The Troll Who Guards the Bridge

“Stop. Who goes there?”

“I am Knight Knightinghood.
Who are you?”

“I am the Troll Who Guards the Bridge.”

“This bridge?”

“Yes. And a few others.
We work in shifts.”

“Who does?”

“We trolls.”

“O, there are more of you?”

“Yes, we trolls are a proud people.
We guard bridges and live below them…
or next to them in mid-price range apartment complexes.”

“I see.”

“Yes, it’s not bad.
An easy commute.”

“Well… Troll Who Guards the Bridge,
may I…
actually, why do you guard the bridge?”

“What do you mean?
Do you mean do I have some vested interest in the bridge
or that which lay on the other side of the bridge?
Am I protecting some castle or province
or a princess?”

“No… I mean, you’re a troll…
You’re a bit small.
I mean… why wouldn’t they have someone larger
guarding the bridge?
Like an ogre or something?”

“Well, I may be small but I’m scary…
and I have scary magical powers.”

“Mmm… you’re still small.”

“Yes, yes I am small.
That is true.
But again, I have scary magical powers.
I’m a troll, I mean come on, I’m not like a midget or something.
OK? The height isn’t my defining characteristic, per say.”

“Yea… no, I get that.
I’m just saying, I don’t know.
Wouldn’t the bridge be more secure with an Ogre
who was also scary and magical?”

“Hey, Knight what-ever your name is,
do I come to your work and give you a hard time?”

“No, I’m just saying…”

“HEY! Knight know-it-all…
do I come to your work and give you a hard time?”

“… No.”

“OK.
Anyways, it is what it is.”

“Do Leprechaun’s guard bridges too?”

“What’s that?”

“I said, do Leprechaun’s guard bridges also?”

“Why because they’re also small and magical?
No. Heh, Leprechauns do not guard bridges…
A Leprechaun couldn’t guard a bridge
if his life depended on it.
Have you ever seen a Leprechaun?”

“Umm… no?”

“Well, let’s just say… they’re a bit… well, y’know.”

“What?”

“They’re a bit gay.”

“What are you talking about?”

“O come on, they love gold and rainbows.
You know… they’ve got their little charms,
running around giddy and… gay.”

“Oooo…”

“Yea, I mean, a Leprechaun cannot stand
on a bridge all day, in all kinds of weather,
dealing with people like you,
and rogue misfits of the woods.
Let’s get real here.
I mean, have you seen the one in the
Lucky Charms commercial?
O, he loves his Lucky Charms…
yea, no Leprechaun’s guarding any bridges
at least any time soon, OK?”

“Well, alright then.”

“Yea, I mean look, I hate to bash on them…
y’know to speak bad about someone else
is to harm your own soul, right?
But the Leprechaun doesn’t have the balls
to guard a bridge!
The Leprechaun sneaks around picking
clovers, he is more concerned with wearing green
and representing some sort of confused idea
of Irish past-time or folk-lore or whatever…
Look at me, hey Knight-man, look at me, OK?
I sleep under the bridge.
Sometimes with my girlfriend in the adjacent
apartment complex I mentioned earlier.
I am covered in mud. You can’t tell where I begin…
and the mud ends.
My beard hair is so long, my manhood
is unquestionable.
I roam I stay still. I’m a troll.
Can I get some respect here?”

“OK, OK.
Yes, I see your point.”

“Good. I’m glad we had this talk.”

“So tell me, Troll who Guard the Bridge.”

“Troll is fine.”

“What’s that?”

“Troll is fine. Just call me Troll.”

“Ahh… alright.
Well, tell me Troll, how is it guarding the bridge?
Is it a pleasant job?”

“Well y’know, the life of a troll…
it can be a bit droll.
That’s what we like to say anyway.
We Trolls have a good sense of humor, y’know?”

“Yes. Very clever.
But uhh… how’s the pay?”

“Well, I mean look… did you ever see
a Troll driving a Mercedes?”

“Umm… no?”

“Right, OK. So there you go.”

“Well, how’s the job security?’

“Well, I am the security.
That is my job.”

“Yes, but I mean what happens if you get fired.
Can you be fired?”

“I was once on fire.
This guy came on horse-back with this torch
and ehh… it got caught on my poncho
and I was running around like a school-girl
I mean everyone was making fun of me, y’know?”

“Yes, no… Troll, I mean…
do you get benefits?”

