When I was a child there were a few things in my life that seemed weird and mysterious and powerful. There was a house where a very old man lived who cut the lawn with garden shears, there was a flat stone about the size of my chest that was buried in the earth between two garages, and there was a small grocery store on the avenue across the street from the subway with imported products from many lands. One product that impressed itself on my mind was a tin of imported meat with characters from an unknown language, and a picture of a laughing red demon riding on the waves holding a pitchfork.
Now I am extremely old and cannot chew anything but nurse brings me apple sauce. My friend is named Brad, but that is not his real name. He does card tricks. In his country he says he was a “rolu” which my google translate tells me means king or sage or wizard or great-grandfather or ocean. But he tells me he is a very bad rolu. Why?
Ask me to explain your life. He says. That is one of the most important jobs of a rolu, to explain people’s lives to them so they have great power. But I am extremely bad at it.
I told him about the old man in the house, the flat stone, the tin of imported meat.
If I were a good rolu I would make you realize that those were not the only powerful things in your life.
If I were a very good rolu I would make you realize that you were never a child, that the past never existed, that you were created this morning like a drop of dew or the spume of a wave.
And if I were a great rolu I would produce that tin of imported meat from under my robe like THAT!
We ate it and our eyes and salivary glands and ear drums became sharp as pins, we rode the wave out the door, impregnated thousands of women, dolphins, and pomegranites and planted ourselves in the palace of the sea king.
Needless to say he was not too happy!