Chapter 77:     Poetess

Transcribed from dictation, ADAM speaking--

The idea of going to see Dabronat's family did cheer me up, they were people I 
really liked and even wanted to try my music on them.  Especially Masnia, who 
had graduated from being "cute little" to "sexy little", mainly because I 
could think of no other Nokhon of any age or sex who was on the same level as 
myself regarding the creative processes of words and music.  She had a talent, 
maybe even greater than mine, but was living in a society that had no use for 
it.  We needed to work together and change the world around us.

But first there were more Syssk-lessons to endure along the way to their bakhl. 
Dagrolyt reminded me that we had been lucky that Daklakht had not made a move 
yet, although he was certain that the Alutna-Jii was already aware that we 
were back in his territory.  

"How could he know?" I asked.

"I'm certain that Damekh and Mabna reported your °'skogome skesk-hollow log 
noises to the nearest Alutna they could find."

"Oh yeah, probably right."

"Well, that's the way you planned it, right?  Make Daklakht come running.  
Pretty smart."

"Oh khask, was that my plan?  Yeah, very smart."

Dagrolyt had another specific site in mind for the session and at sundown We 
came to an energetic creek cascading down the Cascades, white water splashing 
and thrashing beside us, noisy and hardly conducive to concentration.  He 
always chooses places like that.

I was nervously preparing myself for another trip to hell, but Dagrolyt said, 
"We'll do it differently today; you will attack me with your Syssk." 

That sounded to me like a lot more fun, but of course it was a lot of hard 
work first.  We analyzed what I had experienced the day before, the fear, the 
sickness, the BAD of it all.  Then I had to generate those feelings myself. 

"Think of the greatest rage you have ever felt, the angriest you have ever 
been," Dagrolyt suggested, "when you have truly wished some evil curse to 
befall your enemy."

I remembered the day I'd run into the crippled Peter Sinsley at Pelosa's, how 
hate and anger for him made me feel as if the Syssk was inside me again, 
scaring me silly.  But I couldn't feel that for him again, I had literally 
smashed my enemy, he was not that person any more.  I rummaged around my 
memories for anyone I could hate ferociously and came up with zero. 

Dagrolyt wondered, "Don't you hate Daklakht?  Isn't that why you're here?"

It hadn't even occurred to me. "Hate?  No, he's just an asshole doing his job.  
I'm not here for revenge, just to stop him from doing any more harm to.."  And 
there it was: all the rage I would ever need.  "..Melly!" 

Dagrolyt saw it hit me.  "Now look who's here."  He cocked that eyebrow and 
suddenly looked exactly like my Adversary, Daklakht.  I launched my Syssk at 
him.  

Dagrolyt deflected it, but that didn't matter.  For the first time I had 
activated my own source of badness.  The Dark Side of the Force had arrived.


