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Friday
Nov102017

Greed Is Good - Ice Girl

Chapter 9.

Overtime, a historical bandit with a reputation for laughter, magic, fear, superstition, and an insatiable appetite for diverse languages, customs and cultures lived in jungles and forests. Others preferred living in remote mountains. 

  Jingle, jangle, jungle. Using natural materials they created musical instruments, simple weapons, homes, fish traps, snares and tools like looms. The women had babies, wove cloth and prepared food while the men fished, planted crops, domesticated animals. Children played in extended families learning life lessons. 

  One day a boat filled with white men sailed down the river of darkness to a village deep in the jungle. They wore shiny clothing, spoke a language the people didn't understand and carried weapons that made a lot of noise and scared the people. They pretended to be friendly by offering gifts. The leader of the village welcomed them. They had a party.

  Every day more white people came down the river on boats named Destiny. They were on a quest for gold and slaves. Owning, using and discarding slaves had proven to be an essential part of their historical evolution on other continents.

  Their mantra was, cheap people, cheap labor, cheap raw material, cheap goods, cheap markets and much Profit.

  We are civilized and you are savages, said the white men. We have religion. It is called Greed & Wealth. We are on a mission from the great chief. We control fire. We control time. We control people. We control nature. We have machines. We take what we want. The village gave them hospitality and shelter and friendship. The white men were greedy. They took control of the village, the people and the jungle. 

  Every day the white men marched slaves deep into the jungle singing, we control nature. We shall overcome. They spread diseases. They planted fear. They planted envy and jealousy. They manipulated villages against villages. They divided and conquered, one against the other. History had taught them well. They harvested wealth in the form of people, precious stones, rubber and every useful raw material. They were never satisfied. Their appetite grew and grew.

Lao rice cakes.

  One night a village shaman said, to survive we walk to a new jungle.

  We are here to go.

  Eighty Chinese university students applauded. They cried, Tell us another.

  Ok, I said. Maybe you will see a connection. In Turkey divorce is seen as a failure. It’s a schizophrenic country where women know their role and stay in it. A place where mothers control and manipulate their daughter’s behavior, attitudes and imaginary freedom with a heavy dictatorial hand called love. Chains of love are heavier than the gravity of thinking.

  One Turkish woman I knew was different. She confided in me in Ankara. I listened. After seven months of marriage she’d decided to leave her husband and filed divorce papers.

  “I feel so much better,” she said. She had a lot to say. She’d believed her husband in the beginning.

  “He lied to me. He courted me with sweet words and I thought, or believed I thought or thought I believed he had an open mind but I was disappointed because he wasn’t honest...so after some time measured in weeks then months I saw his, how do you say, irresponsibility, how he wouldn't contribute his heart to me, to our relationship and then, when I tried to talk to him he was closed to me, he shut down emotionally and I was working and trying to keep the flat up and work on our relationship but I saw it was difficult, then really, really impossible to live with everything in my brain and heart. Now, when he saw my action to end the marriage he was filled with remorse and regret and apologies. But it’s too late. I told him to move out. He returned to his mama. He tries to bother me every day in his childlike whining way but it’s over. I can handle it. I am strong and know what I want in my life. My family is very supportive of my decision.”

  “In China it’s always about saving face,” I said. “Appearances. In Anatolia, it’s about your self-respect, growth and personal dignity. Some grow, some die day by day.”

  “Yes,” she said, “I am not living the lie anymore.”

  “Now your heart is calm. You’re taking responsible for your life. I am happy for you.”

  “It’s tough,” she said, “living here where women are beautiful and sad with synchronicity. They’ve fashioned these well-defined skin-tight PERSONA masks out of loss, hopelessness, confusion, and serious misguided misunderstood maligned relationship blues using tears wrapped in self-pity, shame, guilt and silence. Millions of us wait for an arranged marriage at a fake bus stop to deter male Alzheimer patients from wandering off.

  “Here,” ordered the Byzantium Great Father Authority Figure disguised as a religious or political fundamentalist zealot, “accept this man, this stranger into your heart of hearts and give us many poor deprived children. He bought you. Produce more.”

  A gravedigger blessed their union. Dearly beloved, an unpleasant global fact is unregulated population, no medicine or education and lack of job opportunities.

 That could never happen here, said a female Chinese student. I was born to pay for my parent’s sins.

  Yeah, yeah, said another. My mother was appointed to have me. Eighty student robots applauded.

  Yes, and one more thing ladies, said Leo. After graduating, while living at home and trying to find a job along with six million recent college graduates, if you consider marriage you can forget the A men; the ones with cash, car, career, credit cards and condo. They are taken. You’ll have to settle for B or C quality.

  A feminine sigh ran through the room and jumped out a 10th floor window. Goodbye cruel world.

  I’ll kill myself first, said one girl. It’s an honorable alternative to facing family shame and humiliation.

*

In the Under Story, fire from burning bamboo, coconut leaves and plastic garbage in world jungles circled its veins through a heart’s four clamoring chambers. Smoky love echoed from the Forest Floor to the Understory, rising to the Canopy emerging through the Emergent. Bird of Paradise, Eagles and Macaws took wing.

*

  Monsoons arrived. Ice Girl played her unpublished symphony for children under 100.

  Shaman: Monsoon’s intention is to clean air, turn dusty red rutted ragged roads into quagmires and provide essential moisture to roots below the surface of appearances.

What you don’t see is fascinating.

Unpleasant facts on life’s road of eternal suffering are more plentiful than 14.7 million forced abortions in China, universal health care, education or clean drinking water.

Twelve million stateless humans live on Earth.

17,000 children die of starvation every day.

Ice Girl in Banlung

 

Monday
Nov062017

Leo Walked to Saigon - Ice Girl

Chapter 7.

He met a woman’s storyline.

  When I was twenty I packed a bag and crossed the border. I went to the capital. I met other Vietnamese girls and they helped me find a simple room in a house for $25 a month. We shared a common toilet and kitchen. We became friends. They were my first teachers about life in Cambodia.

  Always look your best and wear high heels. They make you look taller. Men like tall girls. Always negotiate their offer. Negotiate means talk more. Get the most you can. Save it. Let them do what they want with you. Many will be rough and try to hurt you because they think you belong to them. They bought you. They hate their wives and will take it out on you. Women are only objects, things to be abused. Learn to be passive. Accept what happens. Close your eyes, pretend you feel pleasure and learn to close your heart. Close it tight. Don’t become soft and weak and open it for anyone. The only pain you will feel is physical. It will go away. We have doctors who understand our life and help us. You can choose to be either a bargirl and entertain customers there or a taxi girl. They go to homes and apartments. They make more money but they service more clients. Always give Tan her cut or she will throw you out.

  My head spun from all this.

  One night I put on my best red and green dress. I applied makeup and went to the Hello bar with two girlfriends. It was loud and crowded with men and girls. We bought cheap drinks and sat at the bar. My friends introduced me to Miss Tan, the owner. Her diamond ring flashed. So you’re the new girl. Vietnamese? Yes.

  You can demand more money. Your skin is pale. Men will want you. You work here as a taxi girl. You go out, you come back. You give me 70%. If you cheat me I kill you. I know everything. Understand?

  Yes. We shook hands. Hers were soft. Get to work girls.

  A fat Khmer man sat down and offered to buy me a drink. He ignored my friends.

  Where are you from?

  Vietnam.

  I am from here. This is my country. I am a rich businessman. You are very beautiful.

  Thank you.

  How much for one hour?

  I played dumb. What do you mean?

  He laughed. Are you stupid? I said how much for an hour with you.

  I looked at my girlfriends. One raised her right eyebrow. Go for it.

  How much are you willing to pay?

  $50.00.

  This was the most money I’d ever heard of. I gambled. Make it $500 for one night. I’ll take good care of you all night long. Maybe you can help out my friends.

  He looked at them. Five hundred is easy money, he said. Let me make a call and have another drink first.

  Ok, take your time. He bought me a whiskey. He talked about making money, exploiting the poor, twisted business deals using connections, land grab property development. I pretended to be interested. It was getting late. I gambled. Time’s up, I said. Are you going to help my friends? If you want me it’s $500. All night.

  Yeah, yeah. He called someone. I have some chickens for you. He laughed and hung up. I have a place near here. Get me a taxi.

  We went through dark streets and stopped at a house. Inside were two older men, drinking. They looked at the girls, paired off and disappeared.

  I was a virgin and he was my first man. It hurt like hell, he was rough but I handled it and didn’t cry in front of him. I swallowed silent bitter tears. He fucked me all night. It was brutal.

  In the morning I could hardly walk. He paid me in cold hard cash. Five clean crisp hundreds. I couldn’t believe it. I gave Miss Tan her cut and she was very happy.

  The pain will pass, she said. Get used to it. I was in business. Easy. Turn on the charm, smile, dress up, be smart, gamble, be open to suggestions, don’t drink too much and be ready, willing and able. Negotiate. Be a passive machine. Close your heart. Pretend you’re somewhere else.

  That’s how I became a taxi girl. I was beautiful and tough.

  Before fucking a stranger I’d take a shower, come out, drop the towel so he could get an eyeful, throw a condom on the bed, lie down, open my legs close my eyes shut down my feelings and let him have his fun. I dressed his hard sausage in a sock. Easy money honey.

  They paid for my time using my body. I gave Miss Tan her a share. I learned about business. I learned how to gamble. Bet big, win big.

  For two years I worked hard and saved money. I sent money to my mother every month like a good daughter. I told her I worked in a hotel.

  Now I live in Ho Chi Minh City. I work as a cook and domestic servant. I wear round cigarette burn marks on my wrists. They are my internal-external permanent anger memories.

  I don’t know how to write so I told this story to a man I met while working as a domestic in a Saigon guesthouse. He was a good listener. I worked with another girl. She changed sheets and dumped trash. I cleaned the toilets by hand. I was sweeping the garden balcony on my first day and a stranger said hello. He was drinking water and smoking.

  Hi. I saw you downstairs. You were waiting for an interview for a job here. I was shocked. He knew too much. I kept sweeping.

  I needed a job.

  You have too much class for this place. Come up tonight and we can talk.

  Ok, I said. That’s how it started. Talking at night on the balcony away from the mean old street.

  After two days I was fired because the woman owner was jealous and pretended I couldn’t do the job. She figured I was hustling foreign men. I had plenty of that job experience.

  I took advantage of his kindness because it was a short-term fix. A woman needs fucking, emotional security and cash.

  I felt open and honest with him. One night on the balcony we talked and watched stars until 2 a.m. He listened to my story. Sometimes I cried remembering everything.

  We became friends and lovers for a week.

  We can’t stay here, he said. He rented a room nearby. A place where we could sleep together and I’d be safe until I found a place to stay.

  The first night together I felt shy. I undressed in the bathroom and took a shower. I put on my underwear and blouse, wrapped a towel around me and came out. My short black hair was wet.

  Low lights were yellow. Classical music came from his phone on the desk. He wore blue shorts. You are beautiful, he said.

  I curled next to him and we held each other. I have a scar from my son, and my left breast is smaller than the right one, I said.

  It’s ok, he said. I liked feeling his arms. He stroked my hair. I closed my eyes.

  We both wanted the same thing. I wanted him to take his time. He massaged my neck, tracing fingers along the edge of my shoulders. He kissed my neck, throat. His tongue was wet. I rolled onto my stomach. His fingers spread down my spine, kneading tissue. It felt good, warm muscles, touch, and all sensations.

  He shifted his weight over me massaging my back through my shirt. Strong and steady. He pushed my shirt up to touch my skin with his skin. I exhaled. His softness increased pressure across tight neck muscles, shoulder blades, down my lower back. He kissed my spine, sending shivers through me. His hands and tongue were magic. He took his time with me.

  I rolled over keeping the towel tight around me in a shy Vietnamese way.

  He rested his head on my chest. I can hear your heartbeat, he said. It is a strong drum. Thump, thump. My heartbeat was a solid percussion instrument. My good heart was open and receptive. It was a shy love.

  I held him like an infant, pressed close. I felt safe with him. I am a little girl, I whispered, tracing his back with my fingers. I love your hands, they are small and soft, he whispered. They were dancing elusive magic fingers. It was all touch, gentle, and soft, exploring, shy. Pure sensations.

  He opened my blouse and kissed my left nipple. His tongue felt hot and soft. He massaged my breast with his fingers. He caressed my right nipple with his tongue. My nipples were sensual points in his mouth. His fingers examined soft curves.

