Page 65 - November 2020
P. 65

November 2020            65
                      Litterateur





                                                 THE CHARCOAL GARDEN


              We presumed that, as soon as it set eyes on us, it realized that it already knew us.
               We were precisely the kind of people who would dig wells and send down sound-
              waves through the rock-layers in order to look for it. Once they had detected the
              spot  where  it  resided  and  remained  hidden,  they  would  start  using  a  drill
              positioned firmly on the ground to dig a hole. The incredible pace of the pounding
              would  make  its  relentless  way  downwards  through  one  geological  layer  after
              another, all of them piled up on one another over a period of millions of years. No
              sooner  had  the  drill-bit  touched  the  oil’s  lifeblood  after  a  few  days’  drilling  than
              they would lower explosives through the aperture and set about splitting the rocks
              which  served  as  its  protection.  The  blasts  would  create  tracks  which  would  be
              used  to  extract  the  oil  under  pressure  to  propel  it  to  the  surface;  hoses  with

              perforated ends would suck it out of its own underground environment.  Once it
              had reached the earth’s surface, it would be collected in barrels, quickly analyzed
              and refined. That done, they would use its lifeblood in their cars, machines, and
              stoves.    The  residue—its  black  skin—would  be  spread  on  their  roads,  creating
              asphalt routes in every conceivable direction and making possible kinds of life that
              had never been known before. Deserts could be converted into gleaming cities that
              had never been thought of before.  The very smell of it enabled them to shrug off
              life’s troubles since they could make huge amounts of money by selling it, just like
              slaves, to far off countries where it was cold.  The people in those countries soon
              started burning it as fast as they could in order to get the necessary energy to keep
              themselves reasonably warm.


              How  many  times  has  it  been  able  to  escape  for  a  while  in  order  to  conserve  its
              precious reserves and the entire genus from the dangers of depletion and outright
              extinction as a consequence of the non-stop drilling night and day.  Whenever oil
              senses that the drilling crews are about to send out shock waves, it can predict the
              danger  above;  with  that  it  immediately  assembles  its  family  and  community  and
              quickly leaves the spot where they all are.  They make their way through passage-

              ways,  cracks,  crevices  and  rock-seams  scattered  throughout  the  sand  and
              limestone  layers  till  they  reach  somewhere  else.    Valleys  are  descended,
              mountains climbed; the oil floats on top of water, sometimes running away, others
              times staying still, in the loftiest places, all the while relying on its thick texture.
              Water  affords  it  an  even  better  chance  to  make  its  escape  and  hide  in  crevices
              covered  over  with  different  types  of  rock  like  limestone  and  clay.    Those  rocks
              keep it separated from everything around it, and it can keep itself safe from those
              cynical people on the surface who keep trying to locate it, tirelessly pursuing their
              question  in  the  sea  or  the  desert  and  unleashing  their  sound-waves  to  find  its
              hiding-place and finally tap it.
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