He sits on his throne, the master and commander of a vessel that moves only in circles.
Could it be this reason that his manner is so cold and bitter? The repetition, the monotony, the congestion which never ends. Would you be miserable if all you ever saw was the same thing as moments before?
Could it his small throne, which is unable to hold the tremendous weight of his self expanded body that makes him mutter crude remarks to passengers entering and exiting his machine? The way the t-shirt rides up the side of his belly, exposing white skin, flecked with light blue veins and a myriad of stretch marks that makes him so harshly judge others? The looks of surprise as visitors encounter such a giant of a monarch, trapped into such a tiny space?
Or are they looking at the grease in his hair, made stickier and dirtier by his hands that endlessly rotate between a deep fried snack, his mouth, and finally his head to smooth the thinning strands back into a style suited more for a previous era. This is complemented by his royal New Balance tennis shoes, which move mechanically up and down, working the inner engines of his moving palace, dirty and stained with the efforts of his travels.
“Pull up your pants”, he mutters incessantly after the young passengers pays his fare and boards., “it’s disgusting…no one wants to see your ass”. To this he absentmindedly plays with his belly, gently giving it a rub and a quick pat. Comfort.
“Jesus, what is all that perfuming covering up? The fact you died 100 years ago?”, he whispers to the newest addition to the crew, elderly, delicate with skin so thin that light of the Sun passes through it with a glow of the afterlife. She glances at him from the side of her eye, not sure she heard correctly, but not willing to make a ruckus as he is her guide to the other side of this adventure and his power silences hers. He is pleased with her submission.
Other kingdoms bob and weave their way around our moving castle. The sounds of a bustling market, filled with actors, merchants, and thieves can be heard throughout the open windows, matched with bellowing honks, disturbing curses, and matched with flagrant hand gestures. It’s chaos. But no matter, the mood of our monarch might be foul, but his skills maneuvering the crowd are deft and we stay safe, if only just.
I watch him quietly. Observe his ticks and inner dialogues. Watch the repetition of his hands to hair to belly, the rhythmic pump of his legs, and imagine what his small eyes weighed down by a lifetime of disdain might see.
One exit, two exit, three exit- Stop.
Off, on, off, on.
Sun rise, sun set, moon rise.
People waving furiously, “attention, attention” they seem to scream at him. “Screw you”, he replies.
And I wonder, would I give up my place as a citizen of this great Golden Gate family, to be the Queen of my own moving domain? Would the riches and royalties of this great position cause me to wander away from my own hardships to sit in the righteous chair of authority and watch my life travel around and around in a giant circle of sameness?
It might. But the bitterness at my own people, the anger and resentment of never leaving my throne of power, the frustration that I alone take on this burden of keeping my citizens safe within a land and time of such strife would be far more than I could bear.
So I leave him be, with his belly filled with pork rinds and his heart filled with discontent, and ponder about other things yonder.
You can catch us on the 101, everyday, each day.