Come on, Soulomon, hurry up!
Eartha walks, angrily, a few feet back in his direction. Soulomon looks up for a moment, at Sirit, who initially seemed to want to go in a different direction. Eartha is shouting something, even angrier now, and sighing, Soulomon moves in her direction. Actually he’s getting tired of all this, as it has been going on and on, for so long. Sirit regularly speaks to Soulomon, but as if the devil is playing with it, Eartha always interrupts. Eartha seems to talk and talk and never cease and Soulomon would give anything if she would keep her mouth shut. He has tried to explain things to Eartha, but she doesn’t believe in Sirit. She doesn’t seem to see her and that’s probably because she’s always looking at the ground. Sirit floats quite a bit above Soulomon, although she seems to be a bit closer lately.
Impatience is a character trait of Eartha, while on the other hand she has held things up tremendously. This morning Soulomon had thought of a walk in the woods for the three of them and Eartha agreed, after she had firstly thought of a lot of problems they might get into. When she finally gave in and started to fill her backpack, it turned out that she ‘needed’ so much that she had to take two more weekend bags, a shopping bag and an umbrella with her. It ended with Soulomon carrying the heavy bags, otherwise Eartha wouldn’t get going.
Now they have finally reached the beginning of the forest path and immediately Eartha sees a very interesting pebble on the left, where it is mossy and a bit swampy in between. She puts her backpack on the ground and looks at the stone from all sides, while explaining to Soulomon where it must have come from, how it got so round, how the dark veins came into being and why it must have ended up on this side of the forest. In principle, it could be that someone found the stone in Italy, for example, and accidentally dropped it from his pocket here, but Eartha knows for sure how everything works.
Soulomon sighs. Here we go again. He pulls Eartha’s shoulder and points to the light, which falls so beautifully on the forest path, but Eartha doesn’t react. A few meters further she discovers a fox’s excrement, she thinks, and starts dissecting the excrement with the tools she brought with her. There are feathers in it and Eartha happens to know exactly what kind of feathers. She tells about the digestion of foxes, while Soulomon, who hasn’t been listening for a long time, tries to take her towards some sort of natural amphitheatre, further on. A quiet place, where a lot of animals come. He hopes that this will attract Eartha and he thinks he can hear a lot of bird sounds in that place. Soulomon loves birds very much, but Eartha always diverts his attention, with her found objects.
Soulomon’s repeated announcement that there will be many animals, is attractive enough for Eartha. For a while she even whistles, although on the way she picks up everything she wants to inform him about later. The amphitheatre is a long way away and by the time they get there, Eartha has become very tired. She falls asleep and doesn’t see any of the curious deer, rabbits and squirrels frolicking around her. She lies on a blanket she brought with her and a pillow she also brought, next to the bottle of soda that is now half finished.
Soulomon brought his own water and takes a sip. Now that Eartha is asleep, Sirit comes very close to him, even though she never touches the ground. Birds fly in and the whole world seems full of blossoms and birdsong. Sirit talks for a long time and everything she says now penetrates deep into Soulomon’s being, although he cannot remember the words. While Eartha’s talk is always exhausting Soloumon, Sirit’s words have a healing effect, and strengthened, Soulomon notices that Eartha is coming out of her deep sleep now. Her eyes are open and she looks around her, slightly confused. Her watch indicates that it is already late in the afternoon and Eartha frantically starts picking up her things, grumbling that the day is already almost over and that it will soon be dark.
Soulomon wants to follow the direction pointed out by Sirit, back home, but Eartha protests vehemently. She refuses to go along, because she is very sure they have to go that way. Soulomon points to the position of the sun, but Eartha sees that the path he mentions is bumpy and slippery, and points to a smooth, sandy path on the other side of the clearing. Swearing at Soulomon and at non-existent Sirits, Eartha is determined to walk in the wrong direction. Soulomon has to go with her and he looks up at Sirit with concern. Luckily Sirit is still there, although higher than before, it seems. Soulomon picks up the heavy bags and with his renewed strength he easily overtakes Eartha. She immediately starts talking and explaining how she is so sure they have to go that way. She feels that in her belly, she says, and ‘you always have to listen to your belly’.
Indeed it is a nice, smooth path and they progress quickly, but Soulomon has the feeling that the path is going nowhere. He cannot say exactly why, but everything seems to be the same all the time. Every time they pass that place with that big fallen tree trunk on which mushrooms grow and that tree with the three trunks they have seen six times already. Carefully he suggests it, but Eartha thinks it’s nonsense. Trees very often look alike, she says.
The wind suddenly starts blowing and every now and then a drop seems to fall. It gets darker but Eartha doesn’t seem to notice. She walks stubbornly, until she gets really wet. Then she starts a long rant about how they shouldn’t have gone to that amphitheatre, how they might as well have made a little detour, where there would have been enough to look at and to take along with them. How difficult Soulomon always is and how terribly tired Eartha gets of him.
She wants to go back now and hesitantly Soulomon turns around, with a nasty premonition. And indeed, on the way back, as it gets darker and darker and rains harder and harder, everything on the path stays the same. Eventually even Eartha realizes that they won’t get on like this. She sits down on that tree trunk with the mushrooms and thinks for two seconds. She points to the right side of the path, where there is an opening that could be the beginning of a path. Resolutely she grabs her backpack, and walks in the chosen direction, with Soulomon next to her, who vaguely remembers something from Sirit’s words. He can’t interpret them exactly, but he does know that this has to happen.
Eartha rummages around in the backpack to find the torch she brought with her, and shines it around. But the light from the torch doesn’t carry far enough and all they see is trees. But they can still distinguish the ‘path’, for as long as it exists. Suddenly it stops and they stand in the middle of a dark forest, in the pouring rain, while the wind has long since broken the umbrella.
Eartha is now completely lost and doesn’t seem herself anymore. She actually keeps her mouth shut and now she really looks around. There she sees nothing but woods and to make matters worse, the battery of the torch starts to run out. Desperately she looks at Soulomon and suddenly her voice sounds like that of an old woman, at the end of her life. Life sucks, she says, she gives up. But giving up doesn’t help and no matter how much Eartha tries not to be there, in that awful situation, she’s still there.
Soulomon is silent because Eartha cannot be helped. The situation is getting worse and worse, because now they can’t even see the little path they’ve come over. Nothing left to do but to be here.
Eartha searches in her misery for something to hold on to, but she doesn’t find it. All tree trunks are cold and slippery and the branches are bare. Eartha even looks up a few times. And when the rain subsides, she suddenly sees a ray of light through the dark cloud cover.