Saturday, November 22, 2014

the lion, the witch, and CS Lewis 1

For Michelle M
In between her studying of Sumerian and other tongues a bit of fun that we talked about.

It was not a long time ago, nor very far away, and even place wasn't exactly clear. That's all right, because it also could not be published in any form. It was just a story for fun, and it was taken by an old - or rather oldish - book that if you don't know it, then that will be all right, someone ran you will tell it to you, and the good thing is you don't have to leave them. It was late on in the year, not December, but very close to that. There was white on the ground, which was very unusual, people in fact are marked that they had never seen such cold in all their lives, and for many of them that was true. Even for many of them, though wasn't true, they said it anyway - that is how cold it was.

Many of the trope, which I know is not one of those words that I can use, but it fixed with the personality of the time. “Trope” is actually word that you know, but don't recognize in its form. You know Tropics, such as the Tropic of Cancer or the Tropic of Capricorn, and don't think anything of it, though of course, that it is in really the Tropic of Capricorn, or the Tropic of Cancer, because it has moved a bit in the zodiac. But what you don't know, probably, is that the word “trope” is a word that can have many meanings. So you two can decide if it's right for you.

Anyway in this story there are two brothers and sisters, which in the time of the original story was a bit large, but nothing to comment about. Now however it was either too large, or too small. There were dozens of babies, or their were a few. The other thing which needs to be mentioned, when there was for babies in a family, they were white, or at least cream colored, now however you need to say it doesn't really matter, or tell the exact shade that they were. These were African American, that is they weren't truly black, but mostly so, so much so that they could not realize there was a difference between themselves, and truly black children from Africa. Realize that had been obscured.

They were not particularly poor, but they did not have much to go on, this was ordinary for their times as well. There father, or rather fathers, since each one of them had been “conceived” , what a strange word that I really should have used “born” - since it has the same meaning, were all very different. Many white people would not understand this, and a good share of black people would not either, but if you were part of the set that using African American, you would know that there is a difference between someone who was from Ghana, and someone from Kenya. In fact there was a great deal more distance than between English and Korean. And, if I may say so, there was a lot more complacency about how much more they had in their pockets, because English people had more money, and Korean people were, for the most part, better able to take it, but the African American people were constantly given to - to put it politely - having more babies than either Americans or Korean parents. This is not some God given truth, but a product of where the babies were brought up. From the time that they were born, before they even knew their name, they were taught that more babies were good. Where as English, Korean, Chinese, and so on new that only a few babies were to be brought into the world, and some were not going to have any. As I said, this was not the idea of the babies, but of rich people who instructed them as to which they were part of.

Thus in the richer sections, there would be one baby, if that, as part of the picture.

Their mother was away, with a third job, and their aunt, who was truly their on, was downstairs talking on the telephone and watching some film, in other words, they were completely alone. The oldest boy, who was more studious, was trying to get through physics. The eldest sister, next in line, was both talking on her cell phone, and trying to do some basic grammar, though she was not getting what the example was teaching. The younger brother was not doing anything in particular, but he also didn't want to do anything. Then there was the little baby girl, who of course wasn't actually a baby anymore, but liked to pretend as if she was, reading a picture book from the library. It actually was due back some weeks ago, but she didn't notice it, and the eldest boy who might have, had not looked at the due date.

She was opening the book, and trying to read the text, but she had difficulty with some of the words. First she tried, then she procrastinated, or if you prefer, she was not reading but daydreaming. Then finally she would go and seek out the younger brother, who would know at least some of the words that she was guessing at.

“Can you help me read this?” She had screwed up her courage, and brightened her face to a dimple.
The younger brother, only two years older in fact, was not in the mood for such kind of games. He had, what he thought, was more important. In fact it really wasn't that important, but he thought it was, which was a distinction that children would get.

“CS Lewis? Who is that?” he looked outside and saw four white children dressed in furs. The outside was different. Instead of the inside opening up to the outside, there was a trick of perspective, where the inside was large, and it opened up, but it was smaller. This trick of perspective annoyed the younger brother, though he did not know why. He just knew that there was something wrong, which is more than Lucy, because that was her name, knew. He was called Eddie, though, of course. Edward was his real name. To complete the picture, Sandra was the middle sister, and Peter was the oldest brother. Of course I should pick names which were different, but those are the names, mostly, that CS Lewis picked.

“I don't know who CS Lewis was. It says on the back cover that he was English, where is English?” she looked up at him.

“ England. And name of the place is England.”

She pronounced it over and over again. “What kind of place is England?”

