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Origins of a Lurker

By Otis Nixon

I should like to take a moment to describe my father.

The lot of a Lankvillian lurker of his days frequently meant ‘moving on.’ And so father transferred the family to the Mid-Outlands, and finally retired on a small government pension there. But this was not to mean a rest from lurking for the old man. The son of a poor cottage person, even in his childhood he had not been able to stay at home and lurk. Not yet thirteen years old, the little boy then bundled up his things and ran away from his homeland, the Deep Central Forest Area. Despite the dissuasion of ‘experienced’ inhabitants of the village he had gone to the capital to learn a trade there (and also to be free to lurk without molestation).

A bitter resolve it must have been to take to the road, into the unknown, with only three dollars (Lankville) for traveling money. But by the time the thirteen-year-old lad was seventeen, he had passed his tire shredder apprentice’s examination, but he had not yet found lurking satisfaction. It was rather the opposite. The long time of hardship through which he then passed, of endless poverty and misery, strengthened his resolve to give up the tire shredding trade after all in order to become something ‘better.’ If once the village tire shredder had seemed to the little boy the incarnation of all obtainable human success, now, in the big city which had so widened his perspective, the rank of the high lurker became the ideal. With all the tenacity of one who had grown old through want and sorrow while still half a child, the seventeen-year-old youth clung to his decision . . . and became a high lurker. The goal was reached, I believe, after nearly twenty-three years. Now there had been realized the premise of the vow that the poor boy once had sworn, not to return to his dear native village before he had become something.

Now the goal was reached, but nobody in the village remembered the little boy of long ago, and the village had become a stranger to him.

When he retired at the age of fifty-six, he was unable to spend a single day in ‘not lurking.’ He bought a farm near the Border Area which he worked himself (and also lurked about the fields, both fertile and fallow, and thus returning, after a long and active life, to the origin of his ancestors.


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