Exhausted from the constant pleading for attention that is currently rife through this town as the untalented resort to varying degrees of nudity and shades of hair colour to placate their insatiable desire to more unique than the other five thousand people in their underoos and hair dye handing out flyers, I have sought refuge in the gardens below the castle. It was there that I met a true modern day sage. A man whose wisdom is tangled, nay, woven amongst the food particles and plant detritus of his beard. It would have been easy to mistake him for the other homeless person who is constantly spitting at me from his rotten toothless face nutritional advice1, but this gentleman was uniformed as one of her majesty’s grounds keeper. A blue coverall. He sat beside me at a friendly distance. Eventually we started chatting and I’ll try to recreate the most interesting portions of the dialogue.
“Where you from?” he asked. Fair enough. It’s a tourist town and my accent is indeed a muddled and bizarre one these days.
“I live here.”
“What are you doing in this hole then?”
“Aye. Look at this shit. Green lawns. Green leaves. Fucking flowers.”
I chuckle at his joke. “What’s wrong with the flowers.”
“They’re cunts.” I understand that to many that particular word can be grating and probably exists high on one's naughty word list, but living here one becomes immune to its shock. Now, I can only laugh. In this part of the country, they pronounce this phrase from their bellies. The ‘c’ is thrown out with great force and velocity and the ‘u’ forces their jaws open to allow its bulky mass to pass the lips. I can never help smiling when I hear the phrase but it was particularly humorous given the current context. “I’m not joking. They’re cunts. The lot of them.” Every morning I piss on that bunch of thistles. Those over there. Where the Orientals are taking pictures. Aye. There. And look at them. They’re the biggest of the lot. They do it to spite me. The cunts. As soon as they fade. Chop. Chop.” He smiled and mimed the motion.
“I hate plants.” He concluded in an almost defeated tone.
My first instinct was to politely nod and agree but the urge to say something quickly rose to my throat. “But your job. You’re working…”
“Aye. I know. Everyday I’m surrounded by plants. Fucking Gorse. Fucking Grass. And Faaaaking Thistles. But you know what. It keeps me going. I’m sixty-three and I’m still fit. Because everyday, I come here and keep those bastards in line.” He punctuated the last sentence by slapping at the foliage behind our bench like he was scolding a naughty child.
The conversation only got stranger. The gist of it was that it is exactly because he hated nature that he made a good gardener. Maybe that is what I am missing from my daily life. Good ole’ antagonism. Something to define myself against. Countries do it all the time. Hell. Countries are doing it right now. When the shit hits the national fan. Leaders point to someone else as the monkey who threw the shit. I suppose that is why America is such a popular target for foreign governments to distract their populaces from more domestic issues. Because, ladies and gentleman never in our history has a monkey thrown so much shit.
1) Dear reader. I shit you not. This guy doesn't take a hint and for some reason, maybe I look malnourished, he is always singling me out to give me recipes and soliciting a place to stay for the evening.