“Bene-fit?
I don’t know what you’re talking about.
I’m in the best shape of my life.
Look at me!”

“No, I mean health, dental.
Y’know, benefits.”

“Look OK, sometimes a ehh…
well don’t tell my girlfriend, but y’know
sometimes a wayward girl-Troll might come by y’know
and I say hey, let’s go under the bridge
if you know what I mean ehh?
So yea… I get the benefit.
Big benefit.
Very big.”

“Hmm… well what about unemployment?
Do they help you get back on your feet?”

“Knight-man, I tell you this OK
I am always on my feet.
You couldn’t believe the feet I have.
I stand so firm, well… you just wouldn’t believe it.
I’m like a tree, but ehh… not the one’s who walk around
at night, but like the Oak trees who stand so tall.
I’m like them, figuratively.
I’m like a tall Oak tree.
I stand a lot.
You know what I’m saying…”

“Right…
well anyway, I’m just gonna get going over this bridge
if you don’t mind?”

“Whoa… hey, OK. We talked a little…
you ehh… applied a bit of social lubricant,
made me feel good, I catharted, we cathexed…
I recalled pleasant memories…
We got to know each other, to feel a temporary sense
of comraderie and kinship even…
but look I am the Troll Who Guards the Bridge,
so… I must ask you…
where are you going?”

“Well, it’s kind of private.”

“O… well, that’s understandable.
OK go ahead.
You can pass.”

“Really?”

“Yea, sure.
Hey, if it’s private… then it’s private, y’know?”

“Wow, I mean… I thought you’d insist on knowing?”

“No, it’s it’s… well, listen let me tell you a story.
When I was a child, there was once a windmill
that I wanted to visit, in Holland
- that’s where Windmills are.
And I wanted to go to see the windmill,
no special reason, I just wanted to see a windmill.
Haven’t you ever just wanted to see something,
y’know what I mean?”

“Sure…”

“So, I go to where the windmills are,
and there is this… Troll.
He was old. He was… well, it’s hard to describe.
He had a particular character.
Let’s just say he had some specific traits.
He wore a particular outfit, he spoke with a specific
dialect, and he held his body in this-or-that way
I mean it’s not really that important to the story, OK?
But anyway, this old Troll, he told me
I am the Troll Who Guards the Windmill.
And I asked him if I could see the Windmill,
and he said yes, and I looked into his eyes,
and he… well, he was kind of distracted honestly
there was some bug on the ground
he was looking at, and… he may have been thinking
about something in his life that was going on at home, y’know?
Actually come to think of it, I’m not sure he even noticed
me that much… he may even have been high.
It’s hard to say,
but the point is I got to see the Windmill…
and it was… the best day of my life.
Well, at that point in time.
Since, I’ve had many other good days.
I had a good day actually the other week at the fair.
They ehh… offered me a fair price on admission.”

“Nice.”

“Thank you.
But anyways what was I saying?
O yes… the point of the story is…
that I too have had a somewhat similar experience
as yourself, wanting to go somewhere to see something
and ehh… it’s a beautiful thing.
So no need to tell me of the precise who’s and why’s
and where’s of your travels.
Just go.”

“O, well thank you…”

“Just go!
Live your dream!
For I once had a dream too…
to be more than just the Troll Who Guards the Bridge.
Let me tell you another story.”

“Actually, Troll… I kind of need to get going…”

“Really?
It’s short.”

“Yea, I’m sure it is but…
y’know, I didn’t expect to talk this long to you
just to be honest, I have someone waiting for me
on the other side of the bridge…
and I don’t want to be too late.”

“Knight, that is very understandable.
You Sir, are a gentleman.
A Sir, in both senses of the word
the ehh… Knight-ish sense,
and the general formality sense.
You have admirable qualities.
I like you.
I’d like to hang out with you more,
maybe we can go bowling sometime?
What do you think?”

“Well, I tell you what Troll?
How about I will run into you on my way
back over the bridge later…
and we can see then?”

“You are as fair as you are kind, good knight.
I will remember this day,
at least… I would like to.”

“Alright, Troll. Well you take it easy
with the ehh… guarding of the bridge
while I go and participate in actual events
on the other side, and ehh… yea.”

“OK, goodbye Knight!
See you later!
… I see you going off into the distance…
you are gradually getting farther away from me.
To my eyes, it seems you are getting smaller
though of course that’s only perspective…
Hey Knight, are you on facebook?
I’ll add you!”