The Tarpaulins Of Goosbeck

The tarpaulins of Goosbeck, oh! how we cherished them. They covered things that would otherwise have got wet during spells of rainfall. “Ah,” you say, “but it hardly ever rains in Goosbeck, due to certain geographical oddities I am unqualified to expound upon.” I would have you expound upon them nonetheless. Rainfall is a topic of quite staggering interest to me, and I am always keen to hear more about it, even from the unqualified. And there is nothing to stop you embarking on a course of study in rainfall in any case, ending with a certificate or diploma, and then you would be qualified to expound. But you remain silent. You do not take up my challenge. You gaze over my shoulder, and in the distance you can see the flattened ruins of Goosbeck, or you could if you were wearing your specs. But you left them on the sideboard in your hotel room, because you are forgetful. You are forgetful because you have reached a great, improbable, age. You are so old you remember the last time rain fell in Goosbeck and the tarpaulins were hauled out and spread, with love, over things that might otherwise have got wet. And so, on the outskirts of what once was Goosbeck, in vegetation and in awe, we make a handshake last for hours. As dusk descends, you trudge back to your hotel, and I turn and return to the ruins. I should coco.

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