Allan Parker

TEA WITH THE QUEEN – UPSTATE NEW YORK (Dec 2012)

tumblr_me7j7j0SXo1rchkzjo1_500

At the junction of the track and the local road a man with long greying yellow hair came out of one of the wooden buildings. He was carrying a cavalry style sword parallel to the ground and when he got closer I saw that a quarter lay on its flat blade.

You stayin at The Farm? he said

Yeah

He flicked the quarter in the air, failing to catch it on the blade. He picked it up and replaced it

Do I detect an Accent?

Spose so

Where are you from?

England

Alright!! – You got the queen there…

He flicked the quarter in the air again and it chinked against the blade and fell into the dust. As he bent down to retrieve the coin he said under his breath and almost to himself

…afternoon tea

He stood up

You had tea with the queen?

No

You got that TV evangelism in the UK tho’ right?

We don’t go in for that stuff so much…

I’m sure y’all get into it – putting you hand on the television screen and sayin “Ah do”

He took the quarter off the blade and pointed into the trees with the sword, moving it in an arc back towards the road.

See that? Old Indian trail …goes all the way to Vermont. Custer used that trail

He stuck the point of the sword into short grass at the side of the track and looked down at the wheel ruts.

England … imagine that!

Its not that far

Tell you the truth – I don’t like to travel that much

You been abroad?

Oh yeah – I been abroad

Where?

Vietnam. Got a metal plate in my head to prove it too