Saturday, June 02, 2007

Old school work (v. Eniglish Lit): Acheillies Tears

The luscious green grass sank lower as my knees sank into it. The blue green blades of lawn bent and folded against the ornate stone memorial of a life. This cold piece of rock and its inscriptions, where proof of my ignorance and my stupidity. This stone sits here, now because of my inaction and me. I run my hand over the cold hard stone, feeling the inscription. Feeling the name, as if to remind myself, and yet I know it, as it is the name of my best friend. The friend that I let die. Poor Patroclus, please, Patroclus forgive me. If only I had been blessed with foresight, I would have been able to save him. I feel my eyes to get heavy and moist, and a tear streaks down my cheek, it falls of my chin and plummets towards the soft grass covered earth. The tears run down my face, are tears of sadness, for my lost friend, and tears of shame, for the action I could and should have taken, the action that would have saved my best friend, but did not. Shame fills my salean tears almost as much as it fills my heart.

I single hawk flies over the cemetery and I feel alone, alone as the hawk. I am not crying anymore, that is over, now I must be proud and strong in front of my men and my peers. I manage to remain composed in front of everyone during the day.

I retire early to my tent, content to wallow, alone with a bottle, of the most potent stuff my aide du camp could find, until it is hollow. I feel the liquid take a hold of me, and I relax. The candle casts a glow on the tent, I look around and see my armor shinning, as it was cleaned today. Scrubbed free of my best friends blood and sweat, it now shines gloriously.
But when my armor is old, dented and rusty, the memory of Patroclus will remain fresh, glorious, and brilliant, as he was when he was alive. He will live in me, his memory, and forever, until the day I die and rise to meet him in the afterlife.

I glance at the sharp steel by my armor, its edge taunting me. I rise, and walk towards it. I pause before it, looking at it. I draw my dagger from its sheath. Why should he have died? Why did he perish in battle and not I? Because of my stupidity and pride, I was not there, I was there to protect him, to do my sword duty and uphold my honor. I failed him. I failed my people and myself.

I do not deserve to live. Patroclus did not fail his people, himself or me. I did. I should be in the afterlife, not him. He deserves to be here, enjoying life as a mortal, living. However, he is not and I am. I contemplate making things right. Trying to switch places with him, giving him what he deserves, and me what I rightfully deserve. Why this great injustice to my dear departed friend, why oh, why am I standing here in this world and he is not. Have the fates only the desire to make my life miserable and wretched, taunting me with this injustice.
A rush of air sweeps into my tent, I replace the dagger that has been resting on my wrist, resting with such force that it has left an indent in my flesh where it was, and I turn around to address whomever has entered my chambers.
“My lord, the celebrations of your victory are in full swing, care you to come address the men?” declares my aide du camp.
“I do, I will be there as soon as I can,” I reply and set forth to address my men, whom have fought so bravely with me.

I stare at the golden-framed mirror, and gaze at my face. The face of an unworthy man. I hate it. I Turn away, and exit my tent in a merry mood, ready to uplift my men, for they to must know and love there fellow man. They must grieve as I do, for those they have lost. I stand with them, as I do in battle, and a make them feel merry and great, and the wine certainly helps, to wash the sorrow and blood soaked images from our heads.

I raise me glass in salute as the tears run down my checks. They raise their glasses as well, and they to feel the loss and it runs down their faces, streaming away from their eyes, taking with team all the gruesome things, our eyes have seen.
“To those we lost,” the singular voice of many declares and the wine takes over washing the pain away.

From ~2004

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