It was wrong. Degrading.
But what more could one expect from a commoner?
A lady, I am. A princess by birth. A queen by marriage.
I know my place. I do not compromise.
My name is Michal. Queen Michal. Married to a singing oaf of a king, admittedly. But royalty, nonetheless.
It wasn’t always this way. When a hormone-riddled young woman, I foolishly believed myself ‘in love’ with the singer. I adored him just as my second husband idolized me. But I run ahead of myself.
My world revolved around the singer. And his around me. We literally risked life and limb to be together. He not only met the bride price demanded by my crazy father, but doubled it. The foreskins of one hundred Philistines was the dowry. Two hundred foreskins, he paid for me.
Oh, our marriage bed was passionate. After my father turned against him, I risked my life to give him the opportunity to flee. That was the end of our marriage part one. I believed his escape meant that we had life, hope, freedom and a future. I was mistaken.
My maniac of a father again gave me in marriage, but this time to member of the nobility. Noble he was, but pathetic. When the oaf of my first husband grasped power from my father’s family and sent for me, the wimp who had shared my bed in those intervening years followed me as far as he was permitted, weeping bitterly every step of the way. Looking back, maybe I should have stayed with the sobbing sook rather than return to the carolling commoner. I was still living in a fairytale.
I assumed my rightful place as queen. Music was everywhere in the palace, but only music befitting ladies and gentleman of nobility. Ordered choirs, quartets, orchestras - music appropriate for a cultured lady of my standing. Music which I thought would appeal to a king too. Before I remembered that he was but a commoner.
Then our marriage ended in everything but name.
It was meant to be a joyful day. The ark of God was finally liberated from its lowly lodging in some far-flung corner of the country. I was adorned as befitted a queen welcoming the presence of Almighty God into her city. I sat in the window, demure, of course. The eyes of my subjects were on me. I waved slowly, gently, as a queen should.
I could hear music. The people turned their attention to the city gates. I strained to hear the triumphant trumpet tributes. Or perhaps the lilting harp melodies. But what was this? There were drums. Cymbals. And common singing.
It became worse. As the procession drew closer, I saw a hobo at the front, dancing like a madman. The crowds went wild. That was reasonable. They were uncultured. But surely it should be the king leading a solemn procession … not this ignoramus. As they came closer, I saw that the lunatic had stripped off his clothes, and was down to just a linen cloth around his waist. The idiot sang and jigged about like one drugged and overstimulated, all the while throwing food out to the adoring crowds.
That was when my world fell apart. As the procession neared the palace, I saw that the lurching lunatic, the singing imbecile, was the king. My husband.
In that instant, my passionate love turned to passionate disdain. I should have known that he couldn’t shed his common origins. Can a tiger change its spots? He started life singing to a bunch of sheep, and now he entertained a herd of commoners.
We talked later. He didn’t see a problem. “Man looks at the outside, but God looks at the heart,” he explained. “I only expressed the joy of my heart in song. That was appropriate for a king, a peasant or even you, my dear.”
My demeanour was as ice. A princess by birth, a queen by marriage, will not compromise.
Some say I’m a bitter lady now. No children, no grandchildren, barely belonging to the dysfunctional household in which I reside, my bitterness is well-earned. And a lady, I most certainly am. One who knows her station in life.
Music I appreciate. The caterwauling that assaulted my senses that day was not music. I am a lady. A princess by birth. A queen by marriage, albeit married to an singing oaf. And I will not compromise.
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