Actually, he didn't know what kind of place was England, he knew it was near to the center of the map then he was, but that's about it. He also knew, as almost the only thing he knew, that England was the center, and that they were interlopers, because he heard his mother and her sister saying that a long time ago, they were forced to speak English, only he had a feeling that it was further back than his grandparents era, maybe even great grandparents era. “That's the place where people really did speak English, as opposed to learning it from the enslavers.”

“Enslavers? What are those?”

“Along time ago we were free, and people in Africa. Then along came white people, and they enslaved us to their schemes.”

“And that was bad?” She asked.

“Definitely so.” He pronounced every single word with emphasis, that is with a pronouncement on each little word.

She thought about it, having never realized that there were any such things in the world, but that it must be so. Realize she didn't like Edward very much, though she had respect for anyone who was older. “And so the grandparents were converted to English speakers in that place?”

“I think so, but we should ask the older two, they may have a more precise opinion.” actually he hoped that they would do the talking, and he could sneak off, it was time for football, though I won't say which kind. Their are many kinds of football in the world.

So they got up and rushed in to Peter's room to ask questions. Rather she wanted to ask questions, and he wanted to get out of the responsibility.

“Peter,” Chimed Lucy, “may I ask you a question?”

Peter, willing to put beside him his own questions, where no one could answer them, and answer some of Lucy's questions which he may be able to answer, gave a nod. Then he realized, that he would have to say something, because he didn't know if Lucy understand. “What is it that you want to know?””

“Eddie says that England, where the English live, converted us from another kind of speaker, in to more English people. Is that true?” Lucy looked at him with rounded eyes, not seeing how this could be possible.

“Yes, in Africa we spoke a myriad, that lots of different languages, and they immediately set us up to speak only one. That would be English, and only English, though in the very long past their was disagreement between Dutch, and Swedish, and other places spoke Spanish or Portuguese.”

“Like the people across the street speak Spanish, and their parents only speak a little bit of English.”

It was at that exact moment that the oldest sister came in, she had just learned how to apply makeup too make her skin look better. “What's this fuss about.” She had just learned the word “fuss”, because that was not a word associated with one's they knew. She then expired: “ I'm bored, let's play a game, and not a board game, something like hide and go seek, that sort of came.”

Though Lucy protested, the other three children thought of this as a grand idea. Naturally, Peter was picked as the first to run, with all of the other children hiding. The children were not in a house that they owned, so they were careful not to scratch, or mar, the furniture. Each went off in his or her own direction, and quickly set about hiding from the other children, as much as from Peter.

While the other two children were set about on getting in to a covered area, Lucy was stuck in not knowing which way to go, and she said about using the whole apartment, which included rooms that she was not allowed to go into, normally. These were rooms set up so that they could be rented out by the week, not merely by the month. Every time the landlord took extra care to make sure that they were covered. In one room there was a wardrobe, which was unusual, and probably left by someone who had no use for. It was old, very old indeed, because it was through and through would, not of veneer of wood. She spy it and felt that this was the place to enter it, and she could hear the other children racing around, as if they were going to be caught up. So she had as best as she could, feeling that someone would be caught very soon.

She reached the wardrobe, and grasped its fine wood, smooth to the touch. She went in and closed it behind her, and thought that she would reach the back and of it, but she found there was a second row of furs behind, and then a third and forth row.

Then something spectacular happened, which you will of course guess. There were stars.

  
Not thousands, but millions of stars, so many much more than on earth. She reached in two space and found that there were branches, and trees, and rambles, this was not what she was expecting. Not at all.

What I can do next, it involves see cs lewis

 is write a story which is not  completely my own.  look for it in a few days.  it's on the lion,  to witch,  and CS Lewis.  obviously not for publication.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Good bye

And  fair the well.

Poet

In my eye is held, transfixed to memory,
and made into vision of high inspiration found,
the shape and form of leaf'd trees,
In  the age of   squandering night.

To steal away the ruins of lust,
To find more time than is is want
To steal more than is its needs
until everlost it stand and sit

waiting for the day that comes
waiting for the day that comes

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Marne 7

4

There was an order to his mad, mad, mad rush to existence. When he last moved out between the stars, it was he alone, and he didn't like that, at all, this time when moved out among the whispers of conjunctions, there was the glimmering of what could only be called the that magnificent order. One by one, it had come in to focus. Now he was under the command, though he did not know if that was the end of it, but he was assured that the reins were tightly controlled by someone, and he did not care by who. It was just enough to know that he reported to someone, and the rest was none of his business.

