In BURNT on September 28, 2010 at 8:36 pm


Lucas closes the door to his private study.  When ‘the great man’ is angry, his language climbs right over the top, getting damn near Shakespearean.  “What atrocity must I have committed in a past life?  Did I routinely kick cripples down stone stairs?  Did I take a torch to a crowded cathedral?”

“My exploits aren’t nearly as notorious as you want to believe.”

“It’s your very nature that is my curse.  The terrible fact is this — within you dwell two elements which should be at war but instead are married: your intelligence and your attraction to the lowest of mankind.  It is this twisted nature which led you to throw away your education, your life, everything, for these pigs!  And further horrors — you continue to lie with these pigs, to wallow in their filth, to drag your daughter to their festivals and their gatherings, their full retreats from civilization.”

I’m completely honest with him.  “When I joined the commune, I committed to living by some good ideas.  They’re still good ideas.  But they got twisted together with some very bad ideas by some very weak people.  I knew all this years ago.  I wanted to leave, to start over somewhere with my wife and my daughter.  But Phoebe wouldn’t leave that life.  She was ill, she was confused, she ran away.  So, I followed.  I searched for her for four years.

“For four years, I followed her trail through the decaying movement.  For four years, the failure of these good ideas were in my face, a constant reminder of my mistake and the mistake of history.  These laughing, prancing fools, celebrating the failure of their revolution, underlining every rotten turn they took.  It did horrible things to me.  And I, in turn, did horrible things to them.

“So hold your tongue, old man, these years have been punishment enough.”

My father surprises me by wrapping me in a bear hug.  I don’t know what he means by it.  But I want to be forgiven so badly that I sink into it.

The Story So Far

  1. shakespearean indeed! wonderful.

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