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I am sure there is a special circle in hell reserved those who begrudge others their triumphs and exploits, those who would subject a beloved figure to callous and cruel beatings simply because he has garnered many plaques and awards, and made sweet fuck with the wives of lesser men. But this is a side issue, for I am here today to talk about transportation.
On the outskirts of the small village of my birth - my father, a widower, was a simple shop owner and bootblack who nevertheless raised me in a home of culture and refinement - there was a railroad that rambled along the riverbank, carrying great men between cities of culture and commerce. As a child, I could not have known that one day I too would travel in the first class berths of that railroad (although I suspected it - and you can imagine the emotions I felt when, years later, I rolled once again through the little village, watching the familiar rooftops and the church steeple glide past, as I ate a fine fish off of a china plate and made bawdy sex palaver with the wife of a politician). One summer's day, when I was still a school boy, I was walking along this river with my acolytes, when we saw the railroad screech to a halt with engine trouble. It took nearly two hours for the engineers to fix the mechanical defect. But in the meantime I had persuaded my young followers to help me disconnect the rear dining car from the body of the train. The result was, when the train finally groaned to life and lurched forward to continue its journey, the dining car was left behind, stranded by the riverbank in rainstorm. A man wearing high fashion clothes with a large mustache was marooned alone in that dining car, with a carafe of wine and a gourmet fish, and I will never forget the sport we made of kicking a ball repeatedly against the train window, behind which this diner sat shaking and growing red with rage. With such successes I established my reputation even at a young age, and though I was later beaten quite mercilessly as punishment, it was worth it.
Date Written: July 12, 2004
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