Half-Truth & Fiction

This is Sāmi. They are my heart. We almost died yesterday.

These words are my lies, woven to share and forget. My hands shake as I scribble against the wisdom of my people. Such idiocy, that I weave from my fingers and not my mouth. Such idiocy, that I listen to the whispers of pride and terror to carve my blindness into you, an uncomprehending void of blank bark.

Please, forget me and remember that I lie.

Sāmi whimpers, managing to laugh and say, get on with it. I reply with a heartfelt and exasperated smile. Sāmi closes their eyes, humming to their healing.

We run from our battle, our death, our tribe. The last is the hardest. Running means I put our lives in danger. Running means I’m alone. Running means my tribe is dead.

I’ve never been alone before.

I wish I could hear them. I thought I heard a crash echoing through the forest this morning, and this afternoon a heartbreaking call in the darkness. My tribe’s story weaver would be proud — is this an echoing call in the darkness, our hero crying to the night? — and it seems empty and fitting for this false sharing, this use of the written word for lies. It was not them. It could not be them. I am alone. I am worthless.

But at least Sāmi lives. At least they are breathing quietly with me.

It is cold.

I must try to start with a truth, at least. Maybe even end with one, sometimes.

I’ve thought all day about these words, yet I arrive and surprise myself at what spills from my hands. Does this make them more true?

Or less?

Sāmi laughs, applauding my wonderful flair for the dramatic. Our story weaver used many voices and dances to express our spirit’s tongues, their layers of laughter, music, color, images flowing together in our minds to speak.

As best as I can write it, Sāmi says that I am a silly, wise, uncomprehending, laughable idiot, as well as a liar, truth weaver, writer, creator, and a whole mountain of lost. A perfect human, Sāmi concludes, sending comforting warmth and an amused image of us both looking boldly into the future. They giggle. I smile.

Thanks Sāmi. I sigh, putting this page with the others and wrapping them. Or I will. Sāmi stretches.

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