Chapter 45:     Magga

Transcribed from dictation, ADAM speaking--

I was happy that I'd made it through my first initiation and to 
tell the truth, glad to not be a virgin any more.  I was also a 
bit dreamy about that first girl I'd been with, the pretty one
with the nice body.  She'd been busy the last time I saw her, so I
never got around to her again that night.  But I figured, "never 
mind, don't go falling in love with some squatch girl who screws 
everybody", so I jumped into that nice warm pile of women and 
screwed them all until I fell asleep. 

But it was her who woke me up in the morning and we went away from 
the crowd and did it face to face for hours, just the two of us.  
This was totally different than the night before, this was personal, 
this was real, more like making love than all that obsessive animal 
sex the night before.  

Actually, we were both pretty obsessive about this too and we kept 
it up until we had nothing left to squirt or ooze.  And then we 
finally talked and talked, like it was our first date.  Her name was 
Magga.

Uh...I guess Melly will be hearing this recording eventually, so I 
need to say something directly to her, but not here. There’ll be 
a seperate and private recording only for her, ok?

Anyway, back to the story.  Magga was new to this Mlønoli, I
hadn't seen her at my first Kha-rat.  Nokhon girls are supposed to
chose a man to serve within 10 moons after becoming sexually mature.  
If that man accepts her, she lives with him.  If she doesn't choose 
a man in her own community, then she's got to move to another 
community every 5 moons until she settles on someone.  If she never 
chooses a man, she has to keep on moving.  Most girls want to stay 
close to home, so they chose a man right away, but Magga had not.  
There was no man she wanted to serve, a very independent lady.

She was interested in me because of my history.  She was quite 
curious about the NokhSo world and wondered what it was like. Then
she said what I've never heard any other Nokhon say--male or female: 
"I wish I could go live there instead of here."  This was the local 
equivalent of "I gotta get outta this place!"

At that time she was living on that hilltop with Mastinta, learning 
to be a Sha-haka-ma herself. That was the only way out of the 
traditional woman's role of either having serve a man or living as a 
nomad.  It wasn't that she didn't like men--she certainly liked sex 
with them and to have a male friend like me--she just wouldn't be a 
slave to one of them.

Well, I liked her--okay, I've already admitted that I was definitely 
infatuated--whatever it is when you can't imagine someone more perfect 
for you than this one.  So I said, kind of shy kidding-like, "You 
could always choose to serve ME.  I wouldn't make you do anything 
you don't want to do."

She just laughed at that and said, "That's what all you guys say."

But then she admitted, "But you really ARE different, of course, 
being half NokhSo.  And you do seem to be a nice boy.  Who knows, 
maybe I'll consider it someday, after we get to know each other 
better first."    

She showed me where she lived, along with Mastinta and six other 
young women studying the ways of Sha-haka-ma. Talk about hardship,
they lived outdoors under the trees, no other shelter of any kind.
And in the snow at that time.  Mastinta was teaching them to be 
one with nature, herbal science, midwifery, how to become Earth 
Mothers.

None of those girls were promised to any man yet, so they were very 
popular.  This was not a convent, men could come visit the girls, 
even have sex with them.  But the sex drive of most Nokhon men is 
almost nil during the rest of the month.  Strange but true, most of 
them could care less about yøramma when they don't smell any 
shyøma.  So usually when guys do show up they're mostly interested 
in finding a useable hard-working servant. Getting totally laid is 
guaranteed at least once a month, so nobody's using that as a 
criterion for selecting a mate.  Although, just like everywhere else, 
for a man to win a woman there has to be something she likes about 
him; looks, ability, social standing, something. 

I admit it, Nokhon society is sexist and women are repressed.  It's 
more macho than anything Latin America's got to offer.  The Man is
King there.  They don't even have marriage, the man is Master, woman 
servant.  The women do all the food-gathering chores while the men 
work on their karma by studying the Atli.  

Everybody's working on becoming a spiritual master, by the way, even 
the women.  You don't have to be a Sha-haka to be a spiritual master, 
but it's the only way to prestige and power for either men or women.

And yet, it's not as bad as it sounds.  A lot of these women are 
HAPPY.  The women are slaves, except that THEY chose their master--
usually whoever they like--and they can un-choose them.  The men don't 
get that choice.  There are also all sorts of rules which determine 
whatever a man can and can't make a woman do.  If a man is cruel to 
his woman, that'll be mentioned in the next Kha-rat and he'll have to 
account for it right then and there, in front of everyone he knows.  
He might be exiled from the Kha-rat, or he could be exonerated, 
depending on the situation.

Hmm, I seem to have gotten into an anthropological treatise on 
Feminism Among the Nokhontli.  Not that I'm an expert. But it does
reveal so much about their society.

