Saturday, May 17, 2014


One thing that Mister Ek found very interesting, even forty years later, was that his lice at that time were an entirely different color. Now, if he got lice, they were black or very dark brown, but back then, if, as often happened, he found himself crawling with lice, the lice were very pale, even white. "And my shit! My shit was like rat shit!" Mister Ek laughs and shows with his hands the small amount of rice he was given, only rice and just once a day, even though he worked in the fields all the time after Khmer Rouge came to power and his father and brother were killed in the fighting. Both his father's wives caught malaria and, weakened by hunger, soon died along with two of his sisters. Many other brothers and sisters survived, for a while. "I care them nothing. They care me nothing. Hungry only.” Mister Ek showed how thin wrists became. His skin, he said, became like the scales of a fish. "I lose my hair. Young people look like old people." He described how much it hurt to sleep on the ground with no flesh on his hips and when he got up he would find his skin left behind, like the skin of a snake. The lice interested him most. Those pale lice, feasting on the thin blood of the starving. "That is how it was then,” Mister Ek says. “Even the lice suffer.”

No comments: