In medieval times, contrary to popular belief, most knights were bandits, mercenaries, lawless brigands, skinners, highwaymen, and thieves. The supposed chivalry of Charlemagne and Roland had as much to do with the majority of medieval knights as the historical Jesus with the temporal riches and hypocrisy of the Catholic Church, or any church for that matter. Generally accompanied by their immoral entourage or servants, priests, and whores, they went from tourney to tourney like a touring rock and roll band, sports team, or gang of South Sea pirates. Court to court, skirmish to skirmish, rape to rape. Fighting as the noble's substitution for work.
It was difficult to imagine that a full day hadn't yet passed since we boarded the airliner in New York. I paused. Medieval man believed that one was placed beyond the touch of time, and therefore aging, while attending Mass. What, I wondered, would he have made of those hours we left up in the sky? I would not change my watch until I gave the matter more thought.
The country was a dreamland; and perhaps it even reminded my wife's grandfather of the night he woke up drunk in his friend's house, beside his friend's wife, everything similar but new, different, better. The United States of America was like an eternity of those first disorientating seconds of not knowing and not wanting to.
The sun tells the best joke of a day full of them, setting so spectacularly that you can almost smell the tropical paradise lazing somewhere over this rim of endless, gray socialist towers. Miles of square windows explode orange, red, and purple, like a million TV sets broadcasting the apocalypse. Clouds unspool. The sky drains of birds.