augury doggerel

Monday, April 01, 2002


This city was at least half German until the war. The bad guys1 were elected to power here from 1933. On the hill behind the Orthodox Church, which doesn't look as old as the war, there's an abandoned, vandalized cemetery. The people buried there all had Germanic names and died no later than the 1930s.

That's where she chose to lead me for our Easter Sunday walk. She rode her scooter through the park while I trailed on foot and cheered her on. Then I carried the scooter while she led the way behind the church and up into the woods. Broken graves line the path leading up through the trees, and then there's a cluster of graves, maybe four or five rows, on the top. Stones are tossed and broken. Graves are open. Lovely green vines crawl over the ground.

Her game, roughly, was murder. We rode our horses up to the top of the hill. She used her sword to chop off my head. Then she carried my make-believe headless body while I, now a ghost named Mario something, walked behind. She threw my make-believe corpse into a real open grave while I haunted (and carried the scooter).

When she had had enough of the woods and the graves and the ghost of Mario something, she ran ahead down the hill towards more Easter chocolate. Thinking I might save a few steps and have a little fun catching up to her, I put one foot on the scooter and zipped over the lip of the hill.

After just long enough to gain body-crunching speed, the little front wheel of the scooter dug into the loose dirt and I flipped hard on to the path between the graves. Dirt shot up; there's still dirt in my jacket pockets. I landed with all my weight on my left shoulder and upper arm, which was bashed into the ribs over my heart. People die that quickly and unexpectedly, but I hopped up again and was just glad no one could see me. She didn't look back, kept running, and then waited at the church gate. After I met up with her and walked her across the road, she scootered ahead through the park2 again. I was a bit lopsided and moaning, and trailed even farther than when we had gone out.

I think there's nothing broken, but I cannot laugh or sneeze or cough or yawn; inspiration and expiration of just about any sort is suddenly painful. And I cannot roll over in bed without groaning and cursing in the dark.

1 I don't want to be Googled by that sort. The "bad guys" will do.
2 That park, I've just remembered, was also a cemetery. A big one.


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