An English In Kentucky



















April 8th 2009

    I woke up once in a wheat field.  It was late summer around midnight and a moon was large.  I could hear the calls of merriment as young people stumbled and giggled their way home.  I did not know I was sleeping across their shortcut.

    I guessed the thing to do was to sit upright and keep still, rather than rustle around in an attempt to hide.  The kind of noise that might rouse the beast in young fellows.   It was a strategy I took from a story I once read about Socrates.  A story I have never been able to find again, and which I probably have incorrect.

    The Athenian soldiers had been routed.  Socrates decided he would just stand still rather than flee.  Then, because he was still, those bent on killing and those bent on running, ignored him.



    I could hear their talk approach.  Little happy things, which are in the end how humans purr.  A sort of comfortableness and how we miss it when it's gone.

    They passed within inches of me.  I could smell the beer from their breath and I could inhale the cigarettes they were smoking.  But they stumbled on into the distance.

     After they were gone, I remember thanking Socrates, and also resenting him a little.    

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