To read Fool’s Odyssey from the beginning, click here.
Chapter Six: Bread Upon the Water
Previously: Disenchanted with his life of radical idealism in Barcelona, The Fool resumed his wanderings. (Note: This post is dedicated to the memory of all who lost their lives in Nice, France yesterday. Their deaths have not erased their lives.)
I took the hovercraft from Calais:
It seemed strange to see the sea
refract on the windows,
to feel the Hydroplane hydroplane,
and to watch everyone’s drinks fly up in the air
in little time-exposure globs of booze
as we crashed over each successive wave,
looking for the white cliffs of Dover,
hoping not to throw up.
The hydrofoil was cheap and efficient,
but God it felt good to land
and become a land lover again.
It didn’t take long to return to Victoria Station,
where the first of my chain of delusions began.
I had thought in my desperation
that even if I never found out why I existed
I might at least live a colorful Hemingway-life
full of happy, delicious despair.
But despair was not the thing for me.
And besides, Hemingway killed himself.
I could not bear the idea of another idiotic odyssey.
Neither could I bear England any longer.
It was such a green-clad, spring-sad reminder
of all that I’d hoped for and failed to find.
I don’t think I’d ever been so truthful with myself,
to admit to myself for the first time in my life
that the best I could do was not enough,
and not enough because something depravedly honest
inside my head kept shouting, “In all creation
you’ve failed to find a reason why.”
Oh, I didn’t need to know “why the farmer plants the grain.”
That was easy; he plants it to eat.
But why are there farmers?
It was that kind of question,
and it wouldn’t go away.
Why did I need to know why?
Why couldn’t I just exist?
I don’t know, but I couldn’t.
I walked around London all day
trying to recapture the feeling I’d had
two weeks ago in my youth.
But the problem is
the moment you realize you’re dreaming,
you always wake up,
and you can never get back to that dream place again.
It’s gone forever,
along with your innocence
in believing it was real.
To read Fool’s Odyssey 22 click here.