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Chapter 38

Those who lived by the muck of the rivers.  Those who sipped tea in the old huts nestled in bamboo groves.  Those who rose and fell like mayflies selling spring.  Those who sold fish and meat and shoes.  Perhaps they knew how to see a river pebble as a mountain, perhaps they knew how to expand a tiny space into a great hall.  But to those who lived on mounds of earth they called mountains, to those who felt they were higher and deserved to be, to those people, the mucky beach pebbles were just slimy and needed cleaning.

There were those who preached about equality, and they, in flowing robes, donned the closed toed shoes of foreigners.   Their children would go on to build towers that scraped the skies and eventually jet away in bubble mobiles.  They decided that people in the north and the south, people in the mountains and the valleys, people who cut men and people who cut meat should all be proper citizens.  They decided that crowded alleys and small wooden huts were not worthy of citizens, whether well established or newly recognized.  Teams of bulldozers entered the old neighborhoods to wipe away the blood and toil and tears.  Towers were erected in alignment with the sun. 

And now they say we just shouldn't talk about it.  Some things are better kept as secrets.  "We all look the same anyway," they say.  Take a new name, take a new job, find a new reason.  Let's forget the surface and its rivers of tears.  Face the sun, the stars, climb the white towers into the white sky.