– after John Berger
By Celia Meade | February 8, 2020
A line shot up from the mud and headed straight for the clouds it glistened in the sun, and swayed before standing perpendicular.
But wait: a crack a second leg returned to the earth thrown out in a relaxed pose —now the line was a triangle.
A scribble appeared at the crack —excuse me, I mean angle the top-most angle had attracted a mate.
And it's no wonder those long slender legs and her casual stance so high above the mud.
The scribble had his fun then he fucked off somewhere and the triangle spawned a little one she called Isosceles.
Isosceles grew to be like his mother and by that, I mean triangular not perpendicular to the earth with a leg stretched out
but squat, more of the earth. He stood on two legs equally and his top-most angle was frankly obtuse.
Isosceles had something of his father in him who’d appeared like a mud cluster like a piled-up snake
A father who’d always avoided things and was easily distracted to the point that he lived in chaos (he preferred the term anarchy)
“I’m better than you,” Isosceles said, in those years when teenagers look down at their parents even when their parents tower above them.
“I stand with both legs equally right down by the mud.” And his mother thought of her own idealism when she was young, like him.
How she stretched up as tall as she could and stood so proudly with her top-most angle in the clouds.
Isosceles had a point but he had hurt her with his jabs so she said, “You’re not really equal one side of you supports the other two.”
She looked down on her son even while she yearned for the mess that was his father who didn’t support anyone
but had made her feel wow in her most acute angle for that brief crazy time he entangled with her.
It was hard to know what Father thought of Isosceles because he was never around and furthermore, against everything.
Isosceles was (in his mind) all about Equality and his mother, such a snob but he saw her point
so with great effort he heaved himself over and the mud-caked side set to wiping down its flank
and the side pushed into the mud disappeared from view its cries drowned out.
The side who’d never been in the mud thought – Mother was Right I’ll wedge a box at my foot to make me perpendicular
while the newly freed side was preoccupied, cleaning and the other one was drowning in the mud and couldn’t be heard.
Isosceles teetered on the brink of collapse and suddenly understood what may have happened to his father.
The son kicked himself. Mother was in the clouds shaking her head and Father, as usual, offered no direction.
Then, out of nowhere, another line shot out of the mud. Finally, a new line! A comrade in the struggle of the rise and the run.
The line arched to track the sun and surprised them all when its foot lifted free of the mud and wedged into its mouth.
“Good luck with that,” Isosceles grumbled, “a life without angles!” and Mother felt miffed because she wanted a successor.
It rolled out of sight they couldn’t understand it and there was no way for them to set it straight.