a breath of words


As I walked by, the lips moved, ever so slightly.  “What?” I said, then realized I was talking to a concrete statue, and a chill went down my spine.

I walked on, thinking of the day ahead, towards the arboretum.  “It’s you.”  I heard, spoken ever so softly.

I turned, befuddled, and all that was there was the statue, a human figure staring blankly ahead.  I couldn’t place the subject of the commemoration, but I guessed it might be young Octavian, who was to become Caesar Augustus.

Having an idea, I tossed one of my schoolbooks at the statue, wondering whimsically, then sure, that the statue had reflexes, and would catch the book, but instead it bounced off of his chest and fell to the pavement.

I was kind of creeped-out by this point, having tossed my Metaphysics textbook at a statue on a whim, and I decided I would walk on, without that particular textbook.  I would work an extra weekend at Subway, so I could buy a replacement-anything to keep me from turning back.

History records that Octavian had a timultuous ascendancy to his leadership role, for in the beginning, the senate and Mark Antony had their own designs on power, and the young Octavian played “divide and conquer”, eventually siding with Antony against all the rest, and dividing the empire with his co-conspirator after his victory.

And here he was, in a palazzo square, picking his winners so many centuries later.  I suppose I should have felt honored by the whole thing.


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