Tag: writing

I find myself a serf, in want of a Lord

Guess who’s still looking for work?

Image depicts a medieval engraving of a farming scene. A figure in a crown appears on the left side of the image, overseeing workers harvesting grain and plowing fields.


Original art by Elodie Belcourt

There once was a boy named Blue.
Blue had been told that he was broken.
Blue wore sunglasses at night, and sundresses to gym class. He took his math book to biology and his chemistry book to social studies. He laughed when he was sad and cried when he was happy. He ate jam and toast at night, and fettuccine alfredo in the morning. On Saturdays, Blue went to school, and on Monday mornings he slept until noon.
“Look at him.” The other kids jeered.
“What a loser.” They pointed.
“What’s his problem?” They laughed.
“What’s he wearing?” They gossiped.
Blue hid in his room all day and went out exploring at night. One night, he found an old car in the middle of the woods and pretended he was flying to the moon when he climbed inside.
Sometimes, Blue forgot how to get home, and slept in the woods, or in the park, or in the middle of main street.
“It ain’t safe out ‘ere for a boy yer age!” The constable scolded.
“Home?” Blue shrugged.
“It’s all an act.” The adults shook their heads.
“There’s nothing wrong with him.” They rolled their eyes.
“He’s just looking for attention.” They scoffed.
“Maybe if his parents were more attentive.” They whispered.
Blue’s parents didn’t know what to do with him. They fought and yelled and cried when he wasn’t at home.
“Do we take him to a doctor?” His dad whimpered.
“What if we’re bad parents?” His mother sobbed.
One day, Blue moonwalked into the woods behind his house and climbed a tree. He sat and sat and sat some more. He sat until he couldn’t sit any longer, then sat for another day or so. His parents came out into the woods and called to him.
“Blue, please come down!”
“Can’t.” Blue replied.
“Blue, honey. You’re scaring us. We’ll get you some help.”
“Don’t.” Blue looked up and away from his mother and father.
“Blue, just come down and we’ll figure out what’s going on, I promise.” His mom pleaded, but Blue climbed higher into the tree, so his parents ran into town to get the constable.
Blue sat and thought. He thought and thought and thought some more. He thought until every thought he could think had been thunk, and yet he continued thinking. Eventually, he thought there would never be an end to his thinking.
“Hello.” A voice from above called down to Blue. Blue looked up to see a woman sitting on a branch just above him. “Hello. How are you?” Blue looked at the woman, puzzled. Her clothes were too small, and she had a beard that hung down past her feet.
“Hello.” Blue said.
“Beautiful day, don’t you think?” said the woman.
“What’s your name?”
“Blue.” Replied Blue.
“That’s a beautiful name.”
Blue pointed at the woman. “You?”
The woman sat and thought for a moment. “You know, for the life of me I can’t remember.” She laughed. Blue smiled. “Oh well, my name’s not important. Tell me more about yourself, Blue. Where did you come from?” Blue pointed down at his house. “And what brings you up here?”
“Broke? Well, I wouldn’t worry about it, I don’t have any money either and I’m doing fine.”
“No. No. Me.” Blue pointed to himself. “Broken.”
“You’re broken? What do you mean?”
Blue shrugged. “They…” Blue gestured to the town at large. “Said.”
“Who said you were broken?”
“Them. Parents. Kids. Teachers.”
“Well, you look fine to me.” the woman reassured.
Meanwhile, down on the ground, Blue’s parents, and the constable, and the deputy constable, and the police dog, and the principle, and the teachers, and the students, and the bullies, and the neighbours, and the mayor all searched the woods for Blue and his tree.
“Where is that blasted tree?” Shouted the constable.
“He’s too high up to see!” Blue’s dad cried in exasperation.
“Things must be strange for you, Blue.” Offered the woman. “You’re growing older. You’re changing. You see things you never thought you’d see in ways you’ve never seen them. You’re doing things you never thought you’d do in ways you’ve never done them. That doesn’t mean you’re broken. That doesn’t mean you need to run away and climb a tree.”
“But…” Blue hesitated. “You’re… in… the tree.”
“You got me there, kiddo! And I’ve been here for ten years. You see, I once felt broken too. I felt like no one knew who I was, and that made me forget who I was. I walked differently, I ate differently, slept differently, I got angry for no reason, and nothing made me happy. Everyone was trying to tell me who I was. Everyone had their own idea of who I was supposed to be. And so, I threw it all away. I climbed this tree and I forgot about everything. And soon enough, everything forgot about me. I don’t mean anything to anyone anymore. I’ll never accomplish anything. Never fulfill the wishes of my parents and my peers. But I’ve been defined. People know what to expect from me, which seemed to make everyone happy, and then everyone left me alone, which made me happy, so I just stayed up here.”
Blue was confused. “What… do you… do… all day?”
“I sit here, and I look across the canopy of the forest, and I think of all the possibilities. That’s how I spend my day. Thinking and thinking and thinking some more. Sometimes I think I’ve thought all the thoughts there is to think, Blue. But I’ll never stop thinking. About who I was, who I could’ve been, who I am now. About my dad and my other dad and my sister and
my cat. About my friends at school and the teachers who didn’t care, and the ones who did. It’s a full-time job thinking about things, you know.”
“You’re not… bored?”
“Sure. All the time. But then I remember to keep thinking. The mind is a fabulous thing, Blue. It goes inwards forever and ever, further than the edges of the very universe. Anything you believe is possible, and everything you believe is impossible, can happen inside your mind, and believe me, it will! But it’s up to you which thoughts you choose to focus on.”
“Up to… me?”
“Absolutely, my dear child! You have a mind like no other. It would be a waste to use it the way other people are telling you to. It’s not their mind, after all, is it?”
“It’s mine!” Blue lit up.
“Now you got it!” The woman clapped. “But the tricky part is holding onto it.”
“How… do I?”
“You keep thinking! Think about this. Think about that. Think about you, and me, and us, and them. Think about her, and him, and it, and fey, and xem, and elle. Think old thoughts and new thoughts, and thoughts that go up and down and sideways in every direction. Just don’t stop thinking.”
“You should… write a book.” Blue laughed.
“I’ve certainly thought about it! But who would read the damn thing? Who would listen? Who would care, Blue?”
“I would.” Blue smiled.
The woman took a moment to think, and then: “Well, if my work can connect with just one person, then it’s worth it!” The woman hopped down to Blue’s branch. “Shall we?” She offered her hand to Blue, and they climbed back down the tree together.
Blue’s parents were so happy to see him they forgot to punish him for running away. The woman wrote her book, but everyone said they wouldn’t read it until she shaved her beard, so she burned every copy, walked back into the woods, and climbed back up the tree.
This made Blue think that everyone else must not be thinking, and if they weren’t thinking, how could they know who they are? And if they didn’t know who they are, how could they know who he was? Blue took the woman’s advice and kept thinking and thinking until he thought that maybe he wasn’t broken at all. Maybe the world was broken, and maybe he could help fix it. Then he thought anything he did in order to make that fix couldn’t be the wrong thing to do.
So, Blue kept wearing his sunglasses at night, and his sundresses to gym class. He kept bringing his math book to biology and his chemistry book to social studies. He kept laughing when he was sad and crying when he was happy. He ate jam and toast at night, and fettuccine alfredo in the mornings. On Saturdays, Blue walked to school, and on Monday mornings he slept until noon. The other kids kept making fun of him, and the adults kept belittling his parents, but it didn’t matter, because Blue was still thinking.
And every once in a while, Blue moonwalked out to that tree and climbed up to say hello to the woman, and they sat in silence, and they thought together, and they were free

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén