Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Parable of the King - Part II

I am back from Vegas. Finished on the bubble in two poker tournaments two days in a row. Had one winning session. I made more money playing Casino War than every other game. Bought a Cher T-shirt. Yes. It's gay. Even gayer than the Elton John T-shirt I was thinking about (insists my brother). Anybody makes a comment I just say, Yes, my shirt is gay, but I'm not, and I'm secure enough in my sexuality to wear it if I want to.

When I got back, my piano playing was obviously, and heavily, rusty. I have a lot of work to do to get my chops back by Wednesday night. And of course, I received no word regarding the songs we are going to play in four weeks, though it is possible no decisions were made. I'm going to focus on drills and our playlist and just do the best I can, as always.

Here's the second part of The Parable of the King.

The Parable of the King - Part II
(Shortcut to Part I)

In those days there was no evil that men knew of. Though there was much evil outside of their city walls, pressing in on them as it grew stronger and more sinister with each day, within the city only goodness shown, like the bright lights brought to life by the water and The King. In their tents, cooled by the living breath of the gods they had built themselves, and even out upon the heat soaked via, people lingered before plates full of the finest delicacies, and marveled at the millions of candles, illuminating the air borne water. For when the water began to fly, the buzzards were banished to the east and west, unable to endure the speed of the mist and frightened by the tumult and ringing that never ended below. At last the people could venture outside of their tents without fear, and they did so with great abandon. Where once only rich men could cast their fortunes upon the fields of green, red and black, now poor men too, and the consorts and wives of each of them, could create a void within their fine leather pouches. And though their children sallied with pirates, threw candies and rocks at animals of the wild, and tumbled with clowns and thieves alike, they neither knew nor cared that the tithes of their teachers and futures were being scattered to the wind by their elders, even more quickly than the water that flew.

Entertainers from lands far and near gathered, for nothing so much entertains an entertainer than entertainment. Already, the mages from the cold lands, and the delirium pronouncers of false witness who traveled from the west, found their audiences in the larger tents, and sacrificed their hours and genius for the few dinars and pesos which had not yet made their way from without their purses. Then, even men with blue heads, a circus of mermaids, a Cherokee singer with hair of gold, silver, pink and green, arrived to enthrall the masses and enrich their private priests of accountancy and law. Large men of brawn and bulk, gathered to battle each other, while little men of speed, fortitude and courage brawled with their like. These men battled so fiercely, that only a torrential flow of blood, the rubber-arm wave of the white and black man with rubber-coated fingers, or the knockout sleep would stop the mayhem. And of the large and small combatants, no man could proclaim which was the stronger, for in this land, David and Goliath were not dictated to ever meet. Women who could not sing and dance, pretended to do so nonetheless, covering their meagerness of talent by exposing the sheen and gloss of their own flesh. Lucky were the men who had not cast all their gold onto the green, red and black fields, for they could then cast their gold at the feet of these women, possibly even to touch their skin, dreadfully cold from the breath of the tent cooling gods.

One day, out of the desert and into this land, there came a wanderer. His black hair hung low in front of his ears, yet sat high upon his head. His eyes were said to sparkle and skip, like the full moon on a windblown lake, but no man had ever seen them, for they lie hidden behind the ray-banning armor of amber. His horse was large and pink, and it did thirst much for the liquid from the ground, but not for water. He was clad in a sparkling suit of white, covered in stones that sparkled as magnificently as his eyes surely did, but which cracked to the touch and wove uneven patterns down his legs and arms. To hide these broken stones, he wore a long red and white gown, which flowed around his ample waist, and several small white kerchiefs, dangled loosely from around his neck. He strode with the confidence of a king, for he did, in all aspects and mannerisms, greatly resemble The King. People from within the land and without stopped to watch as he walked by, and his steed of pink was captured on the digits and paper of many a scribe. Those people of dim eyes and dim minds who did see this wanderer, would later swear to the heights and depths that this was, in fact, The King. And though many suspected this wanderer was not, indeed could not be, The King, doubt was suspended and he was treated as royalty wheresoever within the city he went.

This king stayed many nights in the city, or so the people said, for he was seldom seen in the day and no denizen of that fair town could fathom his whereabouts in the light. But when darkness came, his horse did appear, and this king did grace the people with his presence, feeling rapture in their honoring glances and murmured words of respect. This man would enter a tent, and entertain great crowds and masses, just as the men of blue and the woman of many heads, but the people who saw him were affected in great manners, as they would sit and chant for the repeat appearance of this king. “We want The King!” rose the chant, and although the voice of the hills assured them that this king had left the tent, no one on the outside could admit to having seen either The King or another man leave.

Yet, he vanished.

But before long he would appear again, and again. His appearances made the people perplexed, for though they might see him in the tent of Bavarians and tigers, others swore to have seen him in the tent of the great Sphinx. Still others would bring protest, for they had seen him in the tent of the Normans, or the tent of the Mandalay. But, “No!” would another claim, “He was visiting the lake to the north, or riding the boat to the south. I cannot remember which, but he was not within a tent!” Yet another would see this king within the great castle, or another in the great tower, the tent of the Arabian, the tent on the river, or even on the island of treasure. This king, they said, is everywhere! And so much did it seem so, that they again began calling him, The King.

And so might this parable end, but its teller would be amiss, for the listener or reader of the parable might feel a compelling and strange desire to meet this king who they call, The King. And although the listener knows The King might be found in many tents, where, great parable teller (he or she might ask), where are the tents? Well, fair listener, I can only say that you will find The King where the water flies, where though the land be brown the fields are green, red and black, where the people shout, day and night, “We want The King!” and The King responds with music. And when he sings, all join as one great voice to proclaim the goodness of their land, the land which The King himself created, “Viva,” they scream and shout, “Viva, Las Vegas!”

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