  Kissing my breasts he opened the towel and moved to my scar. I didn’t stop him. His fingers explored my belly, drifting lower until he found my hair, then my pubis. His fingers gently massaged my labia minora and found my clitoris. The little button.

  No, I gasped. No. My hips and thighs were on fire. I was afraid from past abuse and a man’s fast anger slamming into me. This felt gentle.

  I knew from long experience that once I started sex I couldn’t stop. It felt way too good even if it hurt a part of me.

  It’s ok, he whispered. I love touching you here.

  I was wet. His fingers gently rubbed my clitoris. Sensations of pure pleasure filled me with joy. I arched my hips. I took his hand and put it where I’d receive the most stimulation. I showed him how to massage me. I knew he was experienced in the act of love, just out of practice.

  Women want fucking.

  He slid his pants off. I found his hard penis and stroked it.

  Ah! That feels wonderful, he said. I massaged his penis, moving under his soft balls. He tongued my nipples rubbing my hard little clitoris. He slid a finger inside. I was so wet.

  I have a condom. Ok. He rolled it on. I took off my panties and opened my legs. He climbed on his wild horse.

  Slowly, I whispered, Slowly.

  My vagina yielded as he entered me. He sighed in relief feeling me contract taking him. He was big in me and it felt fantastic. Again. There’s nothing that pleases a woman more than a big, thick, throbbing, meaty, hot penis. Take it from me and I’ve taken a lot of them in my time. Every time all the time. All sizes, shapes and colors. In my vagina, mouth, anus, on my breasts, between my breasts, on my face, across the scar on my belly.  Face up face down on my knees with my face buried in a pillow, raised on my elbows begging for it in perpetual heat. Some fucks are short some are long. I fuck for a living. A girl has to make a living.

  We established a fine smooth rhythm. He paid attention to my body, how I moved to absorb him, how I showed him what I needed and how I needed it. He was a good patient lover and I was his teacher.

  I kept him from moving fast. I knew if he got crazy from the sensation, he’d explode before I was ready. It was all about timing. He was deep inside and I was all around him, arms, legs, hips, everything was his to take, taste, savor and enjoy. He kissed my small breasts. I was hot.

  I grabbed his small ass pushing him deeper into me. His penis throbbed. He tried to get up on his elbows but I kept him against me for maximum penetration. He relaxed on me, sucking a nipple, feeling my vagina contract around his penis. He smothered me with kisses. His lips were frantic. Kiss me again, he said. Kiss me again. Kiss me again. I tongued him deep, exploring his lips, mouth, curling lips everywhere.

  As my arousal increased and our hips slowly pounded each other, he felt my timing and pace to reach orgasm. I paused, squeezing my vagina tight, priming him to complete the next-to-last stage of our orgasms. I was ready. His penis shuddered, regained its pressure and he pumped fast and furious. We fucked like two wild animals until our bodies exploded. I released wet waves of pleasure. I milked him long and hard. Pleasure rushed through me. His body jerked as he came twice. My vagina collected his hot love juice.

  Bathed in sweat, we collapsed into each other. His head listened to my rapid heartbeat. Don’t go, I said. I’m afraid to be alone. He held me until I fell asleep.

  That was the first time. He was crazy about sexing me. I was his bed rabbit and he couldn’t get enough of the good stuff. Skin the bunny honey pie.

  Most men just want to shoot their wad and get the hell out of your life. That’s why so many women have a kid(s) and no man. He’s long gone. No sense of responsibility. Zero. They run away. They’re long gone, screwing another stupid woman who believes his lies and opens her legs thinking the guy’s her savior. Live and learn baby.

  He was different. Maybe it was because he was lonely, undersexed, and hungry for a real woman.

  If you pay you owe, I said in broken English. Men had always taken care of me, monetarily, physically. I kept my true feelings inside.

  One night while eating sushi with miso soup I told him, Be careful. You can only trust 10% of the people.

  In Saigon I found a room with friends from my village. I came in at night to have dinner, talk, fuck and sleep with him. I took advantage of our relationship. He encouraged me to develop my love for cooking saying it was a good skill. He was honest with me.

  You’ve made some poor choices, he said. You’re street smart. Create a new life for yourself. Take care of yourself. I leave next week. My time here is finished.

  He left me for another country. Vietnam is a woman. Men come and go. Men left me all my life, beginning with my father. I never knew him.

