Weekly Skylights: The Tripod Looks to the Clouds

4 min read

Joey Cifelli ’23

Arts Editor

April 2, 2022, Part 1 (Featured Image)

I was sitting with my friend, chatting, when something a little unusual took place. He looked past me and interrupted whatever he was saying with an observation like this: “and I don’t think it’s good, even, I think it’s *the observation occurs* hey look over there dude, look behind you.” At which point I looked behind me. There were people milling about, students, like us. “See the one in green and blue?” asks my friend. I found him immediately. He was wearing a dark forest coat and phthalo backpack. He stood out. 
“I got him,” I said. My friend leaned back. “That man,” he said, “I have met in another life.” 
I said, “mm.” 
“Ages ago, it must have been. God, could it have been the silk road?”  

“I wonder,” I said. 
“Or was it spices he sold me, in Baghdad?” 
“You can ask him now. Here he comes,” I said, truthfully. The man arrived at our table. 
“We’ve met, yes?” said the man to my friend, who then righted himself and stroked his chin in thought. 7.5/10 

April 2, 2022, Part 2 

My friend said, “We traveled by caravan. 1026, in Gregory’s time. Three week’s journey east of the Aral Sea. Back when it really was a sea, of course. Such a shame what happened.” 
“Such a shame,” said the man. “We’ve been detecting similar disturbances in the Pacific. Won’t be long now.” 
“No, not long at all. Though, tell me my friend, is it ever long?” Both of them chuckled, but I have to admit their humor was lost on me. My friend wiped a tear from his eye and raised an arm toward me. “Ah, it seems my manners have shriveled up with the sea. Sammy, this is Muharib Yaqtul ‘Alf Rajul, Warrior Who Slays a Thousand Men. He saved my life from bandits when a storm stranded us in the treacherous sands of Kyzylkum.” The man smiled and shook his head. 
“They were children to be disciplined, nothing more. I must say I never thought I would hear that name again. I now go by Chad. Well met, Sammy. And how shall I call you, old friend? Unless, of course, you are still Ming Baliq Tutadigan Baliqchi, Fisherman Who Catches a Thousand Fish?” This drew, another laugh out of my friend. 7.4/10 

April 3, 2022, Part 1 

“No, no, I am now Brad. The fish have all gone, I’m afraid. I currently study the myriad liberal arts. Sammy has aided me greatly in the comprehension of Newton’s calculus. I am much indebted to him.” 
“S’nothing,” I said, rubbing the back of my neck. 
“Never liked Newton,” said Chad. He crossed his arms. “Always struck me as a spiteful little gremlin.” 
“Indeed!” said Brad. “And yet he’s become rather a staple food of the curriculum. To think we lost our touch with the heavens for these…what are these.” 
“Derivatives,” I said. 
“Yes! They are derivative, anyway. Now Leibniz, there was an arithmetician you could talk to. And humble, no less. An uncommon trait for his field.” 
“Aye,” said Chad. A yawn came over his face and he roared in silence. He cracked his knuckles like walnuts. “Friends, this talk parches my throat. Let us go to the tavern of O’Hannigan and quench our thirst.” 8.1/10 

April 3, 2022, Part 2 

“Well said,” said Brad, “though in the spirit of thrift may I recommend Applebee’s bar and grill. On Tuesdays draft beer can be got for but two dollars a glass.” 
Chad’s smile seemed to reach both ears. “Then by all means, let us make haste! Sammy, will you feast with us tonight?” 
I scratched my head. “Sorry guys, but I promised my friend I’d help him build his Lego Taj Mahal tonight. You both have fun, though.” 
“Loyalty is a fine virtue, Sammy,” said Chad. “We will drink in your honor. Farewell.” 
“Farewell,” said Brad. I would see him in woodshop tomorrow. The two ran outside, singing something guttural and hungry. As I put my books back in my backpack, I couldn’t help but wish I had a better memory. 8.4/10 

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