page 1 of 2
Several days later, Equality 7-2521 begins writing in his journal for the first time since he entered the Uncharted Forest. As he is walking through the forest, Equality 7-2521 hears footsteps behind him and discovers that the Golden One has followed him into the forest. He asks her how she came to be in the forest, and she answers, swaying with her fists at her side, only that she has found him. He asks her again, and she tells him that she has followed him because she heard talk all over the city of his encounter with the World Council of Scholars and his fleeing into the Uncharted Forest.
The Golden One is tattered from the journey through the forest, but she is not weary or afraid. She tells Equality 7-2521 she wants to share in his damnation and to follow him wherever he goes. Her voice is bitter and triumphant as she tells him that he is harder, prouder, and more beautiful than her brothers. She begs him to do what he will with her but not to send her away, and she bows in front of him. He raises her to her feet and kisses her, amazed by the very idea of kissing. They stand together for a long time.
Equality 7-2521 tells the Golden One that there is nothing to fear in the forest or in their solitude, and he suggests that they forget their brothers and remember only that they are together and have joy between them. He declares the world their own, and they walk through the forest hand in hand. That night they have sex, and Equality 7-2521 realizes that sex is the only ecstasy in a man’s life.
Equality 7-2521 and the Golden One walk for several days together and make bows and arrows to kill birds. At night, they sleep in a ring of campfires, to keep out the beasts. They plan to stop and build a house some day, and they see their days together as endless. When Equality 7-2521 begins to be puzzled by his new life, he hurries ahead and forgets his troubles as he watches the Golden One following him. She is completely obedient to him and does not question him about anything.
For the first time in his life, Equality 7-2521 begins to doubt the laws he was taught by the society in which he lived. He questions how it can be that everything that is solitude is evil when he and the Golden One are pursuing solitude in such happiness. He observes that the only things that have ever given him joy in his life are the lightbulb and the Golden One, neither of which has anything to do with his brothers. He concludes that both these joys come from himself alone. He also begins to suspect that there is some error in the way he has been thinking up to this point, that there is some word that is missing from his vocabulary, but he does not know what it is.
The Golden One tries to tell Equality 7-2521 that she loves him, but she does not know how to say the word “I.” She tells him that “[w]e love you,” but she is not satisfied with this articulation of her feelings, and she gropes for something more personal but does not know how to express it. The moment leaves both of them feeling confused.