Mountains And Generals

Mountains and Generals

What scared me most as a child were tall mountains dark silent sometimes
white topped and often wearing a crown of a murderous miasma of gloom.
Once my ship docked in a constricted fjord, a smelting plant, a few houses
and a restaurant surrounded by Somme like nakedness. I tried to close
the curtains but they wouldn't let me insisted on keeping what
they called summer evening light as long as possible. I had reindeer steak
down in the cellar served with moss and boiled potatoes and brown gravy -
in Norway you get thick dark gravy with everything- Going back onboard
I felt the mountains naked, life hating presence like crazy generals ordering
men to attack over open terrain killing a million young men in the process.
Fortified with aquavit I just made it back onboard, the sea was flat and calm.
And I heard General Haig's raised, voice "let us do this once more this time
it may just work "Should I ever come across his statue, I'm sure there is one
in a town, the great man sitting on a horse looking heroic, I will without delay
piss on his statue. and get free from my fear of tall mountains.

by Oskar Hansen

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