How I became King

My mother is abdicating, as you may have heard.

Oracion a San Expedito

And now it’s only days before I crash face first into a wall. I have been on a collision course with it my entire life, this wall; preparing for it, if you will. And on this path I have dragged myself for 46 years.

Lessons, there have been plenty, too; one of them being that love doesn’t come from symbols but from the act of giving – that wealth isn’t a blessing at all but a mere consequence of it.

The job itself isn’t exactly clean, either. Or, let me put it this way: just thinking about it overwhelms me every time with the urge to wash my hands. Often I have cringed with migraines too and fought back the feeling of wanting to empty my stomach at the thought that my place in history is in the role of an opinion-less puppet, a knight without a horse, a conquered lord.

However, opportunity has presented itself and I have decided to step up, right into the surge of destiny.

A politically flavored commission put out the call to let my subjects collectively compose a song in my honor – good idea were it not for the fact that a song sprouts from the heart of one poet and rarely as the product of a collective effort. But the sentiment was pure, I’m sure.

Had they asked me what I thought of the idea, though, I would have told them that it is too cerebral this way. I would have said that the project was doomed to be shredded by compromise from the very start. And that besides, these just aren’t the times for this sort of things. The epoch of collective sentiment and song just isn’t upon us, I would have said.  I would have told them that from a technical standpoint, writing an opera in this fashion might have been easier.

However,

–              Friday, April 19 (morning) – The royal bard presents his hastily quilted masterpiece.

–              Friday April 19 (mid-afternoon) – disappointment and rejection of the song collects itself on social media like a ripple that could well become a tidal wave by the time it reaches the shore.

–              Friday April 19 (evening) – Outrage has gone viral. The nation seems united in one voice: Kill the song.

–              Saturday April 20 (morning) – The land awakes to the call to hang the bard. For a moment, I feel it is me the subjects are rejecting by rejecting the song and its maker. I feel I have come upon my inevitable defeat – the wall up close, the second before my face explodes against it.

–              Saturday April 20 (afternoon) – I feel ashamed, though I am not sure about what exactly – or if the failure is entirely mine.

–              Saturday April 20 (evening) – The bard gets taken to the central square and is hung by his feet. The throng stones and mutilate the dying bard with sticks and fists. With sickles and knifes he gets gutted, his insides staining the ground over which I will soon be forced to reign.

–              Sunday April 21 (that entire day) – I do not get out of bed. What has kicked me off my feet isn’t the migraines this time, which have become more frequent as my mother’s retirement nears, but something all together darker: hatred.

–              Monday April 22 (morning) – The princess gets the girls off to school, locks the door and returns to the bedroom. She merely glances at the sheets on the bed, a bitter heap of inability and defeat. She retreats into the bathroom. From the closet labeled ‘private’ she removes her finest and softest night garment, slips into it, fixes her hair, returns to the foot of the bed and declares:

“My darling, today is the day I make you King.”

She throws back the covers and does to me the thing only Catholic girls can do.

–                      Tuesday April 23 (morning) – I inform the press that on Wednesday I will direct myself to the people I was put on this planet to unite.

PAXI 2I will simply let them know that it isn’t they who are called to like or dislike a song, but me, their King. I – and only I have the right to hang bards – and as far as there being a song fit to capture my spirit and honor my reign, it is I and I alone who can will it to be so.

I will decree that all my subjects compose a song of their own, in which they express how they plan to take me into their hearts for as long as I see fit to call myself their King.

Every subject will be called to present his and her composition to me personally. Next to the hanging corpse of the last bard my kingdom will ever have, a stage will be erected and the show will last until every song is heard – until I have heard the one song fit to serenade a King’s heart.

And when this chapter in my kingdom’s history can at last be written, only then will I assume the rest of my responsibilities.

I command armies, as have my forefathers, and when every song has been heard, only then, together, we will attack England – again.

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