Posted on: August 1st, 2010 A Woman Made of Gold

 
by Uri Grey

I knew a woman made of gold, not metaphorically but literally. At first glance she looked rather plain; a lanky creature with long limbs and a horsy walk, hiding its splendor inside a boyish frame. The gold didn’t become her. If I hadn’t known she was made of gold I would have thought she suffered from jaundice. She never ate normal food but only minerals: lead, iron, zinc. She ate with such an unpleasant grinding sound. Her favorite delicacy was copper, though her parents could rarely afford it.

By her age, most of our women were already married and occupied with tending to scores of squealing babies and piglets, too busy living the lives of the poor to realize their poverty. She remained unmarried though. She scared men. Some feared she would devour their meager savings when hard times came by, others sought a warm bosom to rest their heads on, not a cold ironing plate; and still others speculated about the nature of their future offspring, and shuddered.

They were poor and weary people who didn’t have the fortitude to make experiments with their lives. They needed wives, not statues or trophies. All they saw was dirt and all they could aspire to was more dirt. But not me; I had imagination, I had ambition, I had will. In her timid metal eyes I saw reflected gold, wealth and power. Some men marry into money, why not skip the middleman and marry the money?

Winning her heart was easy. I had no competition for that prize. I went about it lazily and meticulously, like a spider weaving his web, like a Judas gaining confidence, like a runner racing alone for the gold. So I married her. The ceremony was modest, the parents looked relieved, the guests looked suspicious and the golden bride looked jovial, probably the only person in the village happy about the whole affair.

And so my domestic life began with a woman whom I had married to exploit but didn’t yet know how. If I cut her, what would she bleed? Did she have a heart of gold? If I boiled her until all the tissues dissolved, would I find nuggets at the bottom of the pot? Every night I would stare at her glittering skin. It was plain and unblemished and yet I could read in it a lifetime of hedonistic pleasures away from this pathetic village.

She was a simple creature. Much like a brick of gold, unless moved to action, she would just lounge somewhere in a conservative pose and stare at nothing. This made it easier to view her as an object, easier to locate a man in the city, an alchemist, who claimed to be able to separate anything into its basic components. Easier to convince her to travel with me to see an expert who would check her unique physique, just in case. I prepared an elaborate lie but in truth all this explaining was unnecessary. I could as well have just said, “Get up. Follow me.” and achieved the same effect. Not a person; a thing… an expensive thing.

I was so excited by the alchemist’s discovery that I didn’t wait for spring to journey to the city, but left at the height of winter, the passion in my heart warming me against the blizzard and the frost. We joined a merchant caravan that made its way through the mountains. Our guide was a bitter old adventurer who kept grumbling about wasting his life looking for gold in those barren mountains. I thought he was a fool; gold is not earned through hard work; a broken back is the only reward for this. Gold is earned through guile, cunning, desire.

Wasted life or not, in the end he certainly got our gold. One night he disappeared with a good deal of our supplies, leaving us stranded in a nigh impenetrable terrain with no hope of rescue and rations that would last a week at best. Soon we started throwing hungry glances at each other – merchants are not the sort of people used to denying their desires. They are the sort of people used to feasting on their fellow men, sometimes literarily and sometimes metaphorically. And here is the funny thing – in those frozen mountains, gold is worth less than nothing but flesh, even human flesh, is everything.

Filed under: bad-ass, stories

4 Responses to “A Woman Made of Gold”

  1. Kaolin Fire Says:
    August 1st, 2010 at 3:16 pm

    I’d say congratz, but you don’t need it. A delightful tale =)

  2. Kaolin Fire Says:
    August 1st, 2010 at 3:16 pm

    I’d say congratz, but you don’t need it. A delightful tale =)

  3. Rachel Green Says:
    August 2nd, 2010 at 12:07 am

    A splendid tale.

  4. Rachel Green Says:
    August 2nd, 2010 at 12:07 am

    A splendid tale.

  5. Sandra M. Odell Says:
    August 11th, 2010 at 5:00 pm

    A wonderful tale, particularly in light of the mineral/metallic content of the human body. We have iron-based blood with a distinctive copper smell. Would that make the husband all the more appealing to the wife?

  6. Sandra M. Odell Says:
    August 11th, 2010 at 5:00 pm

    A wonderful tale, particularly in light of the mineral/metallic content of the human body. We have iron-based blood with a distinctive copper smell. Would that make the husband all the more appealing to the wife?

  7. Bonnie Says:
    August 12th, 2010 at 5:27 pm

    Cool story. One question…Were they with someone else when they were abandoned? “She never ate normal food but only minerals: lead, iron, zinc.” so flesh would be worthless to her.

  8. Bonnie Says:
    August 12th, 2010 at 5:27 pm

    Cool story. One question…Were they with someone else when they were abandoned? “She never ate normal food but only minerals: lead, iron, zinc.” so flesh would be worthless to her.