Last night I went hunting…..

August 25, 2012

They came to me during the night. Orpuk has a way of climbing over the high wire fence without stirring the dogs. He is the only man I know who can do this. Many here don’t consider Orpuk and his kind humans – they call them, the Orang Bunyan.

But to me Orpuk has always been flesh and bone. When he visits. He just squats there beside my bedroom window. Never says a word. Not even hello. Never even makes a sound. He just squats there with his shadow. Together the make the alphabet L. When I realize he is there, he breaks out in a smile and hands me a bunch of leafs from the great mother of trees deep in the jungle. I put one beneath my tongue. It stays there as my second tongue.

This will give me strength, thoughts will acquire speed and my arrow will find the mark.

I get into my “kip.” Its just a string underwear made out of hide with a flap of leather to cover my dick. When I enter the courtyard the rest of the braves appear from the twilight. The tall one approaches me, he spits on each side of my cheek and smears beetroot paste creating a menacing V shaped mask – the rest seem satisfied. They let out a shriek and the pack is off.

I take my position behind Orpuk and his son, Noon. We run in single file. Each man armed with a spear and bow and a fist full of poisoned tipped arrows. From time to time, the pack will stop suddenly and Orpuk will stand erect and sniff the air – then we are off again. No one ever says a word. Like birds flying in formation. Everyone seems to instinctive know their role.

Someone hisses. The pack begins to fan out in a tight crescent shape. We’re walking through tall reeds. I can feel the tips stinging me, they’re sharp as needles. Their edges cutting like a razor. I push the pain out of my mind. I can hear them. hear them breathing even. The boars must be near. So very near.

Orpuk mimics a cry of an owl. The braves throw down their spears and bow and take out their daggers. One of them rushes towards a boar in a clearing and wrestles him down. The others do the same and the rest lunge forward to finish them off. A swirl of light as the blades catch the half moonlight – like ebony waters. I thought. I shake of the thought and try to join as best I can, but its so fast. One blink. Maybe two. At most. by the time I get there – they’re all dead.

Orpuk flashes a smile at me as he begins to skin the hogs. He’s done it so many times, he doesn’t even need to look at his hands. It’s as if his hands have a mind of their own. Soon we are off again – each man hauling a leaf wrapped slab of meat tied with reed roots. We are in single file again running alongside the riverbank towards the half moon.

I can’t carry it and run at the same time. Orpuk signals the braves to free me of the load – I can just about keep up.

Soon the tribe arrives. The rest of the tribe have been expecting them – The shaman had foretold their arrival. He hands Orpuk a vessel fashioned from coconut halves flavored with star aniseed – its a white liquid that taste like liqourice and stale 100 plus. I take two gulps. Orpuk puts three more leafs now in my mouth – I chew slowly and soon one of the braves begin to go beat his chest with a flapping action. The rest start of follow. They all jump up and down. As high as they can three times – then they run as close as they can to the fire and dance around it. Like a moth, being licked by a savage tongue of light. Each when they can no longer bear the pain – they break away with a deep “uuuuuuuumhhh!” The women thrust their breast out with each break out. Another brave dances to the fire. Another breaks out. And through the night it repeated again.

Everything seems almost to be slaved to this hypnotic ryhthm of the night – the younger girls in the tribe beat bamboo staves together, they add nuance to the rhythm of the night – they stand in the shadows. They can never come near the fire. It’s forbidden.

I see. But I see beyond. Time and shapes seem fluid. I feel as if I am slowly immersing myself into a thick resonance like amber moving like a snail – it seems as if the rhythm comes from deep within. I feel this throbbing in my solar plexus. The Shaman comes over. He’s chanting into my ears. The throbbing now hurts. I begin to cough violence. The braves seize my arms and legs. Another leaf beneath my tongue. The whole jungle is swriling. Soon they chant A-mak, A-mak, A-mak.

You may all not believe this. But this is where I am supposed to transform myself into a gaint albino monitor lizard.

All I remember was moving to the sound of this hypnotic ryhthm as it coursed through my being; the flicker of the light; the heat of the flames as they curled around my naked body. The sharp shadows cast in relief against a flickering flame, a smile from a girl, another leaf under my tongue. The smell of sweat mixed with honeyed yam juice.

And all through this layered thickness of primal consciousness. That resounding wall of sound that seemed to grow louder and louder as I danced around the flames.

A-mak, A-mak, A-mak, A-mak.

I wake up somewhere in the Western terraces of my plantation. I am caked in mud. There is blood running down by knee caps. I remember nothing. Not even my name. And then it comes to me very slowly. Its a brand new day.

I don’t think Zouk will ever be the same again.

Darkness 2012


“There are a million ways to die in the jungle. Your buddy could just be next to you on a river bank. You go for a piss. And he’s gone. It happens all the time. No one knows why. No even the experts. People get lost all the time in the jungle. They walk around in circles. They die just short of the road by a few meters. Again no one knows why.

Bear in mind I am a man of science. I don’t believe in hocus pocus. But if you spend enough time in the jungle – you will begin to see things that no one ever sees or hears before. And some of those things you can never ever explain.

You can try but most people will think you are just plain crazy. Or you are just trying to grab attention to feed your ego or inferiority complex. That is how modern man sees these things. That is also the reason why they always seem to die in the jungle. All the time.

I just cannot explain. I don’t even have the words to help me explain. But I will say this. The jungle is not a dead thing. Its alive. Not at one level. But at different levels of consciousness. Time for example is very malleable in the jungle. Things can look deceptively benign one minute and it can all change in a flash.

Sometimes its good to give respect. When you cross a stream drop a few rice grains. That way the water spirits will grant you safe passage. When you piss on a tree make sure there are no incense sticks there. Otherwise your dick is going to shrivel up and drop off. I am just kidding. I want to stop here now. Brush my teeth and go to sleep. Tomorrow is a new day.”

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