Except for being big and hairy, the main physical and emotional 
difference between Nokhon and NokhSo females is that squatch women 
go into heat and emanate that shyøma every Full Moon and
only then.  I can't think of any other human or primate race that
operates this way.  And that affects their society on every level.

Sex is totally indiscriminate, as you've learned by now, everyone 
is welcome to do it with anyone.   But that pretty much only goes 
on at the Kha-rat and has almost nothing to do with real family 
life.  Also very little to do with love or romance.  Or even 
having babies.

Every child conceived has been pre-determined by a committee of 
Elders and there seems to be some witchcraft involved in the 
actual conception process.  Without that magic, the women are 
effectively sterile-- they simply CAN'T get pregnant.  Talk about 
birth control.  The Atli also forbids any couple from having more 
than one offspring, so a woman with two babies always has different 
fathers (their concept of fatherhood being a selected GROUP of 
males providing a genetic mix).  Anyway, there aren't a lot of 
Nokhontli children born, so they're controlling the gene pool.

This witchcraft I mention is the work of Sha-haka-mali, women like
Mastinta and which Magga was training to become.  They're the only 
women of rank.  They practice the same herbal sciences as the male 
Sha-haka, but more specialized in women's bodies: pregnancy, birth, 
etc.  A Sha-haka-ma does the magic necessary for women to become 
pregnant at all.  I have no idea what that magic is, but without it, 
all those ladies can do it with everyone at the local Kha-rat and not 
worry about unwanted pregnancies.

So with no risk of pregnancy, no sexually transmitted diseases and 
no sexual ownership, everyone is totally promiscuous at the Kha-rat.
They get loose and have a real good time.  But for the rest of the 
month there's not much happening since they generally have almost 
no sex drive without shyøma to power it.   
 
I say generally because I know Dagrolyt was getting it pretty often, 
and...well, I know that I myself can get horny anytime.  So I think 
it's cultural.  I grew up in a society where visual appeal was the 
normal sexual stimulant, rather than smell, so I get it both ways.  
And in Dagrolyt's case, he loves his two women and that makes a big 
difference too.  Women live with and serve men who are usually not 
the fathers of their children, so family life is different there and 
so is love life.  The Atli teaches them that the idealized love is 
spiritual, a general love of A'at, or "Life Itself", rather than 
any one particular person.  

And here I go, getting the hots for one of them.
   

