The Arrogance of Youth
June 7, 2018
“Fetch the water… SET; Fetch the Water!” Without speaking I rise and leave the room with a practiced efficiency. My master Pilis is not to be bargained with. Not particularly cruel but someone 300 years old can not learn new things. He has never been swayed from an opinion or even considered what I say. Better to avoid him at all instances. Unfortunately the house has a private well so I don’t have to walk to the village well a half mile away.
I grab 2 buckets from the kitchen and head out into the courtyard. 4 trips is usually enough. That should cover cooking, cleaning, and bathing. Somedays I wish I could dump Pilis down this well, never too long though. The consequences are too great to imagine. To give up one’s youth in the service of a master’s convenience is a tragic waste of potential.
2 buckets, I could carry more but why strain myself. Better to go slow and draw it out. Only the perverse think only in terms efficiency. What is the efficiency of a flower garden? When does the musician see his gain? Even the trader will often forgo short term efficiency to protect his name and relations. Only those that have read 1 too many books yet never walked down the street could think this way. Unfortunately many of the ancients think this way including my master.
To live so long you would guess sentimentality would grow with time. It seems the opposite is true. Seeing the passing of so many things dulls the emotions and soon enough the razor becomes a spoon. Subjects become objects and people seem the same as tools. This paired with a manipulative streak honed over the centuries, results is some kind a creature, human in form with a soul of something else entirely.
He would sell my papers if he thought he could make a few rounds, but this is 1 area I have bested him. There is no sale price on a recalcitrant servant. My upkeep, while modest is too big a risk for a dog that won’t fetch. All the same to me since better the ancient I know than a new devil entirely.
What should I hold onto in a present I wish did not exist? How can I go on when life itself conspires against me. Long will be the days before my release but that day is my north star. I would be lost without its hope. Alas, to live entirely for the future is itself a curse. The future never comes. Once it is close at hand it melts seamlessly into the current present. Its promise lost in concrete reality. I guess my fate is to suffer but maybe my mind can go elsewhere.
As I return to the kitchen through the side door on my second trip, Pilis is there. His complexion a spotted red, that of an alcoholic, although I have never seen him drink. “Set, is this all you have done? Your time is not your own to decide how to spend. The rod has not cured you of your daydreaming but I have time enough to try again.”