Thursday, September 24, 2009

A Tale in the Mode of that Infamous Zhang

It was to his surprise that Ser Knight Nathan - by nature somewhat of a recluse - found himself in conversation with a young lady he knew not at all.

She had begun the conversation, speaking to Ser Nathan without prefix. "Your vestment is most fine," she said, her words sounding entirely sincere.

"My gratitude for the thought," Ser Nathan said, giving a courteous half-bow. "I have seen some number in this style about, enscripted with the words of the Poet."

"I really ought have one similar commisioned," the young lady said with some regret in her tone, "but at present, my only garb based on the Poet's works are of a different focus; his thoughts on the triumphs of the natural sciences."

"Ah!" Ser Nathan said. "I encountered a young nobleman wearing just such a thing earlier today, greeting him, praised him for it vigorously."

"It seems there are few here who appreciate the works of the Poet," the Lady said with a tone of sadness."

Ser Nathan shook his head. "Certainly you may find some hereabouts who do," he said.

The conversation lapsed. Ser Nathan considered. The Lady's appearance was in no aspect displeasing; quite the opposite, as it happened. He wondered if he should ask for her name - was it too casual a contact to justify such a request? While he deliberated, the issue was settled for him. The Lady turned away, speaking to a friend of unrelated matters; the moment was lost.

Throughout the rest of the banquet, Ser Nathan cursed his slow reactions. Certainly, he decided in retrospect, it was the wrong choice, a failure to choose - 'Alas! Alas! What a spineless witless worm of a fool am I!'

But then, even as Ser Nathan continued to lambast himself, a young lady spoke to him once more. ('Is she the same?' Ser Nathan - possessed of no gift for the recollection faces - asked himself frantically. 'Is she another?') This lady asked Ser Nathan a minor request - the location of cutlery - a trivial favor he easily granted. ('If she is the same,' Nathan thought with desperate haste, 'then most certainly I should ask her name. And if not - then it is incorrect. Ah - ah - if only my memory did not betray me so! - ) But the moment, once more, was lost; another opportunity, had it indeed been she (and likely so!), squandered.

Ser Nathan, walking dejectedly into the night, described to himself the situation he had just experienced. 'A young lady approached me, admiring my garb - a young lady of uncommonly excellent form and a demonstrably excellent wit, as shown by her tastes in the arts. Ah! I should have asked for her hand at once, much less her name! But - the moment - it is gone!'

Such is the life of the indecisive man!

1 comment:

Calvacadeofcats said...

it hurtz becuse it is true