The Nile in Flood Season America today is a girl-destroying place. Everywhere girls are encouraged to sacrifice their true selves. Deep structure is ... the struggle to find a self, the attempt to integrate the past and present ... to find a place in the larger culture. -- Reviving Ophelia, Dr. Mary Pipher Opening the Netherworld and going in. The Sole One shines, and I go forth among his multitudes; I walk side by side with them, namely those who are in sunshine; I have Opened the Netherworld. --- an Egyptian coffin inscription I.A 1500 B.C. Ancient Egypt the banks of the Nile, cleansing ceremony Her-sedjem, blessed woman wearing lotuses in your sable hair you have become a hsy, Immortal and eternally made beautiful. Chaotic Apophis, your lover, abandoned you, leaving his serpent-words to sting; Heh, knowing the infinity of pain, took comfort upon you and guided your steel blade; Anukis embraced you in his turbulent arms and gently drew your blood away. Horus will cleanse you in a pool of cold water. Anubis will enwrap you in his best embalming. Thoth will make clean the fain paths; Dendwen will make his perfume of what is in you. Her-sedjem, may your head be raised, May your brow be made to live, May you speak for your own body. II.A 1992 A.D. United States of America inside a bathroom Co c a i ne 1.67 gr ams of mix ed str ee t s hit no t Colu m bi an riot s in sym p athetic nerv ous sy ste m. Can 't hol d s t il l to w rite t his tes t a m ent. Bu t that's a nexcuse for c ollapsi ng a gain st the whit e cer ami c ledge o f th e bat htub; the w at er i s mud dy -- bur gund y -- l ike t he Nile i n fl oo d se a son. II.B East Lansing, Michigan Two teenage girls were found dead in Lake Huron yesterday, apparently from a joint suicide pact. Amber Marie Thompson was captain of her junior high volleyball team, a good student, and popular among her peers. Susannah Lee was often delinquent at school and liked death metal and counter-culture. Parents and friends said they had no idea that such a tragedy would occur. Journals and letters found by Amber's parents revealed a hidden side to their daughter's life. The successful young girl wrote that she had found a soulmate in Susannah Lee, one who could understand all of her problems -- problems which no one else seemed to have. Letters from Sue encouraged their daughter to "leave this meaningless existence" and accused her of wanting to back out of the pact, leaving Sue with an anguished and troubled life. At three o'clock Friday afternoon, the two girls convinced a mutual friend to drive them to a supposed relative's house near Lake Huron for the weekend. Amber's parents and friends became concerned after finding several notes, carefully typed, explaining how she "hated this life". Five hours later, police found the bodies of the two girls, tied by ropes to metal weights. Both girls were fourteen years old. I.B the banks of the Nile, blessing ceremony Go down and bathe with Ra in the lotus tanks; don the clean garment of his refuge. May you be encircled by Orion, by Sothis, by the Morning Star; may they set with you as you rest in the arms of your mother Nut; may they save you from the rage of the dead who go head-downwards, for you are not among them. You shall not go down in the butchery of the first of the decade, those who suffer the lamentations of the West. And you will be in the waters, alive for ever and ever.