It was an elite course – almost
if medicine and IT were excluded
just 15 of us in total, a sort of brotherhood
and sort of sisterhood if the two women were included
contradicting the zeitgeist neither seemed
interested or impressed with feminism
preferring the company of their classmates to each other.
So, it was a kind of brotherhood with two female members
a sort of brotherhood –
with incessant demands, insane workloads,
near impossibility catalysed cooperation–
ideas, proofreading, encouragement
a sort of academic brotherhood except for Paul
who was rather pedantic at seminars
often focusing on minor flaws
and on occasions illuminating errors not tutor detected.
I gritted my teeth after he’d flossed me and growled to a classmate
“ why does he do that – some petty satisfaction,”
the listener, much wiser said
top student is a horse race which most here could win
so, when speed is equal,
running interference is performance enhancing.
His son said the policeman visited
unusual for such a high rank to house call
surprised – his father
as was the officer with the admission.
“Yes. I did. And do.”–
One room, two very surprised people.
“So, you know it’s illegal
and continue to ….
The policeman asked if he would now desist.
The son said he never admired his father more –
“ it’s not going to go away,
they can come to my pharmacy and get a new syringe
and clean needles –
no questions asked,
the alternative is hepatitis .. and the rest.”
Nor did he ever admire a policeman more –
“ you’re absolutely right, but people are on my back.”
The son said
sometimes at night
a phone call and a muffled voice “ tomorrow afternoon, 3.30 ”
siren, lights, a squad of uniforms ….
We acted on a complaint announced the district commander,
and found nothing.
Change was coming
had come according to the politicians
came as a result of their prescience and policies.
Gone was the old economy
gone with the Ark – gone to the archive.
emitting. And dumb.
Smart was the future.
Think smart. Act smart. Work smart.
The smart economy –
Technology. Consultancy. Tourism.
Tourism a leisure package: not holiday.
A smart new smart resort – the future.
Alpine walk, bush walk, river walk.
Mountain bike, forest bike, trails bike.
Spa, standard star, luxury spa, pamper spa.
A colleague went …. one of the first,
we were all curious – what did she do?
You mean after the compulsory shag.”