of Afterlife. I have heard that cold winds blow there, you can’t find a shelter and your body disintegrates silently. There is nobody to hear your cry. Is this what waits for my love?
If this is her fate, then it is mine too because I cannot exist without her for a long time. And this is the second thing. I thought that the others were strangely aloof with me because they were awed by my intellect and literary ambitions. Now I know that I was painfully wrong; the others could see the doom hanging above my head already in the begining. Maybe they knew about Sette’s plans or maybe it is just the secret sense which is given to the children of Yarn. I also have it but it was blinded by my love and despair. Now I see clearly.
They are avoiding me because during these past days I have become a Lonely One and I haven’t even noticed. The mark of death is on me. The revelation came as sort of a relief. I don’t have to pine away here without Sette and maybe we will meet on the fields of Afterlife.
Today I don’t want to write anymore. The hand of doom is above me, I can feel his icy fingers drawing nearer.
This is going to be my last entry. It is probably not going to be long because the cold is eating at my bones. The Master found out about me on Friday. I don’t know if it was his own discovery or that I was betrayed by one of our neighbours… it doesn’t really matter. I would understand if the others had decided to turn me in. A Lonely One is a very depressing sight constantly reminding them of a dark and possible future. I was sticking out like a sore thumb and also took up some precious space they themselves could use. So the hand of the Master came down from heavens and picked me out from the midst of the others. They were just standing there, watching solemnly. They didn’t say a word. No goodbye, no farewell, nothing.
It was better then, that I had to go, who would want to leave with people who are so indifferent to the fate of their fellow sufferer. I gave them one despising look and made my quick flight to the Death Bag. It was filled with the smell of rot and old disused things. Something sticky was trying to suck me in and the air was suffocating. I was too young to be disposed of in such manners but I couldn’t really do anything because the mouth of the Death Bag was sealed. From what I have felt it was thrown down to the ground and we were sitting in the dark. As my body got used to the claustrophobic closeness of all kind of invisible things, my other senses got sharper. I could hear voices whispering in the blackness and I could understand the smells and I fought my fear.
I knew they were talking about me. They didn’t mean any harm, their talk was curious and gossipy. They said they had seen my likeness not a long time ago. Maybe she was still here somewhere, although she was fidgety and was trying everything to break free. This talk made my withered heart pump again because the description fit my lovely Sette perfectly. I was listening for a while and gathered my courage. When I was completely sure and ready to make a move, I raised my voice and asked where this likeness of mine could be now. The voices were a bit surprised but I talked politely and with great respect, so they told me she must be somewhere deeper because she arrived a few days ago. Inside I was screaming with happiness because I was on the trail of my beloved. So I took a deep breath and descended into the heart of darkness and the depth of death. I won’t describe my journey. It was slow and sticky and awful but the voices were guiding me until I bumped into a body which was strangely familiar.
“Sette?” I asked, with all the emotions stuffed in my mouth.
“Chaus?” she asked me in a voice filled with surprise. “What are you doing here? I was planning to escape alone…” she said but bit off the last word because she realised it sounded rather rude.
“Nice to see you too,” I said, “I don’t know what you expected. With you gone, I was practically useless. Sooner or later I would have ended up here.”
“Well, then I will come up with a new plan,” Sette said. I couldn’t believe this was the woman for whom I was pining away.
“Thanks for including me in your future plans. That is so very kind of you after all the years we spent together. You just ran off without saying a word, the others were looking at me like I was a pitiable freak… and why? Because you have some lofty ideas about liberation?”
“That is exactly the reason why I didn’t tell you anything! You are a conformist, a wet blanket and, I’m sorry to say, a coward…”
“Sette, I have crawled down to these bowels of hell to find you!”
“Yes, I myself am totally surprised. Anyway, it doesn’t change much on the situation.”
“What? What situation?”
“While you were happily daydreaming your life away, I was building connections, gathering information, infiltrating the enemy. My dear moron, you have married a spy and, I am proud to say, the best from the Yarn tribe.”
“You can’t… that’s just not true! I would have known…” I mumbled. My world was disintegrating, thread by thread.
“But you didn’t know, you didn’t notice anything. But it doesn’t really matter. What matters is that now I know where one of our major hatcheries is and by recruiting an army of the Lonely Ones I am going to siege it and took control over it. Then step by step we are going to liberate all our suffering sisters and brothers!”
“What are you talking about? It doesn’t make any sense! Hatchery? Army? When did you become like this?”
“I have always been like this but you were too blind to see. And if you hadn’t hurried up this much to re-join me, you could have died with a nicer memory of me. The hatchery is a textile factory in the neighbourhood of the wastelands of Afterlife. The place is called “Socks&Tights co.” and they have breeding our kind for a long enough time now. We will take our life and birth into our own hands!”
“We don’t even have hands, darling,” I tried to say in a calming voice because it was clear to me that my wife’s mind has been overtaken by madness.
“That’s beside the point, it is a figure of speech, you moron,” she said. I took a deep breath and sat down on what felt like a half potato.
“What should we do now?” I asked her after a while.
“Well, there isn’t much choice, is there? You are either coming with me to fight and, most probably, die for our kind or you stay behind on the dumping ground to slowly fall apart side by side with the other rubbish.
I didn’t reply because I needed some time to calm down and to figure out what to do next. This woman was not the Sette I loved, the one with whom we went on duty, washed each other’s backs tenderly on washing days and with whom I wanted to grow old until my body was full of holes and it was just a mess of threads. But this stranger didn’t want any of this. And I didn’t believe in her crazy plans. By the time we were thrown out to the rubbish, I had made up my mind. I will not tag along with somebody who left me, abused me, betrayed me.
I will stay behind and hope that among the Lost Ones there are some who are sane enough to refuse the revolution. Maybe I will be able to make some friends. And maybe, just maybe there is a lonely lady out there who could fill up the hole in my heart Sette has left. I know it won’t be the same, this perfect harmony is given only once in a lifetime… but one can always hope.