March 2001

Speak to me, Muse, of the trusting man who wandered long after he had left his home and friends in Seattle. Many were the places he saw and people he met. Yet even so, by all his zeal, he did save himself and return unto his home, but this only after many misfortunes and sufferings did he have.

Now when the trusting Chris did leave his home, he was borne aloft by Athena herself, who appeared like a great osprey and carried him far away to the land of the Filipinos. And when he did arrive there, he were sorely fatigued on account of the jet lag, so after bathing and anointing himself with oil, he did sleep for two days and nights. Then when the rosy-fingered dawn appeared and he awoke from his slumber, he did have a great hunger and so sought himself victuals to eat.

Now the Filipinos are very fond of eating and also a very hospitable people, so they offered him much to eat. After the trusting Chris had filled himself with food and drink he were satisfied. But lo, those people are very fond of the inward organs of animals but not of green parts of the plants, and many are the small vermin that are found in the food there. So soon he did have much gas and also unceasing flow from his bowels for several days, which caused him much suffering and need to stay near his dwelling place.

The town in which trusting Chris did stay is called Mahneela, it is a great city of the Filipinos but also a horrible place with much crowding and noise, dangers, and unhealthy water and air. There were more than 8 million of those people who lived there, but none were wanting to do so, only inhabiting that monstrous place on account of there being no money in their own provinces.

Trusting Chris had spent many days before his journey being very close to many sickly, emphysemic, hacking patients in the nursing homes of his own town yet had kept his good health. But in Mahneela, many were the germs which found succor and after his stomach had recovered, mighty Poseidon did send unto him a strange and mean-spirited germ which found happy dwelling place in his sinuses. And so it was for many days that he did have unceasing flow of thick yellow mucous from his nose and mouth, which were very gross to behold and caused him to need many handkerchiefs. But finally, he did too conquer this malady and began gradually to resume his normal good health.

Now in this place of Mahneela, most of the people were very kind and hospitable, but there were also some who were very bad people. On his thirteenth day in that place he was befriended by a man on a jeepney, which is a kind of smoke-belching chariot, who offered to carry him in his own car to the place where he was going. This Chris did accept, to his own misfortune. For once in the car, the driver did offer him a beverage, which trusting Chris did imbibe on account of his great thirst in that hot climate. But the drink was drugged, which caused the lonesome traveler to become unconscious. After that, the strangers, who are known in that place as the Ativan gang, did carry him to a place far from the city called Binan, Laguna and robbed him of his money, although it was only twenty dollars. Then they tossed him limp from the car into some grass in a lonely place. Fortunately, some kindly strangers did find his lifeless form there and called unto the police, who took him to the hospital. There they did examine him and finding that he was without injury they put him into a soft bed and let him sleep for many hours until he awoke from his drugged slumber. After that he was taken to a building where the police work, where they asked him many questions about that foul deed which had occurred, but which he could not answer. Finally the kindly police did give him sufficient paper money so that he could take jeepney back to his dwelling place in the city. Of this episode, his pride was besmirched but he fortunately had no other injury and his limbs and other parts were normal.

During the time of some of these troubles, trusting Chris did feel desire in his loins and visited a disco in that city. There he was smitten with a sad and beautiful woman, who was a bargirl in that place. Several times did he visit and make offerings to her. But this was her sad tale: many months before she had cared for a man of that town who did likewise profess his love for her, but after she had shared her bed with him and was with child, she found this man was a liar who returned to his own wife and begotten children. So now she had a baby of only two months and deigned to lie with any man, on account of her broken heart. This caused trusting Chris heartache, but he remembered that love only lives where it is offered and so he must look anew.

Throughout all this trusting Chris did strive to keep his good humor, as such behavior he had observed in the Filipinos; who in spite of having so many misfortunes themselves do maintain a smile and friendly manner. And so after twenty days trusting Chris did fully recover his health and decide to leave that painful place of Mahneela, deciding to go to Cebu, which is another island in that country. So he gathered his tunic and meager possessions about him and made offerings anew to the gods so that he might find fortune on the next part of his adventure.

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