Duty was in his life, order and duty, duty and order. That was all you needed to know, and all you had to know, if you were Lieut. In a vast cog of a machine that you did not even know who it was answered to, and did not care. He did not care, he did not want to care, he did not wish to care. All that remains is order duty discipline, that is all there was, and all that there should ever be. What people do not realize, is that there is a view grains of sand that are thinking something new, and the rest is just repetitive. Whether alive or dead, there are very few things that matter.

Order, duty, discipline. That was the new order of things, as opposed to liberty, equality, fraternity, which was the old doctrine of France, proclaimed on banners for over 100 years. Now there was a new order in the world. A new order which would one day rule the world, so he and the others thought. It was crisp, and clean. And get stood apart from the old order, the old ways, and the old feelings, which had ruled the 19th century. This was a new order, for a different age, one that would crush the life out of the old.

On the telegraph, itself a new thing, he heard the beginning of message, which he new would be taken down, with punctuality, by his third mate. Even so it was good to know that there was a person who, was like you, on one side, and was comfortable with all that entails. Even if that side was dark, and ominous. Only a view second after the telegraph hit, there was a translation from the junior officer, and it read:

“You are to link up with another dirigible. Then the two of you will hunt down the guns that are aimed at our troops. It is imperative that you take out the guns. You will have to do this in 24 hours.”

Obviously, the immediate threat to the upper echelon, where the guns which were popping up and down the Belgian border, and not the guns which were in Paris. He disagreed, but he had his orders, and would carry them out, to the letter. But privately he worried that this would not do, but order, discipline, duty carried the day with him. And he would do things as his superiors wanted to do. The but the orders in this upper vest pocket, and said to the first commander: “ we have to get back, and link up with a second dirigible. Then when we have done that we will put these objects back in shape in 24 hours, and take the Belgian line.”

He did look at is first in command, because he knew that he would be obeyed, that is he put orders out to cut the engines. Though out of the corner of his eye, he looked for a nod. Out of the corner of his, though hesitant, there came a brief, but he thought firm, nod. In actual fact, it was only half a nod, which would be denied if things did not go right.

But things did go right, indeed splendidly so. The engines floated gracefully to a standstill, and for just a moment, all of the ship stopped. Everything clambered to a stop, though the noise was unbearable, and everything on the engine wheezed a bit as it grew to a stop. But he was used to that, as were most of his crew. The exception was the third Lieut. which vomited out a bit, though it was almost not to be noticed. This was in fact exceptional, because, remember, he and everyone else was dead. But they were in a sense living.

Then the dirigible eased it self down on the ground, and gently pulled the over, and righted itself gently. It rolled around as if to say that that was all. Once again, where was this common from? He imagined that this was a dream world, but we're was the sound coming from, if it had been an illusion, then why did the other people here at? Unless they were all delusions to, a dream which only existed in his head. One can never really tell if this is true, mind you, even relatively saying men can look back over there shoulder, and wonder just for a moment, whether this is all just and illusion, but they think nothing of it, and go back to their business. He himself, jostled with those dreams and thought nothing of it. But now, knowing that he was dead, at least so he thought, it had grown to a scream, and ever present wine, that was growing to the ripeness of fruit, as if it were communion and he was the sole celebrant to an individual mass. But ordinarily, this would not be a problem, because he would look at the other people, and say it I am this way, so must everyone else be. And that was as comforting as it had to be. But that is life, what about Death?

Death with all of its uncertainties, had within the gread uncertainty, how was it possible to have a living death? Was it a flash, with nothing after that, a dream that would vanish and leave nothing in return? He did not like to think about that, because that would truly be nothing.

And endless state of nothing was truly horrible to think about, even worse than what he had, with new past, no future, just the endless drone, and knowing nothing but the present, and what he thought were companions. But worse is that it was truly just a grotesque façade, which gave way to truly endless space. Then he looked around, at all that he could see, and convince himself, that this was not an illusion. But death again stared in the face, and mocked him, as if to say “so what am I? If that is life, what am I?” And in truth he did not have a response, though he would not admit it to anyone but himself.

Then he brushed himself off, resolving never to think about this again, and only to think about tangible things instead. Knobs, journals, charts, and all things that screamed out to touch them instead. Everything that was real, however, had a form that was unreal, even the man who he knew was his second-in-command, weaving and bobbing forward and aft.

So he ordered himself to not think about anymore, and if he did, he would go back to thinking about the clean underwear, and all of the other trimmings, that competed with each other, even though he knew from school that this too was a figment of his imagination, and his eyes did not see all that he thought them to see. The minds eye filled in the details, that the retina glossed over, and fooled eye in to believing, even though it did not.

