In Conversation With Chiron
The centaur who trained Achilles and Percy Jackson.
I was out on a Saturday. You know, spending some time in nature, cooling off the stress, with occasional Facebook checks. The Pine Forest is a famous tourist spot, but to my surprise, it was not crowded that day. Except for a few horses and a trainer nearby, it was practically empty. The trainer was a good-looking man. I wouldn't lie if I said I threw a couple of glances at him. I sat down on the grass, took a deep breath, immersing myself in "Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief"; I don't know how much time had passed when I suddenly heard a voice say, "I trained him";
I looked up and saw the handsome trainer before me with a horse nearby him. I said, "What?".
"I trained Percy Jackson."
"Yeah, right. And I dated Brad Pitt."
"Typical.", he said.
"What did you say?"
"You're a Sagittarius. It's typical of you to make snipey remarks".
That got me curious. Who was this man? How did he know I was a Sagittarius? Though, I couldn't care less if I was a Sagittarius or a Taurus. I don't believe in astronomical(astrological) nonsense. I racked my brain, trying to remember his face. I would definitely not forget a hunk like him. He must be playing a prank on me. Even if he was taking chances with my birth month, it was one in twelve, which is not much.
"How do you know I'm a Sagittarius?"
"I told you I trained Percy Jackson. Though, he was much harder on me than Achilles. I vowed never to deal with pre-pubescent boys after him."
"Are you saying you're Chiron?"
"Do I have to state explicitly? You are supposed to be sharp."
"Now who's snipey? But you're a human. Chiron is a centaur."
That's when I realized the man before me was not a human. It looked like, a human and a horse were standing side by side. But on close observation, it was actually half human and half horse. A centaur.
My mouth hung open. "Wait. You're..? But how? What are you doing here?"
"Less about me, more about you. I don't have much time. I have an appointment with Brad Pitt next. And no, I will not take you with me."
"I wasn't going to ask you to take me to visit Brad Pitt."
"Yes, you were. I'm your guidance counselor. You can talk to me about anything that's worrying you lately."
"Hold on. Why did you come suddenly? Where were you all this time?"
"I gotta change with the times. People don't believe in astrology anymore. So I've come to get direct feedback from the Sagittarians instead of playing with the stars. You know, open, honest and direct conversation."
It was weird enough meeting a centaur. But a centaur posing as a guidance counselor? I prepared myself to wake up from the dream any moment.
"So, how is your work going? I heard you switched jobs recently."
"As long as you're providing a free therapy session, I might as well make the most of it. It's free, right?"
"Ok then. Yeah, I switched jobs a few months back. It is going great. I have to put in extra hours to make things work, which I honestly don't mind, as I get to learn new things. It's the people who are a little problematic sometimes. If they don't like hearing what I say, they shouldn't ask for my opinion."
"You can be blunt sometimes."
"It is not my problem that I'm straight-forward."
"But apart from that, how about your career path?"
"I get the work done quickly. I got good feedback from my manager too. She told me I have all the qualities of a good leader. So yeah, I'm on the way to the top, baby."
"Ahem. That's good to hear. I mean the career part, not the baby part. Don't ever call me baby. Although, Zeus would've loved it."
"You recently celebrated your second anniversary. When are you planning to have a baby?"
I spit some water I was drinking. "You're worse than some of my relatives. I don't want to talk about it."
"How is married life dealing you?"
"It's different. Now that we're working from home, I'm able to spend more time with my husband. The lockdown is actually a blessing in disguise for me."
"So on the baby front.."
"Can we move on with the next question already?"
"You learned archery for a few months. Why did you quit?"
"Why would you ask me that particularly? Unless... Did you influence me to learn archery? Did you move around the planets and stars to dominate me psychologically? Because I swear if it was you who forced me.."
"Ok. ok. Come on. Archery is an essential skill everyone should possess. Especially a Sagittarius."
"Did you know how many push-ups I had to endure as part of the daily workout routine? And no. It is not an essential skill. Get on with the times, centaur. Do you know what is an essential skill for today's world? Facebook and Tinder. So talk to me about archery after you open an account in those."
"Not you too. Miley Cyrus has been pestering me to follow her on Twitter."
"You should. And you should follow Brad Pitt too."
"Enough with Brad Pitt. So what are you up to lately?"
"I've taken up writing, and I'm enjoying every bit of it. There's a challenge to write a fictional story involving a black book. Guess what. The winner gets $20000. That's right. TWENTY THOUSAND DOLLARS, baby. I've submitted my story to it. Can you see to the alignment of the planets and stars to make me the winner? I will even give you half of the prize money."
"I don't work that way, but let me see what I can do."
"This is a standard question I ask all the Sagittarians. Have you traveled anywhere recently?"
"As if you don't know. Now I'm getting the feeling I'm being controlled all my life. I will never forgive you for the forced archery practice. To answer your question, yes, I visited Bhutan a year back. I've written all about it in my Vocal article. Give it a read sometime."
"Ah. Bhutan. If there's one place humans live in harmony with nature, it's there."
"Finally, we both agree on something."
"I've been planning to visit for a long time. But you know, due to covid, the borders for Bhutan are closed for centaurs to visit."
"Come on, man. Covid is for humans, not centaurs. You should be all breaking barriers and stuff. Where's the adventure in following the rules?"
"Yeah, you're right. That's the spirit of Sagittarius."
Closing Questions to Chiron
"My regular one on one is over."
"I have a few questions for you, Chiron. It's been bothering me for some time."
"I'm right here."
"Most of the serial killers are Sagittarians. What's up with that? Couldn't you do anything about it?"
"It's the one thing I'm not proud of. The extent of stars on someone's life is only up to a certain limit. More than that, it has no use, and you can't blame the stars for everything. You humans have to take responsibility for your wrong-doings. I can be a guide; You cannot expect me to do the job for you. Yes. Most of the serial killers are Sagittarians. But so are most Olympic medallists. You become what you feed your mind."
I closed my eyes and let that sink in for a moment. How true. We humans always prefer to do the easy thing over the right thing. Unless we own our mistakes and work on ourselves, we'll never lead a peaceful life. Blaming the stars for our mistakes only makes the matters worse. I opened my eyes and looked up. Chiron was nowhere to be seen. There was only one bright star visible in the sky. It twinkled at me knowingly.