My Son Skates By

by Brian George


There are people waving flags in the street. Some are praising Jesus, but the Green Patriots for Zen seem to have the upper hand.

You are sitting in a window across the road, your back to me, drinking coffee from a tall clear glass and gesturing to someone I can’t see. I try to cross the road, but a Green Patriot waves me back, whacking me across the shoulder with his flag. It certainly carries some weight.

‘The time for crossing the road has passed, comrade,’ he says.

I do not disagree.

You are now on your feet, waving your arms about, jabbing your finger in the direction of someone I still can’t see. You look angry, and I want to tell you it doesn’t matter, that the time for pointing fingers at unseen interlocutors has passed.

The moment passes.

The Green Patriots move off in formation, but a youth contingent marches in to take their place. Their front row holds aloft a banner which says ‘Ease the shining path of the old to the exit’.

I begin to get concerned.

I spot a gap in the formation and try again to cross the street, but a Youth blocks my path.

You have raised your arm, and turned sideways so that I can see your profile. Your face is contorted with rage, and you smash your fist into the face of an unseen someone. Unknown assailants overpower you and pin you to the floorboards.

A new group of young people zoom down the street on skateboards.

‘Who are these?’ I ask.

A kindly praiser of Jesus informs me that these are the real radicals. She advises me that a person of my advanced years should not be seen on the street by this group.

I am forty-one years old.

My son from a long time ago passes me on a skateboard.


Copyright © 2009 by Brian George

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