dedalus Posted June 11, 2010 Share Posted June 11, 2010 At night, barefoot, on the stony tracks the roots and the rocks would cut your feet and you'd come home bleeding, angry, and prepare for the next time. It went on and on forever, there in the hills, down by Cuil Aodha and Gougane Barra. Tell me the names of a thousand stars and say which of the leaves in the forest can heal which illness, whether boiled or powdered, placed in a poultice, eaten, or stuck up your arse. Twenty years they said it would take, each year the chance of getting thrown out, rejected, RTU'd, the weary shame of returning home. Knowledge they knew was dangerous, so it was doled out in careful stages; nothing was allowed to be written; pens and parchment were things we never saw. Memorise all we tell you or tomorrow we send you home. In the beginning it was nigh impossible, but then it became easier, and our eyes began to see brighter colours, our ears could hear the mice in faraway barns and the trout singing softly in the lake, and we were not asleep even when sleeping; our teachers slowly, gradually, became less stern and we knew then we would not be sent home for us there could be no other home, not then. Two thousand years later, give or take, I step off the airplane at LA International and wave my fingers at the Immigration flunkey who immediately stamps my passport, blinking. Out in the hot hazy sunlight I glide into a taxi and I listen to the tip-wangling whine of the driver for a few minutes, then wave him into silence. At the Beverly Hilton I ascend to the Penthouse Suite obtained with a flutter of the fingers, I telephone the production company shooting my next movie, then descend, nattily casual, to the cavernous lobby. I wave my fingers for an exquisite, well-cooked meal and eye the elegant blonde sitting four tables over. A charming little smile, another finger movement, and she rises from her chair and instantly joins me. Later, having enjoyed the amenities of my palatial quarters, I present her with six homemade 100 dollar bills, far far better than the originals, and she kisses my toes and bows herself backwards from the room. Ho hum. Time to call the President, tell him what he's doing wrong, and accept his usual excuses and apologies. Such a bore, but one's gotta do what one's gotta do. I find that so true. One really needs to plan for the next two thousand years. Had I known in my youth things would end up like this I might have had second thoughts, felt slightly remiss, but one grows so used to this business with the fingers. There is so much to be said for old-fashioned education. Quote Drown your sorrows in drink, by all means, but the real sorrows can swim Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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