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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Wednesday, April 17, 2024

'White magic' and insanity in Olympos

Olympos, a small haven in southern Turkey, is quiet tonight. During the summer the main dirt road is mobbed with backpackers, but the chilly winter air has kept most visitors away. In fact, only one light is on--a small bar that is almost deserted.  

That's me inside, warming myself next to the fire. My two friends sit across from me. On my left is a big man, broad shoulders stuffed into a white sweatshirt that says \white magic."" He cradles a huge walking stick with a pointed end, and the three of us watch him nervously. His name is Hamdee and he is insane, although it took the walk to the bar for us to come to terms with that fact. A sample conversation: 

Us: I like your shirt--white magic. 

Hamdee: Yes, there are three of us, one red, one black and one white. We trade roles, sometimes I am good, and sometimes I am bad. Last year there was only two of us, and that was a very difficult time. But now there is balance, because we form a triangle. 

Us: I heard that is a good bar. 

Hamdee: Yes--everything is good and then one person kills another, two lives ------ in a second. 

Us: The stars are beautiful tonight. 

Hamdee: Tonight is special because every constellation is a triangle. I think there are many UFOs above us, and they might come to pick us up and take us to another planet. But that is far away, and I do not want to leave this earth. 

Desperate now for sane conversation, my friend says: I like the sound of the creek. 

Hamdee's response: You know, one day I was sitting in the forest, and I heard a voice say look above me, and I looked up and the clouds made cartoons for me and I laughed. Then I heard a voice say good job, but when I looked around there was no one there. Then I realized that everything--the rocks and the trees and the sky, were talking to me. And we have so much to learn from them, and then together we will work like the pieces in a puzzle. 

As the night wore on we realized he saw us as allies in his struggle against the world: I am so happy you are with me, my friends. I have been lonely for 36 years. It is time now for the flood to come, we have to kick the ------ out of paradise. It is time for the tables to turn. The ------ will have to pay three times for everything they have done. They have ruled for too long, but that will change tonight. It is our paradise but it is their hell. There is sun in our future but our sun will burn the ------. You know the evil queen tried to tempt me today. She tried to tempt me so many times but I resisted. There are two queens, a good queen and an evil queen. We must destroy the evil queen, she is powerful but not too powerful. 

I could go on, about why my friend was a lion and I was a dolphin, about the howling, about when Hamdee attacked a pickup truck. But I've said enough. I don't think he was a bad man, just confused, although this didn't help us sleep when we finally returned to our beds. Hamdee had given us a large speech about betrayal, and every time I turned to the window I expected to see that grim, vacant stare and those large hands clutching the quarterstaff. 

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