Magga said she'd be glad to see me next moon, at the next Kha-rat. But I wanted to have her to myself for a while and a month seemed too long to wait. "What if I come by sooner, in a couple of weeks maybe. We could yøramma some more all by ourselves." She looked surprised. "Oh, I'd like that, but I wouldn't smell of shyøma in the middle of the month, silly, so we couldn't really yøramma." "I don't need shyøma to feel desire for you. And I'd love to do it in the middle of the month with you. And every day, any night we're together." "Such a talker, but I don't believe you." "I was raised differently, you know that." "That's true. Do the NokhSo people do it every day?" "Sure, if they're in love." "Did you do it every day with Nokhso girls?" "Uh...no, you were my first Yøramma-Make." "Oh, now I really don't believe you! You're so full of !" But she said it with a laugh. "I never lie," I challenged her. She looked at me with nice eyes. "I know. I hear that you may be an Orator." "Is that good for you?" "Oh yes, I like that. Maybe you will become famous someday, like the Great Dambaraggan himself, who knows? Now see if you can do what else I like at least one more time."
Dagrolyt was waiting for me when I left Magga. Many from the congregation were starting to leave, since nobody could screw any more, but there was still some wrestling going on. "Hey, you're not too late," Dagrolyt said. O shit, I said to myself, I'd forgotten all about the great wrestling threat. And there were some big burly chaps who were sort of looking forward to having a bit of a go at the new guy in the mlønoli--me. It wasn't as bad as I'd feared. Actually, it was all in fun and no one really expected me to be a whiz at Nokhon-style wrestling, they all knew I'd had a misspent childhood. So it ended up that they threw me, gave me some tips on how to wrestle and I nodded and thanked them for the advice. Ah, but--here some the surprise: I actually threw one of them! A young guy too, surprised myself. Of course, then he threw me several times after that, but at least I showed that it COULD happen. So when Dagrolyt and the girls and I headed home, I was pretty satisfied with that Kha-rat: I'd passed all the challenges thrown my way, ended my curse of virginity, met a new girl friend and been accepted into the society of my own race. Not bad.
Actually, I should feel kind of funny about telling you my sexual adventures and personal feelings. This isn't being the scientific anthropological document I had in mind. But the story is telling itself and I don't want to stop the flow. It's haka and I need all I can get. We can always edit in the transcription process later on, right Art? What I'm really narrating to you here is my experience among an unknown alien culture and my all-too human feelings are part of that experience. Mostly I felt like some White Man Explorer in a monkey-suit, disguised to pass as one of the native anthropoids, so that I could blend in and study them. So the sexy stuff here is like those old National Geographic magazines with pictures of bare-breasted women doing tribal dances--it was okay to show them because it was serious science, right? Well, this story is too. Any good anthropologist should note his experience of being split by the two cultures and by far the most intense dichotomy for me was concerning my love life. After a life of sexual frustration over human girls--and one (or maybe two) in particular--I finally found myself among the women of my own race. But the only thing really desirable about squatch girls seemed to be a smell every Full Moon and that only for a few days. In contrast, Melly smells good ALL the time and jeez I love the way she LOOKS--so that is how I want to feel about a girl. My only hope was that somewhere out there was a nice squatch "Melly" for me. But when I saw the squatch women...well, I could have them, but I didn't really WANT any of them. Not the way I've wanted Melly. Not until I met Magga. Maybe you thought I'd forgotten all about Melly in my passion for a new girl friend. But really, that passion reminded me of her so much that I found myself constantly thinking of Melly after that. I'd almost suppressed the memory of her, but then she was back in my head and I was wanting her all over again...her AND Magga. Is that a contradiction? Falling in love with one girl rekindles the love I felt for another? Probably normal, just the way the mind--or heart--works. I had a friend who was good at scoring women and he said: "The more you get, the more you want." I'd been frustrated for years--it's no secret about Melly and me having a problem, our love has always been SO passionate and so... impossible. Hurt like hell. So sure, it was great to dump all that frustration in some wild animal sex-orgy doing the Dum-Dum with the jungle folk. But that sure wasn't love, a momentary thrill but emotionally neutral, at best. Thing is, I automatically respond to these girls as both human and squatch. For example, Nokhons don't kiss. I assumed they did because I'd seen them rubbing faces together when they greeted old friends. But Magga was quite surprised when I kissed her--which I just had to! She didn't mind, but had to ask just what I was doing. Squatches show affection and intimacy by sniffing faces, they touch cheeks, rub noses. Which is nice too and quite intimate because we smell emotions revealed in the other's scent. Thinking back, I'd always enjoyed sniffing Melly's face back when we were teen-agers necking. That was quite intimate for me--everyone knows how I can smell if people are lying or afraid, but really, I can smell ANY emotion. I just haven't told anyone that because it might embarrass them. Anyway, about feelings, I'm going to go ahead and say that I'm not going to let myself feel guilty about being unfaithful to Melly. We could never be real lovers anyway...and besides, she's already beaten me to it. (No offense, Mell.)
Later, on our trip back to the meadow, I asked Dagrolyt what that man Dazlask had done to be outcast. "He made fire." "He was kicked out of the Kha-rat for five moons just for making a fire?" "No, his first time was one moon. When he did it again, it was two. Now it's up to five." "The elders really don't want people messing with fire?" "The elders don't want anyone breaking the Atli. That's what Dazlask does and does it openly." "Well, you do too, don't you?" "Oh, yeah, a little. But not openly. Not as a challenge to the elders. And besides, I have the privilege of Sha-haka, Dazlask has not earned those privileges. He's a trouble-maker." "Looked like he might get nasty." "A bad man to wrestle with. He likes to hurt his opponent." "If I was caught with a fire, what would the elders do to me?" "Hard to say. You're a special case." "Would they exile me from the Kha-rats?" "That's the usual punishment." "I guess it doesn't seem that severe." Dagrolyt looked at me like I didn't know shit. "Khask! To a Nokhon it is the kiss of death. We are social creatures only once a month and we don't do well without each other then. The most important thing to a Nokhon is the Kha-rat." "Hooked on it, eh?" "Admitted, it's the opiate of the masses. It's the way that the elders control us all: they allow the Kha-rat to those who obey Atli and deny it to those who disobey. And without Atli we might choose to live like NokhSoli, with fire and farming and machines to do the work for us, instead of as noble wild men waiting for the fall of civilization."
Oh, groan...I've got to take a break. Play guitar, see TV, do something besides talk into a recorder, my voice is getting tender. It's almost midnight. Only five hours until dawn, I can get some sleep then. I don't dare sleep until then with that thing maybe out there, although I haven't heard a peep from it yet... Hmmm...blabbering again, telling more than I want to... Okay. There's a subject I've been avoiding because I figured it would just scare you. Truth is, I didn't want to admit how scared I've been myself. There's something after me and it comes at night. It's dark now. It could be waiting out there even as I speak. I'm not eager to go out there and face it, but I have to, if not tonight, then tomorrow...I can't be here when you folks come home. It's that dangerous. So maybe you'd better know about the Ssysk after all, just in case. But I need to take that break first. I'm going to practice guitar for a while. (the sound of Adam's guitar being strummed) I don't think any of us want me to record that. Later.

Chapter 46

Adam out of Eden