Editor’s Note: The Weight, an original piece by Flandrian, is Pappillon’s final blog post dedicated to the enigma known as “VDB”.
As a young boy he was special. At sign tables and start lines fathers would point him out and whisper to their boys, ” That’s him, the special one I told you about.” Greetings and praise met him at the start of even the smallest races.The big events were like coronations for the young Prince. “This one is going to be something special, you’ll see.” A Messiah had been born in Belgium.
The Weight of Possibility.
It all seemed so easy so preordained. His victories grew and appeared so effortless to the mere mortals that worshiped Him. When He won, He won in grand style, with spectacular attacks that disposed of his competition and drove the hero starved masses into a frenzy. They cheered , they cried, they drank Belguim dry. A culturally divided nation was now united under one God.
As much as they willed him to be a God he was as fragile as any other man. The Wind, Rain, and Cold wear down even the hardest stone. He looked to the shadows and to those who prey on self doubt to ease the suffering and fear. When He succumbed. The spell was broken. Adulation soured to disenchantment. ” He was a fraud,He made us believe. How dare he assume the Crown and all our hopes.
The Weight of Expectation.
It ends for him much as it started.
In a misty rain, as they carry the coffin past the silent faithful, a father whisper to his young son.
“That’s him, that’s the special one I told you about.”
Entombed below the dirt of Flanders –