The Story of Fidgety Philip
The boys are always moving around, and I stretch my head over theirs because
I don’t have any scenery. I can’t see the fields or the fens or
the wishing well or the grazing cattle.
I don’t have much of a view these days because I’m always moving,
always lauding others’ works, others’ worlds, and forgetting my
own. I always loved car rides for this very reason. A plate of glass before
me; the motion just beyond, pictures and more pictures passing by, blurry images
and good sight; the world on rollers. The sad swollen world of tomorrow brushing
up against and welding us to our woes.
But the boys now are so, so fidgety, especially Philip, and I feel he should
be punished but I can’t get around to punishing someone who’s wiser
than me, younger but wiser because his eyes are there always watching, dancing,
catching all themes around—low and slow. He’s getting on my nerves
and I strap him in, wrap the seatbelt round him and just then I see my world
far better than all of you.
We couldn’t have children, Peter and I, so we were childless in our conversations,
in our exchanges, and it was very good until I felt no explanation. Children
are for the poor, he’d often say, not for the rich. But we’re broke,
I’d counter. So broke that I can see the bottom of this bowl of pennies.
Ah, no, you see, you’re quite wrong. We’re rich, so rich that my
mind’s made up and I see character in every step and wonder in our tattered
sleeves. Such a romantic, I hissed.
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