Ubi Sunt

“Ubi sunt qui ante nos / In mundo fuere?”

“Horses were visible back then, unlike now when you can only talk of them. You saw them in their mild gallop. You saw them almost stop, and thought them thinking. You saw them munching – all properly civil – not a straw straying to the improper. You saw them smoking in winters, outside the railway station, tied to their wooden buggies. A train would rattle past to find them unfazed. People would come and children – who tried to look directly in their eyes and grazed their little hands on their velvety-rough sides which receded at their touch, sort of, and found then the children a good distance away – would too. The horses though, you would see, continued breathing heavily, thinking and smoking. And looked – not trains, not kids – not near. And you could see them not there – not present. Just breathing out of a wild fantasy in a morose winter. And it would rain. And they would have distinguished each raindrop from the other – beacause they could – a good time before they would actually fall. And they knew that they knew something which the train, the people and the kids did not know. It was a conscious knowledge. And they were a winter away from finding the truth. And they found it every winter – had been finding it since ages. But then, one winter, they could not find it. Or maybe, maybe the winter was lying. But nonetheless it proved tragic for the horses. The train, the people, the children – why don’t they all stop! – everything became a poignant nuisance. And without the truth of the winter everything was a farce. A loud, moving, substantial lie. A well crafted, historical lie. A big, engulfing, tearing lie. And soon there was nothing they could do but leave for ever. And that’s what they did. But was it at all necessary? The whole vanishing thing, I mean. Was it? Perhaps. It surely seems a lot more difficult and shameful, you see, to have lost the truth when you are a horse.”

“They are still visble.”

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