And illusion within an illusion, within an a fantasy, how could this truly be real? It made no sense, and though he could keep it from occupying the very center of his attention, along the edges of what seemed to be his eyesight, there was a cold crisp reality that would not be denied. At this point, he bumped up against his second-in-command, and was reassured, that this was all just an illusion, and their could not be anything to it. Than he stopped, and wondered if that was something that he read, or was it a phantasm, that would be put down, and he was dreaming about putting it down so that someone else could write.

He slowed down, to avoid hitting for the third time is second in command in the rear end, though he had to admit that it was good to hit him, because it was a firm feeling, that the heading of him was a firm grasp. Hitting him was a true test that there was something else visible. Thus, he could put away any blaring shrill contortions, he did not know what would become of them, but he knew right now, that he would follow orders, and that was enough for him.

In the garage, which was widely spaced, and another crew was already in there, talking, smoking, drinking, with veins being loaded up with cocaine, and unmentionable things, far worse then could be described. They filed in, with discipline one might add. He bellowed up his voice, if only to hear it, and feel it.

“We have been all the way to Paris, and it was a long trip. So give us around of applause, because we were going to go back there, with our pants on fire.”

Some of the listeners were truly out of it, and did not hear what he was saying. Another have were not listening, but they might have been. Then the second-in-command of the other ship spoke out and said: “Better that you didn't make it, because they were going to warm your hands over it.

“Then we ring down on with a fierce delight, I assure you.”

There were more exchanges, of this sort, which I will spare you. But they were as bad as these, if worse. I give you only a taste of what “bad”. Actually, this was the best of the lot, it got worse from there, if you can believe it. But fortunately, after having a few words, and a few phrases, which was different, the commander looked for a tired chair to sit down on, the he wanted companionship, he realized that this was not the companionship he desired. It was such a mess, when he was in the air, he wanted to be on the ground, when he was on the ground, you want to be inside the garage, when he was in the garage, his the mind drifted ever outwards to the sitting in the one place where he was solely in charge. He stopped himself, and asked himself what he was doing. You thought about this, and the answer was to find the commander, and get orders from him, just to make sure that he had direction. Though, actually, he was sure that the orders were correct.

Not that he was unsure, but just to make sure that the orders were legitimate, because it was extremely tight with the deadlines. And he wanted to be sure, in fact in a state of readiness, that nothing could be taken for granted. So he knocked past the stupor minions, who were taking their time, oblivious to anything, and headed back to a cubicle which was the commanders entrance, which had not been filled, and tell recently. In fact, he had not even seen the commander, so he wanted to be sure that this was legitimate and correct.

He stood in the doorway, and adjusted his eyes. Hunched over bearing on the of work, was a Large middle-aged man, with only hair on the sides of his neck. In fact, it wasn't exactly clear, where the head ended and the neck began.

With all of that, there was something round, smooth, and entirely feminine about him, as if he were on used to doing any sort of work other than pushing a pencil. And not very much of that. Mostly, he sat and scrawled a view notes on the inside, and that was it. One could see, red writing coming from his pen, though there was black writing on the page, with only light scratchings that could be notation and then sent back to whoever was correcting. In other words, he was going over papers from those beneath him, and not above him. This then turned in the commanders mind that there was no one above, that this was the ultimate Cmdr., at least for the meantime.

“Does anyone know that there is no one above you?” It was a direct statement from himself to the commander.

With and air of nonchalance, without even looking up from the table, “ until now, no one has mentioned it, and I would like you not to mention it again. Rest assured, there will be others presently, and they will have powers greater than mine. Remember, their has not been a war in 40 years, give or take.” It seemed rather nonchalant, this way that his commander was speaking. “And in any event, once the main course arrives, it will not be long. This is a short conflict.”

“Are you sure about that.”

“If it becomes certain that this will go on, then we'll be dead, again.”

“Who are the higher ups, in any case? Do you know?”

“No I don't, and I don't inquire. That is not my proper place to know. If a commander of above me walks into the room, I will salute, and to my duty. Where only here for a short while, anyway. Then we will be gone, and the next will replace us. Where dead, what does it matter what happens next? In a day, in a week, in two weeks, in 10, it's all the same to me. And it should be to you. “

This is exactly what he was telling himself, but it was daunting to hear it from someone else, at least he thought this was someone else.

“Understood, Sir.” and he turned himself, and made no mention of what had been said. It was if he had a conversation with himself, and gotten the response that he had always suspected.

“Dismissed.” though the commander did not look up, even the salute was done into the air, rather than at his face. Which was a very rude thing to do. He expected better from a superior officer.

