Wednesday, July 18, 2007


It’s funny how things repeat themselves. Events cross over, re-occur, the same mistakes peer over horizons so often it’s surreal. But what most people don’t realize (mainly adults) is that the recurrence of similar events is far wider than just the same governments making the same mistakes and causing the same problems on Earth; heroes and coincidence thread through parallel worlds as well as different ages and tap on shoulders and whisper in ears and used to remind people how to think properly. Unfortunately, however, in general people have stopped listening now. You’ve probably heard a tale like this before, these issues probably sound familiar, but sometimes grown ups need to be tricked into realizing things. They’re a little slow like that. Maybe after you’ve heard Noah’s story, you’ll end up a different sort of grown up, the sort of grown up that listens.
There was a world not too far from our own once, just up a little and to the left. The people with the telescopes didn’t see it, because they look with their eyes closed, but it was there. This world, called Liberos, was spherical like ours & had a government. Just the one, for the entire place. It hadn’t always been that way, but at some point someone decided that it would be a good idea. This government was run by four men with beards called Man, Man, Man & Man. There were some specific laws, but most fell under the one “high law”- “obey the four”. Everyone followed it, although they weren’t really sure why.
One of the first of the “lower laws” which the four made when they came into power was that all things that were “wrong” would be destroyed. One of these things was the color green. I don’t really know why the color green was considered evil, but it was, and so every forest, every tree, every blade of grass, was wrenched from the loving hands of the ground & destroyed. Concrete replaced earth. The whole of Liberos was grey and hard, except for one, sacred grove at the very summit of the world, which the four had decided to spare as a reminder to the citizens of the lowly things they had helped the Liberosi to rise above. And (I suspect as was the four’s intention), with the emerald sea departed any mind sets desirous of a freer life, leaving a nation of either lobotomized blind followers or potential rebels oppressed into submission. Gradually the numbers of underground free thinkers shrunk, and most resolved to conform. But the saddest thing of all was that they lost something important; the aching feeling that they used to have when they thought about the green that used to surround them. That faded.
But what the four didn’t know was that the ache wasn’t so easily erased; the green wasn’t gone without a fight. It was furious! And quite rightly so. It was inevitable that soon enough citizens would be born with the ache, but they didn’t know that because their ears only hear people who think they are never wrong.
There was a boy of about seventy-five (nearly twelve in our years) who lived in north-west Liberos with his parents, Woman and Woman. His name was Noah, but that wasn’t particularly interesting. In fact, he was fairly ordinary in most ways, except for his eyes. Noah’s eyes were the color of the deepest, densest, most stunningly intense and alive green that he had never seen. He didn’t even know, because there were no mirrored surfaces permitted in Liberos, but that must have been it. There must have been something calling in those cavernous jewels which transferred itself into his soul, because when Noah heard that after the next Great Somnios (an annual ten day long worldwide sleep interlude in Liberos) the four were going to ceremoniously destroy the final forest, he was immensely negatively effected in an inexplicable manner.
Noah loved the final forest, secretly…he had seen photographs of it on posters around the city and, while everyone around him recoiled in disgust, he thought they were unbelievably beautiful. He had tried to tell Woman and Woman about how he was so happy that it had been kept, but they just misunderstood him, presumed he meant so that he could appreciate the “beautiful grey”, as it was called. Or at least he thought they did. He didn’t want the four to decimate the last precious breaths of emerald in his world, and it was all that he could do in the last few weeks before the great rest to try and think of a way to save the crowd of organic pillars from execution.
Whether it was the silent darkness, or the isolation, or whether that last day happened to mark, along with the culmination of his previous frantic contemplations, just the right time for the answer to appear to him, that first hour of the Somnios was when it happened. It suddenly occurred to him what the cause of it all was. He remembered what Woman had once taught him about how for everything that someone does there’s a reason, she called it an “incentive”. And that if you took away that reason, the thing wouldn’t happen any more. And during that first hour, Noah figured out what the four’s incentive was. It was the fluttering, glimmering, golden sleaze that clung to everything it came into contact with like grease. It was money.
It seemed like a wild thing to do; refreshing within the suffocation of his world. “Lunacy” they’d call it, but was it any madder, crazier than how they dealt with things? A consciousness with room to breathe. Sudden outlet. And so out he walked. He didn’t creep; there was no need-no one ever even considered the possibility of deviance by then. And it didn’t take as long as he had anticipated. I suppose when you’re so familiar with something, its so integral, you know where to find it. Good thing the four were so pedantic in meticulously arranging where it was to be kept-ha!-they even had gigantic mustard yellow signs marking them all off, inadvertently leading him on his pilgrimage to save his own existence, his last line of hope, line of battle, only choice. And once it was all gathered (in anything he could utilize as carrying implement), he harnessed one of his world’s natural powers, fire, to eliminate it all.

The flames victory danced around the pathetic papers, decades of suppression finally rightfully released, and within a matter of hours it was a page of the same puny weight in a history book. He felt safe within the elastic of the anarchy which held its breath for the next days. What would everyone do? What would the banks do? What would the four do? In the days that followed he was relinquished a choice-he could travel to the forest and watch the repercussions of his victory from afar, or he could return to his parents, his room, and life, and simply blend in and watch it all explode like fireworks right in front of his eyes – beautiful, shocking, correct. The money was gone; what would they do? His boat, he stayed to watch it sail.



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