Tulse Luper – 1. Coal


It was the case
That the first homework carried home from school was arithmetic and involved the determination of integers exactly divisible by 3. His father explained it to him, having first read the primer, a possession of Ivor Gemelli, Sep. 1903.
But that was the case then, many grey moons ago.
92 is not divisible by 3. However, if you were to remove the 2 directly to the aether, without any further compunction, ungoodbyed, no fare-thee-well, 9 would be.
It seems that the ink blots could be rubbed out with pumice.
It seems most things could be cleansed, after a period of panic, if not everything.
The world is everything.

Being imprisoned in a coal bunker for the simple crime of self-expression is the beginning of it. Guilt can move a person — indeed, it becomes a talented motive force — and it would be an instant and glib diagnosis, that our hero, the oddly-named Tulse Luper, should be equated with Jim of the unstated surname. But whenever the dreadful shadow of the incident at Patna catches up with him — as it always eventually does — Jim abandons his current place, and moves further east: keeping hidden his past, at any cost.
Prisoned effectively, although with room to move,
And the obvious corollary of carrying it with, the guilt.

A suitcase, heavy, brim-filled with coal, anthracite. Left at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, the Dome of the Rock. Every bit as much as Greenwich, Jerusalem being an acceptable candidate for the Prime Meridian. And the scene of some religious in-fighting.
The first suitcase.

Tulse Luper – main page »

These suitcases represent the world according to Tulse Luper.

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