But obviously, that was not how it was going to be.

Almost retreating from his conversation with the commander, he retreated lightheartedly, as not to disturb the few who were still conscious. Obviously, he would do his duty as best he could. But if this was all, if all death was a crying interval, until you were truly dead, then maybe he would have think about whether this was truly what he wanted. Maybe there was a better way, may be order duty and discipline were not all they were cracked up to be. Maybe he should think anew, and come to some better conclusions, he had already died once before. And maybe he would die more than once. Isn't that a terrible thought?

He looked inside the garage, with all of the people standing or sitting, and wondered what would become of them. Is this all there was?

 It seemed so, and the taste in his mouth was dry, he could see that behind him were a dozen other men who would take his place. And remember, he was the cream of the crop. The best of the very best. What would it be like for poilus who populated the ranks of France, or the iron youth of Germany?

Friday, November 7, 2014

Rendition 15

4
For I have laid upon the the years of their iniquity of the house of Israel upon: according to the number of days that thou shalt lie upon it down shall bear their iniquity.
Ezekiel 4:4

“So you found what you're looking for?”

“I found what you were looking for, which is more important.”

“What's that?”

“A name which controls part of Syria, part of Iraq, and is mentioned by anyone. Interested Dig?”

“If it's really the name we are interested in, there are innumerable shysters, and, I'm sorry to say, your definitely on that list.”

“What do I have to do, to get off the list?”

“You give me the name, and if it works out, you can have the reward if it's true.”

“That's not much of a prize, because you could snuff it out and then say it wasn't anything."

“Then you could have nothing, if you like, that's the alternative. And as alternative go they only get worse from there.”

“What if I take my chances?”

“Then we give the money to someone needing, someone who graduated from the right college, for example.”
“So what you're saying is that you only want to play with certain people, and I'm not on the list.”

“You can get on the list, and that's worth something, because then in the present you might be on the list next time.”

“It seems like I been demoted.”

“You could say that, I would use of more euphemistic phrase then that.”

“ I thought I was using a euphemism.”

“Even the euphemisms have been denied, that much I can tell you, but your not on list to know the new euphemisms. I'm sorry about that, the call that was made over my head.”

“That's all right, I can get the new euphemisms from someone with a potty mouth. There are plenty of people who still beans when they, how does one say, get leave it drunk.”

There was a pause, which even Ms. Bright could hear, the she wasn't home the line, exactly.
Finally Dig said, “I'm sure there are, but I didn't think that you'd know enough of them. It means that a new President needs to be put in place.”

“There working on it.'”

“No comment.” which meant that yes a new president was coming to office, and it seemed as if it would be of a different party. At least that was the rumor going around town, and by town, I mean Washington. Really there are three places in America, the city, that's New York. The town, that's Washington DC, and the rest which pops up from time to time, though Los Angeles and Boston our the most problems. But realize, Boston and LA our close together in the minds of people in the City, and the Town. That's the way they looked from there, any rate.



Anyplace else, was part of the back lot, accept Mars and the moon, which were beyond remote. Though India had designs on Mars, which would make it, eventually, part of the grand design of things. Though that was anyone's guess as to exactly the moment that that happened. It would have been in stages, of course, a few people would new, and then more, and ,then more, until finally it was a reality that no one could to deny.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Rendition 14

3
And he said unto me, son of man, go, get the undo the house of Israel, and speak with my words unto them.

Ezekiel 3:4

Coffee is a poison, and it was eating at the back of his head. His fourth small pot of silky, silty black elixir, and left him feeling light. It was in this mood that he noticed that one particular individual was being allowed to sit without drinking anything. Normally he would have been hurried off, unless he were a regular customer or had some particular connection. But it was clear from his almost befuddled looks at who was employed there talking to him, that he was not a habitue of this particular place.

So Apostle stood up walked over, pulled out a bag, inside of which was a chess clock, and rolled up board, and sat down.

“Chess?”

The man, a ragged beard, at the bottom of a pointed face and prominent nose, topped with a ragged turban and poorly chopped chopped hair looked startled.

شطرنج "

The man nodded, but was still off balance. Clearly, he didn't expect to be made.

But within minutes the game overwhelmed everything else, over and over again the set up the pieces, moving with lightning speed. Fingers wrapping, hands grabbing. Then after almost half an hour, Apostle had ground down his opponent with defeat after defeat. After one particularly messy debacle, his opponent reached across to hit the clock, and Apostle slapped his hand down over it, and stared into the man's eyes. In Urdu.

“Take me to who you work for.”

The man looked back, a kind of pleading in his face.

