John Smith’s Longing

John Smith’s love for the daughter of a goat herder was indeed unconventional. He was a man of the world and she was a woman who had little to no concept of the world.

John learned to speak her language, Tocharian; an obscure language. Nyas was the name John gave her. It meant longing or desire.

“Where ever my life takes me and no matter what woman I will come to know and love you will always be remembered by me as Nyas,” he told her as they parted for the last time.

As wealth came to John he found it convenient to hire a man, a butler named Roberts. Roberts became a confidant.

It was on the island that one night after all the guest had departed that Roberts said to John, “You must go back and find her.”

“Who,” John said.

“The one you long for,” Roberts said.

“John Smith longs for no one,” John said.

“Your stories and liquor can not erase her memory,” Roberts said.

“How can you be sure?” John said.

“When a man has lost what he most wants he chooses to live from his legacy,” Roberts said.

“How do you know of Nyas,” John said. “I have mentioned her only in passing when speaking about my adventures in Asia.”

“Your mind wanders at the mention of her name,” Roberts said. “And when you drink heavily you mention her in your sleep.”

“I should drink less,” John said sharply. “What do you say to that?”

“I say we should prepare to visit the Taklamakan Desert,” Roberts said.

John mused rubbing his thumb and index finger together.

“You’re rubbing so vigorously it’s about the start a fire,” Roberts said.

“Wake me early,” John said. “We shall leave in the morning. Are you up for it?”

(Continued tomorrow.)




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