We arrived at Dabronat's bakhl before midday. Somehow they knew we were coming and were waiting for us with smiles on their faces. But long before we got that far Masnia had come running ahead and met us along the way. She jumped on Dagrolyt first because he was the older uncle, but also because when she jumped on me, her maybe-brother, she intended to stay. Always the wanton slut, she trilled "Da-adam-ee!" and jumped up to straddle my face before she noticed that she couldn't wrap her legs around my neck, the guitar behind me was in the way. "What's THAT?" she asked, "Oh, is it SKESK?" Almost the same words Mabna had used, but in a totally different tone. Masnia was intrigued and excited about anything new in life. I teased her that it was secret--and asked her not to break it by climbing all over me--so she calmed down and sat perched upon my left shoulder like a parrot for the rest of the way home. Masnia had not grown taller since I had been away, she may just remain a little over six feet tall, but her boobs and hips had filled out even more. She was still quite slender for a squatch woman, with her own version of prima ballerina elegance and cute pixie look. She also liked the way I looked, commenting enthusiastically about my neatly- trimmed body hair, said she wanted hers done that way too. I told her that my Nokhso girl friend had done it with a skesk-clipper and that it would be almost impossible to get the same effect any other way. "Introduce me to her someday," Masnia insisted. Then we were among Dabronat and Malasna; embraces, laughter, food, a little party. I always felt that a squatch lifestyle could be an okay way to live when I was with them. I loved them all, they were the Nokhon family I had missed out on. Actually, they were a better family than most squatches ever get, what with the utter asceticism of Nokhon culture. They had all wondered about the backpack I had arrived with, but I wanted to prolong the mystery a while--ostensibly to tease Masnia some more, but really because I was nervous about having another fiasco like the night before with Damekh and Mabna. Oh, I knew better, but these people WERE my intended audience. If they didn't like it...I was scared. It was easy enough to put off for awhile; we had so much to talk about. I had to tell them about my adventures in faraway fairytale Nokhsoland: my family, friends, the band, the big concert. They weren't judgmental about Daklakht's attack, he being Masnia's father and otherwise a friend of the family, they considered it just part of a game he and I were playing. So I didn't tell what he had made me do to Melly, semi-rape too vague a concept for squatches. Dagrolyt also had to tell his observations of Nokhso culture, driving in cars, TV, wonderful food. He made us all laugh, especially me. But there was no putting it off: finally I had to slide the guitar out of the bag. They all went Ooo and Aahh, had to touch the glossy wood, be amazed by the sound of 12 strings being tuned up. It was so much a repetition of the night before that I became really nervous. More than the night of the Big Concert--I'd been running on Vision Power then--this felt like I was taking a big risk. Dagrolyt smiled and said--well, you know what he said. I had to do a repeat performance of last night's fiasco. So I did, a little shaky, not nearly as well as I'd done the night before. And once again, my audience sat paralyzed when it was over, like stunned fish. Ah, no use dragging this story out for cheap dramatic thrills: they loved it! They went crazy! Masnia was on me, weeping, hugging; she'd just had her first eargasm. Malasna and Dabronat had to touch me too and it was like I had suddenly been elevated to the status of Sha-haka guru. Or Rock Star, take your pick. "More, Da-adam-ee, do another my°sik, oh pleeease!" Masnia was practically hysterical, she could have been a teenage girl screaming for the Beatles. Her mother was slightly more dignified, but not much. And me? I got tuned into that place I had been on the night of the big concert. They wanted more--I gave them the same concert--Unplugged Version.
We stayed the night over, of course and it was virtually impossible to convince Masnia that I still felt uncomfortable about having sex with my "sister". Scratch virtually. She was ruthless, but also completely adorable. Anyway, never mind about that, I had more serious business to take up with her. We ended up talking all night and I told her that I wanted her to help me translate my 13 concert songs to Nokhontli. She was honored but agreed that she was the one for the job. My translations were roughly accurate but not elegant enough, they lacked...she had no word for it. "Poetry," I said in English. "Whazzat?" she had to ask. I explained the concept, recited some of the lyrics in English to demonstrate cadence and rhyme. She listened, thought about it and gave me a line of Nokhontli that worked pretty well. Then she improved it--three times--and finally it was perfect...poetry. This from a girl whose culture demanded zero creativity. She was so good with words that I began to wonder if Masnia was also a born Orator, after all, we did share some genes. I asked how she had come by such an impressive vocabulary. "Sometimes Uncle Dagrolyt recites some of the Secret Verses of Atli to the whole family--even though women are not supposed to hear them. Lots of nice precise words there, although the average Nokhon doesn't even understand what they mean." "Secret Verses?" "Restricted knowledge for Sha-hakas, Orators and Elders. Actually, Mamama and I both have to be careful about speaking too well for women. Makes men nervous and the Alutna suspicious." So good old Uncle Dagrolyt was giving her a rounded education. Good for him. Dagrolyt, meanwhile, needed to go to teach the next student on his route, but I was invited and decided to stay and work on translations with Masnia. I really needed a repertoire of songs in Nokhontli to do what I wanted to do next. Masnia and I went off to a nice little lake she knew where we could work on the songs. We had the lake to ourselves for most of the day and translated four songs with amazing success. I played and sang, then Masnia began to sing along. I took the time to teach her a little about harmony and we soon had an effective duet going on. Her singing voice was untrained but very pleasant. She was also good at remembering lyrics--better than me during my Orator dysfunction. We were interrupted by three young Nokhons, kids actually, two boys and a girl. They were Masnia's local friends, so she introduced everyone. They had heard us playing and singing and had come to see what was making all those exotic sounds. "We thought it was some Nokhsos with a noise-stone," Dabbeh (age 14?) said, "so we were just going to peek, but then we saw Masnia and figured we could come out of hiding. Uh, what IS that ringy-jingly-thing anyway?" "Isn't that skesk?" the one girl, Maseega (age 12?), innocently asked. "It's GOOD skesk" Masnia explained, "totally cool." "I thought all skesk was bad," Dazarah (age 11?) said. "Oh no," Masnia elaborated, "bad skesk kills and harms nature, good skesk makes you feel good. C'mon, Da-adam-ee, let's sing a my°sik and show them." Pre-teens and