by Simon Evans
Amadeus Thinkrite slammed the door of his cabin with a fury, sending his wind chimes into a cacophonous, discordant jangle. He stood for a moment, looking down into the valley at the source of his anger. The wind blew his swept back blonde hair into a livid nest of yellow snakes. His icy blue eyes blazed as he looked upon the home of Roland Lim.
“Roland, you fucking turd.” He said to himself.
Amadeus set off towards the home of Roland Lim, fists clenched.
In the time it will take him to get there I will be able to tell you a bit more about Amadeus and the cause of his rather unpleasant mood and some more detail about Roland Lim, who lived at the bottom of the hill.
Amadeus Thinkrite was a thirty seven year old Englishman and a Wiseman by trade. This involved dishing out wisdom to tourists, travellers and the tormented of all ages and creeds, from a cabin at the top of a valley, usually in a cross legged position. Amadeus did this by listening to the spaces between the words of his visitors and holding a mirror up to what had not been said. He could probably explain it better than I can but it certainly seemed to work for him. He appeared in all the tourist guide books and his reputation grew by word of mouth into the stuff of legend. Hundreds and thousands of visitors to the remote area had followed the often vague, mysterious directions to arrive at the foot of the valley, where a hand crafted wooden sign, which simply said ‘Wiseman’, pointed to the winding path which led to the hill top cabin. And once there, greeted by the gentle tinkle of the wind chimes, you would sip green tea and look into the pure, blue calm of Amadeus’s eyes and discuss problems ranging from relationship crises, financial woes, grief, or bigger questions like how, why and when. All Amadeus asked for in return for his wisdom was a gift – a flower, some home cooked food, a souvenir, a rock, anything. It worked well. He was as happy as his visitors, until the arrival of Roland Lim.
Roland was an overweight nineteen year old of uncertain origin, plagued by a multitude of learning difficulties. A combination of the deep pockets and empty hearts of his family had led to Roland living, alone, at the foot of the valley, just next to the sign. Or rather, just next to where the sign used to be. And now we arrive at the crux of this impending neighbourly dispute.
BANG BANG BANG, went Amadeus’s fists (still clenched) on Roland’s door, colourful traveller wrist bracelets bouncing like poorly executed hula hoops. Roland flung the door open and spread his chubby arms.
Roland was wearing a white, frilly shirt and a black velvet jacket. Thick black glasses framed eyes which looked in every direction but the right one and his constantly gaping mouth was an inexhaustible source of saliva. His thick, black hair was matted with biscuits and he had no trousers on.
“Hello Neighbour!” beamed Roland. “What brings you down from the high road? What does Wiseman say?”
“Roland, what the fuck are you up to?”
“I’m up to five feet three and very happy thank you!”
“Where’s my sign Roland? Where are my visitors?”
“Ooh, so many questions for me from the wise man! I thought you had all the answers!”
“Roland, you’ve renamed your fucking house.”
I should explain that – at this point – Roland is jigging from foot to foot, drooling, and Amadeus is pointing to a lurid plastic sign with ‘Wiseman’s House’ written on it, nailed crudely to Roland’s wall.
“Roland, please. You’ve been here for what, two months? And my visitors have slowly all but dried up. Now I start to observe a steady stream of people arriving here – at your house – and I’m hearing talk of you dishing out..what? Songs?”
“Yesh.” Roland nodded, drool hanging perilously.
“Care to explain Roland?”
“I tell sad people to do the Happy Nappy Dance and sing the Happy Nappy Song. Then they happy again. I’m on youtube. I’m going virus.”
“Do you want to show me this cure for all of life’s woes?”
Roland started to do something like ‘The Twist’ – knees bent, hands on bum, twisting from side to side, chanting ‘Happy Nappy’ over and over again.
“And people accept this after travelling for such a long way!?”
“They love it. Specially the students. I’m on youtube. Thousand followers. I’m going virus. And they give me twenty euro.”
“Roland you fucking moron, you’re dumbing down wisdom! You can’t do this. I’ve been here for years and you’re fucking it up!”
“Temper, Wiseman. Do the Happy Nappy Dance, cheer you up.”
“Fuck off Roland. Where’s my sign?”
“Students took it. Wait a minute.”
Roland rushed back inside and came back with a Polaroid photo of two Swedish tourists pointing the old wooden sign at a grinning, drooling Roland.
“Students took it.” He repeated.
“You’re a stupid fucking turd, Roland.”
Amadeus stormed off and spent the evening weeping bitter, salty, wise tears as he packed away his wind chimes.
Roland went on to go very viral and is now a reality TV star.
And me? I sell ‘I saw the Wiseman’ T-shirts at the local market, so I’m absolutely fine thanks.