Dad’s Log 2018/03/27, Daughter’s Sasha’s 18th birthday
This what I wrote inside Sasha’s birthday card.
On my high school graduation day, my Mom gave me a card with the poem, If—, by Rudyard Kipling. Somehow, it does not seem to apply here, but I continue the tradition with this piece of literature:
Dorfl sat hunched in the abandoned cellar where the golems had met. Occasionally the golem raised its head and hissed. Red light spilled from its eyes. If something had streamed back down through the glow, soared through the eye-sockets into the red sky beyond, there would be …
Dorfl huddled under the glow of the universe. Its murmur was a long way off, muted, nothing to do with Dorfl.
The Words stood around the horizon, reaching all the way to the sky.
And a voice said quietly, ‘You own yourself.’ Dorfl saw the scene again and again, saw the concerned face, hand reaching up, filling its vision, felt the sudden icy knowledge…
‘… Own yourself…’
It echoed off the Words, and then rebounded, and then rolled back and forth, increasing in volume until the little world between the Words was griped in the sound.
Golum Must Have a Master. The letters towered against the world, but the echoes poured around them, blasting like a sandstorm. Cracks started and then ran, zigzagging across the stone, and then-
The Words exploded. Great slabs of them, mountain-sized, crashed in showers of red sand.
The universe poured in. Dorfl felt the universe pick it up and bowl it over and then lift it off its feet and up…
…and now the golem was among the universe. It could feel it all around, the purr of it, the busyness, the spinning complexity of it, the roar…
There were no Words between you and it.
You belonged to it, it belonged to you.
You couldn’t turn your back on it because there it was, in front of you.
Dorfl was responsible for every tick and swerve of it.
You couldn’t say, ‘I had orders.’ You couldn’t say, ‘It’s not fair.’ No one was listening. There were no Words. You owned yourself.
Dorfl orbited a pair of glowing suns and hurtled off again.
Not Thou Shalt Not. Say I Will Not.
Dorfl tumbled through the red sky, then saw a dark hole ahead. The golem felt it dragging at him, and streamed down through the glow and the hole grew larger and sped across the edges of Dorfl’s vision…
The golem opened his eyes.
Dorfl unfolded in one movement and stood upright. He reached out one arm and extended a finger.
The golem pushed the finger easily into the wall where the argument had taken place, and then dragged it carefully through the splintering brickwork. It took him a couple of minutes but it was something Dorfl felt need to be said.
Dorfl completed the last letter and poked a row of three dots after it. Then the golem walked away, leaving behind:
Feet of Clay, p. 91