A MARKED MAN
You know the story. Everybody knows the story. I do what it is inscribed in my nature to do, for which I am sent out friendless into the world.
‘So where am I supposed to go?’ I ask
‘Not my business,’ The Boss says. ‘Henceforth an exile and a fugitive and a wanderer shalt thou be. Go find a quiet bench and cool off on that for a few thousand years. And don’t look so glum. There are worse things.’
‘You’ll find out.’
‘My punishment is more than I can bear,’ I tell Him. Whereupon - as though this will somehow help - He marks me. That way, they can see me coming and either get out of my way or mark me in some other way.
The hard part is finding a bench that’s far enough away from the raging of the city. Ironical, that I chose Streetwalking as a title for this Substack four short months ago, in the hope I could escape the clamour of my own head and enjoy being among crowds, but all I want to do now is escape them. When all is said and done, murderers prefer their own company.
Taking pity on my beleaguered state - this is how the mark is meant to work: someone takes pity on me, someone else throws a stone - a stranger joins me on the bench.
‘From the river to the sea,’ she says, enigmatically. I can’t tell if that’s code or she’s trying to sell me something.
I think about telling her to fuck off, but remember where telling people to fuck off got me.
‘Not today,’ I say. . .
Apologies, but I must again raise the paywall. Please jump it. I’ll be on the other side, still sitting on the bench, waiting for you to raise my spirits.