I stand at the bottom of the stone steps and look up. Ridgegate Academy is tall and wide, almost grand, with pillars and columns reminiscent of old Roman architecture. I look around at the other students. Some are like me. Others are sitting and talking in groups.
Mostly, they flow around me like I’m a smooth-worn stone in the middle of a river. I have never felt more alone. The well I thought was empty fills my eyes with tears and it feels like my heart is being torn out all over again.
Seeking peace, I find a bench in the park & watch sparrows peck at the loose sesame seeds that fell off someone's burger bun. A bicyclist zips through them, & the sparrows sweep into the air like autumn leaves, but one was hit by the bike & hops lamely about with a crooked wing.
I make a gentle coo and the bird hops over to me. Cradling it in my hand, I whisper to it as my hands warm. I heal the bird’s wing and it flies away. That’s all I want to do: heal. But they want so much more from me.
They want me to become a dog wig maker, despite my own longings and ambitions, wants and needs, aches and yearnings. Thus, I find myself torn between my dream and theirs: to wig or not to wig, that is the question.
Or maybe I didn’t want anything. I was content as I was. I lived in the moment. Freeing myself from all desires have brought me a lifetime of peace. I suffered no more. I was enlightened. I became a virtuous man who was not corrupted by worldly desires.
Nothing bothered me anymore. It also appeared that I had lost the desire to live. Living or dead, did it really matter? With all illusory desires abolished I ascended to a higher plane of existence. Seeya peasants.