music, there's a set-up, I figured. Masnia and I did the four songs we had translated. The kids liked it, except for Dakrineh (age 10?), who was afraid that he was going to get in trouble with his folks for listening to the Nokhso Devil's music. He started to leave, but ended up sitting a distance away and listening anyway. Since we were all having fun together, I taught them how to keep the beat by clapping hands, slapping chests. They were awkward at first but caught on pretty quick. Even Dakrineh over on the sideline was trying to do it and finally came back to join us. They all wanted to sing along. Sounded terrible, they had never practiced a note of music in their lives, but no one was being critical. After a few hours of that racket I'd had enough--now it was ME who was the old fart--but they were just warming up, getting more and more excited about music. Finally I said I was going home, but they begged for "just one more song, oh pleeaase!" You know kids. I played an instrumental, Mozart's Eine Kleine Nachtmusik. They listened politely, even though it had to be basically incomprehensible for them. Classical music is an acquired taste and they'd never tasted anything before. On the way home Masnia told me that those were the friends she hung out with. "We all used to have our own private kha-rat at full moon, but now that I'm with shy°ma at Ma-ml°t-klys I'm not supposed to play-y°ramma with them any more...until they get a little older and we can all REALLY do it." I was almost scandalized, then remembered where we were. They had seemed so much like regular American kids. Except for being more polite and the only attitude they had was positive. "The last time I saw you was at the real grown-up Kha-Rat," I reminded her, "you were pretty scared. Guess you got over that?" "Oh ra! I was so happy you were there for me, Da-adam-ee. You really made it nice for me--except for your funny hang-up about brothers and sisters. I even went to the next Kha-rat after that, but no more. I don't really like it, not without you. Just like Mamama, I'd rather have fun with a few friends I like than all that pushing and shoving with strangers." "Actually, me too," I admitted, "and I was also glad you were at my last Kha-rat, that made it very special." "But we don't have to wait for a Kha-rat," she reminded me, "in fact..." I was still feeling morally uncomfortable about sex with my sister (half-sister, whatever). I may as well admit that even without shy°ma I was constantly having erections while near her and she knew it. Sure, I desired her, but my Nokhon/Nokhso ethics were at odds and I felt required to resist. But it was hard since she so resolutely wanted me. "We did good work today, kid," I said, to change the subject. "Ra, we did. Can we translate more songs tomorrow?" "I'd like that. I need all thirteen songs ready to go." "And then what?" "And then I travel around and play them for Nokhontli, introduce them to my°sik. Change their perspective. Change the world." She stopped me mid-stride, made me look her straight in the eye while she said something important. "Dadamet," no cute nickname, this was SERIOUS, "I love you and I CHOOSE you!" "Yeah, well, I love you too, Sis. But don't you think you're too young to..." "Evidently NOT! And don't Sis me, you know we belong together." "I'm already your brother for life, little Masnia. What more do you want?" "I want to y°ramma a lot with you. I also want to travel and sing with you. Everywhere, even to the Nokhso world. We can change both worlds!" She stunned me, I wanted to take her up on it, but I said, "That would be wonderful, Masnia, but it might be dangerous to travel with me right now. You know that I have an Adversary after me..." "You mean my father? He wouldn't DARE hurt you if I was there." "It isn't ME I'm worried about, it's you." "But he'd never hurt me. He loves me...as much as I love you." "Hmmm. I'll have to think about it." "Good. So can we y°ramma now?" She dropped backwards onto the forest bed with her legs spread wide like a ballerina. Jeez, can she be cute!
I stayed three more days to work on translations. Masnia could be a disciplined academic and mature young woman, when not acting like a horny puppy. I couldn't help but find both aspects adorable. We became very close in those days, fellow artists, fellow visionaries of a better Nokhon existence. I can't speak so well about our relationship as virtuous siblings...so I won't. At the end of that time we had created thirteen masterpieces of Nokhontli musical literature, something that may well have never existed before. I'd written those songs in English, but they were BETTER in Nokhontli, they worked miraculously well. It was magic. Even without my Orator skills. Our time at the lake was also rather magical. It became a scene that reminded me so much of Naked Lake back home in the USA. More Nokhon kids showed up every day to hear our new songs, word had gotten around--somehow, without cell phones. All those nice well-behaved young Sasquatches were polite enough not to show up too early, so that we could work out our translations in peace. But just after mid-day they began to gather at the lake, wanting to hear what we had composed. It was hardly a concert, more like a workshop. We spent as much time talking about music as playing it. I asked the kids for feedback and opinion, told them what I was going to do with the songs and they became very excited about sharing in the creative process. Although when asked how they might improve a verse it was too foreign a concept for them that unlike Atli--the only other verses they knew of--these words were not permanent. Masnia was the only one who understood that. I was trying to ascertain what a squatch audience really wanted. Some songs appealed to them more than others, a repeated chorus could excite them enough to sing along, so Masnia and I refined some catchy hooks. Textbook Pop Music. By our fourth day at the lake every local kid in the area had become involved, we had nine fans. But then the adults showed up. Three of them: one man, two women, all scowling suspiciously. Probably responsible parents come to see what kind of trouble their kids were getting into. Those adults had heard music before, they knew what it was: the horrible noises those evil Nokhsos generated with their God-damned skesk to deliberately shatter the serenity of the wilderness. Voice of the Devil, etc. The only reason they hadn't yet made a move to stop Masnia and me from starting to play and sing was that their kids were holding them back and saying, "No, wait! You gotta HEAR it first, then you'll understand!" I was half-expecting trouble from those adults but went ahead and played anyway, starting with Ha mm-kro wo'ha (I Like To Run). Masnia and I had practiced that song with those kids over the last four days and they slapped out the rhythm as we sang. When the smoke cleared the adults were smiling and bobbing their heads just as much as their children. Everyone wanted to hear more, so we did our entire set of all thirteen songs for the first time. I suppose you could call it a Happening. At least it was what I wanted to be happening all over the Nokhon Nation. And I was here to make it happen.
Chapter 78

Adam out of Eden