“Take me to who you work for.”

The man clearly wanted to stand up, but also could not, his legs simply would not obey his mind, fear was tightening its grip around the muscles of his arms and chest. Apostle stood up and towered over him. The man slowly got off, Apostle put his arm around the man's shoulder, and cleared up the chess accoutrements, and they began walking with him down the street.

Over a mile away, they reached a heavy metal door with a small sliding porthole in it. The man knocked, and immediately it slid open. Some words in Urdu were quickly exchanged. 

The door opened inward. They walked through into a cool dark space, with a slight movement to the air. There were two men leaning against a wall, AK-47's over their shoulders. They were so thin that their chests seemed imploding. They were talking very quickly and smoking. Apostle could lay a small fee on what they talking about. It was not important, however.

What was important was that he was off the grid. Anything that could be said here was off the record, no mention of it would ever go on record, and less someone mentioned it. That was a very powerful thing indeed.

“Take me to you work for.” He knew that he would get a response, if it was the last thing he beat out of him. And he wasn't even touching either the face or the body. There were some things that mind made more powerful, because it imagined something more awful than anything which could be inflicted. In the minds eye, everything that could be imagined, was floridly so, but in the imagined world, not a scratch could be given, and each touch was the first that was received, over and over again. Think on that for a while, each imagined punch will have the same impact.

And it was working. Each question made his face more pliant than the last. He was not doing anything, it was only the mind, and what a powerful thing mind was. And at last the inmate, for such he had become, finally stammered out what he wanted to hear. But it was not what the apostle wanted to hear, not where the was, or an exact, or even inexact, location. It was a sound like the spitting on a brick, and it meant that was not going to get what he wanted.

Instead he stared off into the hazy distance, and realized that capturing the world renowned figure was not the point, even if he wanted it to be the point. Osama bin Laden was not point, to the friends, or foe, or anything in between, the was an illusion, a figment, a morbius, a enigma. The real enemy was not a dictator. It was even Bashar al-Assad that was the only target, though he would be harder to take out.

It was only us. It was only us. People didn't really want to know how much we had spent on this, and they were not going to look closely. After all, Bashar would be removed from the stage, eventually, and their would be a new dictator, though that might take some time. After all Libya would receive a new dictator, when there had been a reordering.

So Apostle could one anyone of a dozen hours to lay at his feet, and be cremated, and nothing would change but a few lines on the map. He didn't even push down, but walked away from the man who was not a friend, nor a foe, nor a complex amalgam of the two. Simply put, they had nothing in common for the moment, and maybe for many moments yet to come. The man was slumped over, but not badly so, much of his position was in fact a pantomime, not really an act, per se. He unhand the man, and went away, as if nothing really had happened. Things like this happen all the time, and nobody thinks anything of it. Is different in the West, where meaning has some innumerate value, which though it may not be quantified, it can be if you try. Here in what is called the Middle East, some things just happen, and that's all there is to it.

“So that's all there is?”

“That is all we need to speak of. We can exchange some good banter if you'd like.”
From stiffness across the table, there didn't seem to be much point. So Gabe finished his cigarette, nasty habit which was trying to be snuffed out by the authorities, if they could do so.

The Gabe left after a few minutes, a very long few minutes. There was nothing that they could hold on, so 48 hours later, the Apostle left.

He sorted through all things, notice that a few of them were missing. Though could not expect that anything out of the ordinary would be done about them.

Though the made appropriate motions, he knew the nothing would be done about it, though nobody in anything about question. He sighed, and got on his things, because he did in fact have some things to be done. And they were difficult things indeed. It's not that they were unimportant, but time was not part of the equation. But caution was part of the equation. And the cautions as well as optimistic. There were two things that he had to do. One of course was to talk to Dig again. The other one was to find find the old man, though he didn't know whether it was as a friend, or foe.

“Do you know what you're going to do?” Miss Bright ask in a tone of voice which was not neutral, but did not tell what it was. Friend, foe, both?

“No. Do you?”

“I have been doing what I'm told, for quite some time.”

“Hence the feeling of a dual nature.”

“That is always the way it is. Call me strange in that way.”

“Always?”

“We women like that, always.”

“We men are not like that, at least most of the time.”

“I know, that's why your so predictable.”

“Do you plan it that way?”

“Nature has it planned, and individuals just take their cues from it.”

“So it's probably and a eggs thing.” that was not a question, but a confirmation.

“Do you realize this is long searching discussion that we have had in quite some time?”

“I hadn't noticed.”

“Of course you didn't, its girls that notice that it's a long conversation. Boys think that there are other things to not talk about. While girls know that they are not talking about, and it drives them wild, simply crazy.”

