ISU Monologue:

A Diamond Is Forever

Darkness, magma, heat and pressure, ahh yes, my birth is one of glory. I wait, and bide my time, forcing my way through the earth's crust, but slowly I rise toward my destiny.
I emerge, finally, guttering in the silt of a filthy river. The brilliant African sunlight consumes me, a fire is lit inside my core, as black flesh handles me, and trembles in my glory. I can see the shock in his face, feel the adrenaline coursing through his veins, recognise the decision he makes; occurring in a second that drags on for a lifetime. I am then plunged back into the dreadful river. Such an indignity it is, I, the master of my kind, hidden, lodged between the toes of this pitiful creature.
Seconds, minutes, hours pass.  After the millennium I have waited, I must endure this pointless stupidity. So many men have fallen for the futures of wealth my kind seem to promise. Empty promises my poor friend. I am finally dragged out of the river as my travel companion stumbles into the bush, on a weak, uninspired excuse. His fate has been sealed. As he retrieves me from my hiding place, he does not see the RUF soldier following him, gun in hand.  As his mind grapples around, searching for a way to use me as his ticket to freedom, he does not see the gun as it presses against the back of his head. By the time  he reacts it is too late, the trigger has been pulled.
The next leg of my journey holds as much dignity as the last. Sewn into the side of a filthy goat, I am smuggled across the plains of Sierra Leone into neighbouring Liberia, where my train awaits me. Through the countryside I race, pretending I am identical to the corn that fills the barrels around me. At last, I reach my destination, Antwerp, Belgium.  There I receive my papers, for now I am a clean diamond, born of a legal mine and fair trade. No one could ever guess I am funding a civil war, rape, mutilation, the training of child soldiers.
Do not think my journey is over, there is still a ways to go before I fulfill my true destiny. From Antwerp I am India bound. Into a suffocating stone mill I am escorted. Thousands of  feverish, determined workers hunch at their machines, their bodies glistening with sweat. Into a pile with other hopeful diamonds I am placed, awaiting the time when I can shed this unimpressive exterior- one that links me to all of the carnage I have seen, that I inspire- and demonstrate the true beauty I possess. But before that time comes, I witness one more injustice. The worker who receives the honour of polishing me is little more than thirteen years of age. It is an industry that values little fingers, and sharp eyes over education or justice, my friends. His hand grips me, and bring me in front of his abnormally large nose, one he has yet to grow into, for inspection. Poor creature, the moment he lays eyes on me, his fate is sealed. In me he sees his family prosper, the respectful marriages of his well dowered  sisters, an education, a future. Wishful thinking. A twitch of his arm, as if he were stretching, has me down his sleeve. A guard making his rounds witnesses this crime, and prepares to provide justice. I am retrieved from the quivering thief, and placed into another pile as he yelps in pain, and desperation. This beating may kill him, or he may go to jail, but one thing is for sure, he will never be hired in a stone mill again, something he has been training his entire childhood to do, and that his family depends on for life. That is not my problem. My filthy, tainted exterior is grinded off, and I leave this past behind.
Across the Atlantic I soar, to a place called New York City. Here they appreciate me, more than to sell me and go to school or buy a home. Here I am art, I am love, I am luxury. Cut to a perfection of smooth straight edges and sharp lines, I am set into a delicate gold band and take my rightful, prominent place in the window of De Beers, watching the glamorous hustle and bustle pass by.
Now is my time. I have been bought by a young love struck man. The evening is elegant, the music is delicate, the food is divine. I make my appearance as on to one knee he perches and her expectant, ecstatic, innocent eyes begin to overflow. With a whisper of yes I am whisked onto her waiting hand. I am a symbol of their eternal love, and devotion. But that is not all I am, as you so sadly understand. But that will be our secret. She will never know the true meaning of the phrase, a diamond is forever.

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