Monday, April 12, 2010

Cuento de Mi Id

“Does the Word Morlock Mean Anything to You?”

September 21. It’s raining again today. I like it when it rains.

Sister Natalie once asked me why I like to see rain, and I told her about how it drowns the ants. She said that it was a bad thing to like things like that. Ants have the same right to live that we do, she told me, and it is not right to wish bad things about them.

I tried to tell her about how the ants came into my old house one time, but she wouldn’t listen. She said the only reason the ants would have come into my old house would have been because they’re hungry, and it’s not right to wish bad things about a living thing just because it’s hungry.

I wish I could make her understand just how icky ants really are, but it’s hard work making the Sisters understand anything.

Sometimes I wish my parents would come back from camp so I wouldn’t have to stay with the Sisters. We could go back to our old house and stay there and live like we used to live before the War. I wouldn’t mind living that way for a while -- even if my house did have ants. I wouldn’t even mind if we had to live in an attic again.

My friend Bobby says the Sisters aren’t really sisters. They just call themselves that because they want to look nice.

I told Bobby I already know that, but he never listens.

He’s always reading stuff the Sisters tell us not to read. Then he tries to tell me about it and get me in trouble.

I don’t know where he finds this stuff because the Sisters are supposed to have thrown all the bad stuff away.

But he does.

He’s always reading these old books full of bad words and pictures of people with no clothes on. He tried to tell me how grown-ups make babies, but I refused to listen because the Sisters say we should not talk about that kind of stuff.

Lately he’s been telling me about this book he read called “The Time Machine.” It’s a book the Sisters specially don’t want us to read because it was written by a bad man and it tells a lot of lies about history and stuff.

Bobby says that’s not so. He says that the guy who wrote it was a good man and that “The Time Machine” was a good book. He says it’s all about the future and how this man from the past goes there in a special machine. In this future, he says, there are no Sisters or camps or houses or anything. Just two tribes -- the Eloi and the Morlocks. The Eloi are the good people. The Morlocks are the bad. The Morlocks are always killing the Eloi, but the man from the past doesn’t like this, and he helps the Eloi defeat the Morlocks.

I told Bobby this was a strange story and I couldn’t understand why the Sisters objected to it.

Because they’re Morlocks, he told me.

I told him he must be joking.

Bobby insisted he wasn’t. The Sisters were Morlocks, he said, and they considered us all Eloi. And in the book, they ate Eloi.

I told Bobby he was just trying to scare me like he did that time he put that spider down my back.

But again he insisted he wasn’t.

I don’t know what to believe.

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September 22. Bobby showed me his “Time Machine” book during recess today. He said it proved the Sisters really were Morlocks.

I told him he was dumb. The Morlocks shown in the book looked nothing like the Sisters. They were all short and squat and ugly and stuff, and the Sisters don’t look anything like that.

Of course, they don’t, said Bobby. The Morlocks had a chance to read the book.

I told him he was stupid, and I threatened to tell Sister Natalie on him.

He asked me not to. He said what he told me was a secret and that I shouldn’t go blabbing about it to the Sisters.

Suppose I’m right, he said. Then we’d both be in big trouble.

I think Bobby’s just trying to scare me again.

***********************************************************

September 23. I asked Sister Natalie what a Morlock was but I didn’t mention Bobby’s name. She got very angry with me. She told me that Morlock was a bad word, and little girls like me should not be using words like that.

“Suppose someone called you a Spic,” she said. “Or your friend Bobby a nigger. Would you like that?”

“I don’t know what those words mean,” I told her.

“Of course you don’t,” she said. “Because me and the other Sisters have taken great pains to stop our students from using bad language like that. The word Morlock is just the same. It’s a bad word that only bad people use, and I don’t want to hear a student of mine using it. Do you understand?”

“Yes, ma’am,” I said.

I was afraid to ask her another question after that.

***********************************************************

September 24. Bobby called me an idiot today after I found out what happened between me and Sister Natalie.

“You dummy,” he said. “Now the Morlocks are going to go after you for sure.”

“Go after me for what?” I said.

“For guessing their true identities, stupid,” Bobby answered.

“So what?” I said. “Morlocks are just make-believe. They don’t exist in real life. And even if they did, your book says they lived in the future.”

“My book was written a long time ago,” said Bobby. “For all we know, this could be the future the writer was talking about.”

“You’re an idiot, Bobby,” I said.

“Look who’s talking,” he said.

I ignored him for the rest of the day.

***********************************************************

September 25. It stopped raining today. Today was the first day all week I could see the sun. But it doesn’t seem the same without Bobby.

I asked Sister Natalie about him and she said he must have run away in the middle of the night. He used to talk to me a lot about running away to camp to join his parents. So I suppose that is where he went.

We finally had fresh meat in the cafeteria today. But it doesn’t seem the same without Bobby there to make yukky comments about it.

My friend Indira thinks I’m being silly. She believes Bobby will come back just as soon as he realizes how rough it is on the outside. But somehow I don’t think so.

Sister Natalie kept urging me to eat during mealtime, but I just couldn’t finish a bite. I wish I could eat as much as her and the other Sisters do, but I’m just not in the mood.

Sister Barbara came by during lunch today and said she understood how I felt. She said that Bobby and I will probably be together quite soon and that I shouldn’t worry. I wonder what she meant by that and why she had that strange look on her face when she said that.

Sometimes I get the feeling that she and the other Sisters know just exactly where Bobby went.

But that would be stupid.

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