Tuesday, February 07, 2006
I am a child who has just been fleeced of his patrimony by a judge, who is striding honorably beside me, a detectable smirk on his countenance. We are in a long corridor from the courtroom to the great hall. He thinks I don't know I've been robbed and he's the culprit. I'm just a kid. I am crying into a rag, which hangs before me down almost to my feet. Hidden within its folds is a mace, a chain weapon of the Classic Roman era.
I swing it up and slash the face of the judge.
I gain some authority. I now am able to declare something and have it stick, because I slapped the judge with the mace.
There is a place I call Marrakech, but it may not correspond to the actual geographical Morocco. This one is on the northwest corner of the continent and it splatters into islands, and it is a major trade center.
The traders come from everywhere, and they must scatter like flies when the Arabs issue into the region. They do not want traders to remain more than a few days. They are afraid of losing the section to marauding infidels. The traders flutter away in their windriven dinghys and settle back when the soldiers leave. (It's like an image from Women in Love, the casting of the stone into the puddle where the bright orange moon lies, which quickly scatters, then ebbs back together.)
I can say, the traders may stay. I like infidels; they're my favorite folk, they're better drinking companions and they have a sense of humor. The Muslims and the Catholics accuse one another of belonging to a mistaken sect designed on fallacy, and I'm a good mediator because I think they're both right. And the traders stay. No more do the soldiers come. The infidels build permanent dome structures, and infrequently do they make trading voyages now to other parts.
I can say, so I said. It's much better now, the traders in their strange little round cottages, the moon intact in its puddle.