“So should we have more of these not conversations, just to keep in practice?”

“It doesn't matter, reflexes will take over if allowed. We will have more not conversations than any woman would want anyway.”

“So what do we need? Or do I want one to know?”

“If I tell you, it be a surprise.”

“And you can that, could you.”

“No, that would mean I was pleading for some time to my self. To unwind for a bit, 
because you had been tiring.”

“In other words it's a strain to deal with men if you're a woman.”

“But it is the only game until you have babies.”

“And then it's all right, because you have babies?”

“Only dull women will completely give up on men, you if they like babies more. Which, I will add, is not the majority position. Though will a time most of the will give babies the nod.”

“Why is that?”

“Because it takes a long time for babies to win. Mostly they just giggle, and gurgle, and looks sweet. Which is nice for a time.”

“Why are you telling me this?”

“Isn't it obvious?”

“No, I am dense.”

“I think you consider changing careers.”

“And get with the program?”

“Something like that, is I believe the expression you would use.”

“You mean thinking about babies, that's very forward.”

“Men have two be led to the precipice, and look over the edge. That's the only way.”

“To, what, exactly.”

“You have a great time to think about that sort of thing.”

It was at that moment that you realize he was being asked to probe position. In he could either except, or shut up. There was a third option, but not from someone who grasp enough the game that women played with men. Of course there were inns and outs to be explained, of course, but those are for legal minds to sort out. Or at least they can seem like legal to someone who wants Qur'an as his legal text.

But he had already shifted his attention to other things, because he wanted to find what could be said as “the old man”.

To what do they owe this dubious pleasure? Neither Apostle nor Miss Bright would ever willingly consign an hour of their time to the dubious pleasures of his good graces. And it was not for the information about Osama bin Laden, who they had realized was of know value them, though some agent or other, some informatics handler or other, call him what you would, or her, she or he would get a notch for being the one who would take down the great almighty vizier, now that it did not matter in the least.

It would also not matter to get someone's hide flagged In chasing after Pres. Assad, who would person's scrag anyone who dared to do so. There are some targets which only a madman would go for, not that a madman couldn't do it, but it would also mean, in all probability, the madman's life. And normally professional people don't like those odds. But recruiting a madman to do the deed for you is a tricky piece of business, there is so much wrong, and so little right, that could happen. Think about the timeline of the Syrian civil war, and remember that this is only a piece of the puzzle. There is the Arab Spring, in all its glory, in Libya, Egypt, the place called Iraq, and every spot in between to think about. And that's just the living part of a subterranean struggle which comprises the US, Russia, and all of the states that want a piece of it, plus China for staying away from anything except profitable rebuilding.

But the old men would know that this would not entice them in the least, he had a good eye for these sorts of things. He would not even proud them, there was too little time left in his life for such things. Too little time left, to prod and pull, there were younger men suited too jostling and pulling, and wasting someone's precious time. Which was why he did so, he wanted to know what he could offer them, and what he could entice them with. It was only the unexpected that peaked his interest.

If it was Osama bin Laden, or president Assad, or any of the other little problems which he could deal with, it had to be something either trivial or vast. And it was trivial, he could dismiss it, and go about his merry way.

The room to spare, and decorated with An assortment of either Syrian or Turkish wares, there were few enough of these in any event, he was not very rich, or at least not in this terms. It was over 15 years since he had any reason to want anything, so he gave away almost everything that he had. And then some.


So the old man looked at the two of his visitors, and waited for them to say something, because they interested him, very much so. And there was so little to interest him at all, he had few friends, or few acquaintances, few of any one who really mattered. But what he did have was a prospective, one of the few people shared. He knew that everyone knew everything, if they had bothered to think about it, and fill in the connections with words that did not mean anything, and did not need to mean anything, because they were fill in the blanks. Then you or anyone, could get to the real meat of what you wanted to say. All the rest was noise in the present context, though of course it had meaning in some other context. There were only a few problems which could not be solved in seven steps, and really six with a very small number of exceptions. The problem this, most people could only think of three or so steps, and only limited number of those. Mostly, people fudged and made up a few steps, thinking them selves smart, when in reality, they were down and just used some simple clues. With those clues in place they thought they were smart, very smart indeed. But as is said, they were just closer to the truth.

