I've become a fallen old woman, pining away in a Buddhist temple, clawing at salvation: some cheap, used-up whore. What's become of the finery, the music, the handsome and generous gentlemen who would fall at my feet? All is vanity -- my pride is a withered brown leaf skittering along the base of a stone lantern. If only I'd replaced my beauty with wisdom as I lost the former! Then again, wise and stupid alike, we are dust in the end. What would it matter?
Woe is me. A childhood truncated, parents shamed, no friends, no money, no respect or power. I am fit for white cloth and a lonely end in a wooden cage.
The minutes tick on. Oh why won't they finish?