  As I was growing up I asked my mother, Where is my father? He’s gone. I never asked again.

  I finished 9th grade in my village school and lived at home helping my mother with chores; feeding chickens, shopping, cooking, and cleaning. She beat me.

  You are a worthless daughter. You have no future, she screamed at me. I took it silently. I served my older brothers. They were strangers. Little kings.

  Growing up I heard stories about making money in Cambodia. I crossed a border.

  You are a survivor, said Leo. Yes I am. My precious life revealed user-exchange value and power using sex for money.

  Parting, they embraced mutual loneliness. 

  One hand washes the other, said an armless amputee in shadows.

*

  In another incarnation we were naked in a meadow. I am blind. He is deaf. We hold hands. Skin is our unified quantum field theory of tactile language, beyond feeble illiterate words. Fate introduced us at an NGO charity ball, Save The World’s Children Now & Forever.

  Deaf is a famous concert pianist. Blind is an Angkor Wat explorer. She scaled 88 keys seeking tonal quality, perfect pitch and frequency. He traversed twin peaks, smooth geography, labyrinths, valleys, and topographical jungle foliage. He discovered a secret cave. They had a tacit agreement to be gentle and kind together. Peel my skin like sweet aromatic fruit, she whispered. I am your skin mistress. One must sacrifice the peel to enjoy the fruit.

Ice Girl in Banlung

Wednesday
Nov012017

Running Capitalist Dog - Ice Girl 

Chapter 6.

You can say that again, sang Leo, a broken-hearted brainwashed exhausted starving peasant practicing free speech with the fluency of intellectual rational objectivity at a Reform Through Re-education labor unit on the edge of the Gobi desert or Hell on Earth.

  He was short, fast and deadly.

  He was condemned to the labor unit for quest-ioning heavily armed moral authority at Beijing Abnormal University. It was the beginning of the Brand NEW Cultural Revolution lasting 10,000 brutal years.

 

Quanzhou, Fujian, China

  China was systemically dismantled and converted into a gigantic jigsaw puzzle. It was sold at global discount stores labeled Made In China By Poor Illiterate Sweatshop Slaves.

  Millions of educated people were purged from jobs. All social connections were severed. Informers prospered. Families turned each other in to save their skin. Dignity and self-respect devolved into humiliating samzen or self-criticism sessions.

  Yes, they cried. I am guilty, stupid and the cause of all my suffering.

  Yes, they wailed. I am a Running Capitalist Dog. Have mercy. Where do I sign my glorious true confession?

  Here, said Authority. On the dotted line.

  After accepting Leo’s coerced confession interrogation thugs dressed as acrobats rehearsing for a Beijing Opera beat Leo with tofu sandwiches and sand-filled rubber hoses.

A clandestine CIA torture manual instructed them how to adapt modern waterboarding tactics with ancient Chinese water torture techniques.

  Sink or swim sucker, said a diving instructor in a bell jar.

 

Unemployed and pregnant, Quanzhou, China.

  They hung Leo upside down in the asylum. They spun him around until he became a flashing strobe light jellyfish. A literate starving peasant applied electrodes to his genitals. An illiterate starving peasant cranked up the juice on an old car battery.

  Leo talked. Leo stuttered. Leo cried for mercy.

  Leo screamed, Why me? Not me!

  Denial will kill you, said interrogators. You are an enemy of The One State. You are a clear and present danger to social harmonious stability. Questioning authority is forbidden. Repent Running Dog!

  Leo screamed, I’m a mongrel cur. I will never ever ask another quest-ion, have mercy. They cranked up jungle juice shocking Leo back to a Brave New World.

  His memory was erased.

  This happened because corrupt Chinese party leaders choking on greed, concubines, estates, and gold plated chopsticks with their futures on the line were not pleased one lost day when, in a Correct Political Thought class, Leo had the temerity to ask, Why do we have to read Mao’s Little Red Book, it contains nothing of value, it is outdated, filled with mush for pigs, doublethink ideologies and peasant socialist agrarian social big brother control plans, mindless propaganda and is obsolete.

  Shock and awe filled airless silence.

  Leo was denounced before the entire population. Leaders took care of Leo. They executed all his relatives. That’ll teach the little SOB, said a bureaucrat.

  Authority has spoken, leaders said, standing with Leo wearing shackles of regret and loss and remorse code watching his ancestral Sichuan home erupt in a blazing inferno, hearing his ghost parents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces, grandmother, and grandfather scream for mercy in Dante’s fire.

  I will get revenge, Leo reflected in the Gobi. Someday I will stand in front of a tank on Main Street in Beijing screaming, “Run me over you bastards!”

 Until then, Leo’s task based re-education reform activity or Understanding by Design pedagogical reality meant hauling buckets of night soil shit out of labor unit shacks near his straw and mud hovel.

  All day. Every single fucking day.

  He fed it to pigs on Animal Farm. Some pigs are more equal than other pigs. Oink, oink.

 After days, weeks, months, years, decades and centuries hauling loose smelly shit Leo received a Certificate Of Merit and Achievement at an award ceremony.

 20.5 million political-social prisoners witnessed the event.

  Maija, Fujian, China

Fat party work unit leaders exclaimed to tumultuous applause, You Comrade Leo, carrier of the people’s glorious shit, have learned your humbling life lesson through re-education and reform. You learned the hard way. The hard way is the smart way.

You have reformed your thought and behavior in accordance with Confusion moral and ethical social principles. You are now a skeleton, an example of a good, wise and moral person. Congratulations. You may now return to society as a useful citizen.

Here’s a map of the Middle Kingdom, a pocketknife, a handful of rice and a free bottle of water.

  Survivors exhaled with joy. They celebrated his freedom with festive drinking, eating, dancing and tons of free shit. If it can happen to him, it can happen to us, said one of 20.5 million.

  Shouldering his bag Leo wandered out of the Gobi. It was hotter than hell and almost as expensive. It’s a long fucking walk and I lived to tell the tale. I am alive. Leo experienced freedom from anger and attachment with mindfulness.

 Walking, whispered Antonio Machado a Spanish poet, makes the road.

 Timeless metaphorical themes of love, hope, despair, treachery, revenge, betrayal, alienation, loneliness, boredom, loss, choices, consequences, morals, ethics, values, principles, free will vs. determinism, and abandonment coagulating with DNA in a cosmic soup struggled to find clean water, education and medicine expressing irony, symbolism, satire, comedy, weather and sex. 

 Ice Girl in Banlung

 

Maija, Fujian, China

Wednesday
Oct252017

Land Mines - Ice Girl

  “Are you with us?” pleaded a Cambodian land mine child survivor removing shrapnel with an old rusty saw after stepping in heavy invisible shit, “or are you against us?”

  She‘s been turned out and turned down faster than a housekeeper ironing imported Egyptian threaded 400-count linen. No lye.

  The thermostat of her short sweet life seeks more wattage. She faces a severe energy shortage if she doesn’t find food. She’s one of 26,000 men women and children maimed or killed every year by land mines from forgotten conflicts. Reports from the killing fields indicate 110 million land mines lie buried in 68 countries.

  It costs $3.00 to bury a landmine.

  It costs $300–$900 to remove a mine. It will cost $33 billion to remove them. It will take 1,100 years. Governments spend $200–$300 million a year to detect and remove 10,000 mines. Cambodia, Laos, Angola and Afghanistan are the most heavily mined countries in the world.

40% of all land in Cambodia and 90% in Angola go unused because of land mines. One in 236 Cambodians is an amputee.

She hears children crying as doctors struggle to remove metal from her skin. She cannot raise her hands to cover her ears. Perpetual crying penetrates her heart. Tears of blood soak her skin.

The technical mine that took her right leg off that fateful day as she walked along village rice paddies expanded outward at 7,000 meters per second. Ball bearings shredded everything around her heart.

  It may have been an American made M16A1, shallow curved with a 60-degree fan shaped pattern. The lethal range was 328 feet. Or maybe a plastic Russian PMN-2 disguised as a toy.

She never saw it coming after stepping on the pressure plate.

Fortunately or unfortunately, she didn’t die of shock and blood loss. A stranger stopped the bleeding, checked her pulse and injected her with 200cc of morphine. Strangers in a strange land all carried morphine.

 Cut the heavy deep and real shit, said a Banlung shaman.

  Fear is a tough sell unless it’s done well, well done, marinated, broiled, stir-fried, over easy, or scrambled.

Fear is blissful ignorance.

Ice Girl in Banlung