My second successful
reactualization, like Nahknet, turned out to
be a heterosexual female. (All of my actualizations so far
have been female.) Like Nahknet, she was married with children,
interested in music and writing, fond of jewelry and cats.
Like Nahknet, she worked outside of her home -- in this
case, designing and selling sandals -- and enjoyed
an independent income of her own.
Unlike Nahknet, she left behind no husband or
children. They perished with her in the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius
in 79 AD.
Virgula lived and died in first century Pompeii. The daughter of
a local merchant, she lived a comfortable upper-middle-class existence.
She received a modest education and learned to read and write.
Later in life, she became a prolific letter-writer and journaler:
some of her written correspondence still exists, preserved in ash, and
is currently on display at The Smithsonian.
Mostly she wrote about
herself. There is very little mention of politics or current
events in her writings. Some accused her of being cranky and
self-absorbed; "I write what I know," was always her reply.
Virgula married at age 15. Her husband Celadus, a baker, was
celebrated throughout the region for his Sweet Honey and Olive
Loaves. ("Your tongue will fall
in love at first bite!"
read the sign on his bakery
door.) The marriage, arranged by her parents, was not a
Celadus was nearly ten years older than Virgula, and fond of wine and
other spirits. He was never abusive, but he was often insensitive and
spent much of his time away from home, either at work or at the local
pub. Virgula daydreamed about leaving her
husband, but once her oldest son was born
(followed by a daughter, then another son) she abandoned the idea. The
secret dream of her heart was that once her children had grown and were
own, she could end her marriage and look for a more suitable
The eruption of Mt. Vesuvius ended that dream. As toxic ash
rained down on her, in the final moments of our shared carnate
buried her head in her arms and wept.
The thing I find most interesting about my life as Virgula -- besides
the obvious parallels to my first marriage, and to the
that she had her own issues with alcohol, towards the end of her
life -- is that Pompeii has always been of special
fascination to me during my current incarnation. It's similar to
the way I've always felt about Ancient Egypt, or about the court of
King Henry VIII, or about the Civil War: I have felt drawn to
specific periods in history without understanding why. Fleeta
tells me that this isn't uncommon: that we are often pulled, in our
current incarnations, to historical places/people/events that were
important to us in previous actualizations. It is only when we
are finally able to reactualize our carnate lives from those periods in
history that we understand what drew us to them in the first place.
I guess it's a good thing I've never been much of a Titanic buff,