Moments in History – Many is Man

Many is man, Prigozhin said. He chewed on a carrot stick, which had snapped off from its stem held in his right hand, his mouth gaped open, his thick underlip protruded sadly, the ring of his mouth opening and closing repeatedly, while with every bite he gently squeezed his buttocks together in tight harmony, as flighty words and sweet carrot mingled into half reason, half prime. Many is man, he repeated. The ring begins Prigozhin said, quiet, listen. The water of the Rhine rippled from its source, barely audible, quietly swelling, from the Lake Toma at the Oberalp Pass. You have to see to hear it, only then to rise to waves and flow around the castle of man. Prigozhin was a boor, but don’t be fooled by his simple, crude appearance, he was sophisticated. Many years later, I would think back of this scene, as Prigozhin had risen and he had long forgotten about me or the carrot he had chunked on quietly, but I remembered it indistinguishably like a great silent moment in history, the flapping of a butterfly’s wings.

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