So the old man looked at his two visitors, trying to guess what it is they want, even before they knew what they wanted. Think of it as Gossfield Park, it isn't how many steps away from the truth they are, its how many that they combine the steps in a pattern. One person could be right on top of the problem, and never know it, because they only see two or three steps, as opposed to 10. in reality having for steps is progress, and have five scenes amazing, and having six looks like magic. Even though five steps is not noticeably smarter than average. In fact, having three steps run tremendously fast looks like genius until you actually think of how it's done. Think about the difference between old chess, and new. What's really involved is how the patterns work out, with old chess creeping along, where as new chess on astonishes because the moves go somewhere quickly rather than slowly.

Then he knew what they wanted, even before they did, he was old and new that, where as most people are young, at least they thought they were, and they were not going to feel differently about it. That's why young people play chess, and old people remember the moves that they made once upon a time, and play out the moves by wrote. It is only the very smart people who know that they really are old, most people think they are young. Which is not the case, in fact by 30 day are already getting old. They are just aren't many moves left.

But not many people know this, even though the facts are there to be seen. That's why they prefer to play checkers, because there are fewer moves to be seen. Which is why Old Man beats old men who don't know the real rules of the game.

He, that is the old man, had not spoken yet, nor was he going to do so.

It was their turn, and they were going to have make them, that was the first test.
Finally, Apostle realized this. Already several seconds had already passed him by, he did not realize that it was a game. But he was learning.

“The here that you know something about the next move we should be making.”

“Yes, that is true. What do you want to know.”

“Honestly, I don't know, so that is precisely what I want to know: what should I be playing for.”

“Why not Osama bin Laden, that is what most people are playing for”

“That doesn't interest me, it did a few days ago. But I at least see that the head start belongs to other people, and I will not catch up to them.”

“And you don't think that you'll catch up by playing and with me?”

“No, I don't think I will. What's more, you don't think I will either, so it would be foolish to even try. That is, if you think I am not a fool, which I don't think you do.”

“ I am trying to please, and if you want to catch up, you can do so, if you want.”
There was an air of passing neglect on apostles face, he would not want to have anything to do with Osama bin Laden, because it would be a Knight, while the the King was still on the board, and he desperately wanted to know where.

“I don't think that that would be a reasonable goal, do you?”

“That would be up to you. I am only here to play for what you want. If you want to play for what is on the board, who am I to say different?”

“I somehow doubt that you that indifferent to the stakes of our game.” apostle sensed something, but he did not know what it was. He checked with Miss Bright, who was looking at the old man, and pondering what he knew, like him, she thought he was hiding something, but she didn't know either what it was, but unlike Apostle, she had a clue.

“If you were in our position, what would you like to play for, knowing what you know?”
Then with a blazingly fast speed, he took the rook, and with a little gesture of his mouth, he opened it and said.

“That his a very interesting question, most people would blunder along, to try and get a what they could see in their grasp. Maybe they would think that they had a a chance for something that would be of use to them in getting some promotion, perhaps Osama, perhaps even Assad, or some minions of his. Why don't you take one of these?”

It was tempting, but it was obviously, to both apostle and Miss bright, obviously a trap. They had to ignore it, even though it was in plain sight, and tempting them.

“Tell me, do you want that piece to tempt me? It's just staring at me, and I know it's not for me to take, even though I want to take it.”

“Why don't you just take it then?”

“Because it would be bad, though I have not figured out exactly why.”

“Why didn't you take it and find out?”

“We don't have unlimited games to play. I know it's bad, that's enough for me.”

“So what do you you want to play for.”

Miss Bright interjected: “I thought we started with this question before, he wanted you to tell us, and we still haven't got a response. We know it's not for Osama, because he's useless. And we know it is for Assad, because we'd get torn apart.”

“So why not think of who is left?”

“We don't know who's left.”

“Then that is what we are going to play for, agreed?”

Apostle set up the pieces, and made a move, because now they knew what they were playing for, the name of ISIL, because that was not a name that they had, and could be useful, that would be for someone else to decide.

After a while the old man looked up from the board, and gave them a name that no one had uttered before. It was unknown to the West, and that is all that mattered. It didn't matter what the name was, because the old man would have a new name ready to go, when this one was gone. That is the way the game was played, a new man just the same as the old one. The old man would play for that name, just as he knew what it was. He was honest, he wasn't going to play if he did not know the name. But he would have it before anyone else did.

Then he would charge for it, infinitely greater than that. He always did, that was his secret. To charge more for a name until it was worthless.

Then other men would profit from how to get the man, even if he was not worth it, except to the very few. It was there concern if the profit was greater than the risk, not their concern if it could even be done. Because some of the time, the man who bought the name took the risk that he could do it if he tried, or with plenty more money, that other people could spend. Because after all, money was fungible, and could be gone from pockets that did not want to spend it.