November 14, 2012
- So let me get this straight…
He felt he had me pinned, and he was not about to change the subject. They had politely decided to watch a film, when we had become more animated than was acceptable. The dinner things were abandoned to our nonsense.
- I do think you are misunderstanding but it’s not something I can just put into words.
- No. Forgive me… I’m just… Let me get this straight. What is it that you are seeing that I don’t?
- It’s nothing really. It’s maybe just a different way of putting the same thing.
- Ah no…
- No, forgive me, no. You were pretty adamant when the girls were here. What was it? “Vigorous materialism” said solemnly, like it was a hideous perversion. Leaving aside that meaningless modifier, what is wrong with materialism? I love you dearly Bill, but you do just talk shit sometimes, and not even amiable shit. I’m sure they’re out there saying I’m becoming unmanageable but, and you know this, I love you, but you are such an aloof cunt sometimes.
- Yes. I am sorry. You just rub me up the wrong way sometimes, and if I’m honest I worry that you are infecting Molly with your unacceptable Dalek point of view. Mum made me promise that I would look after her, Those were her last words in fact: “William, that girl’s aesthetic and metaphysical sensibilities are my sole accomplishments in this world. Make sure she doesn’t marry some drunken wanker who will boil them away. Now get me a nurse as I am dying.”
- Don’t deflect. And anyway, Molly was desperate for someone who was not a friend of the pixies after growing up in your household. I showed her my lab coat and she presented like a farm animal. Yes, you love. Do shut up, you’re interrupting. So yes…
He reached for some pistachios which I had ashed into earlier.
- Out wi’ it: what’s wrong wi’ me lad?
- Alright. If we’re laughing about this, alright. So you remember earlier when you called Mowson a useless cunt because of ‘Celestial Geometry’ and Molly had said something to shut you up because you were going on and on like a mental patient?
- I… OK, I accept that something like that happened. When the soup was out.
- Yes. So I didn’t join in then, although I usually love baiting you, because it made me remember something.
- And this memory will explain why you said I had no…
- Exactly. Now I’ve never told you this before, because it would mean exactly nothing to you, but you remind me of someone very strongly.
- Shh. It was a boy I knew when I was a boy. You are so much like him that it’s not even funny. It’s eery frankly and I do hold it against you. Same face, stature, walk, laugh, views. Molly knew him, and I said to her when she first showed us a picture of you: ‘that’s Duncan.’ She didn’t like that. Anyway, Duncan and I used to go off on bikes in those pre-girl years and play at being archaeologists. Raiders of the Lost Ark and all that.
- Is this…
- Yes this is going somewhere, and you did ask. OK – short version is this: Duncan used to tease me about being scared of the megaliths and chamber tombs we used to visit. Cornwall’s lousy with the things, and we saw everything we could. Often it’d be a long ride, or a bus and a ride, all year round. So we’d be there in twilight often, and it gave me the willies. I didn’t think we’d be killed or anything. But… the best I can do is say that it was like something in me was in danger. A part of my mind maybe. These ancient things had soaked up something malevolent, and something in me was able to – at risk of – soaking that in too.
- Yes I see what you are saying. You told me I have no soul because you have mental health problems. It’s an illuminating anecdote and I thank you for it.
- Fuck off. That was not my point, but it’s exact the kind of thing Duncan would have said and I hope that your slavish doppelgangerism upsets you. No the point is that I used to try to talk to Duncan about this and he concluded that we were different types of creature. I’d try to explain these feelings and one day he just said: ‘it’s your soul, obviously.’ You know that argument against reincarnation don’t you? That increasing human population disproves it because there wouldn’t be enough recycled souls to go around?
- We talk of little else in the Chemistry Department.
- Well suppose, Duncan said, that all that happened was that some people got them and some did not? Back when the megaliths were dragged up there’d have been enough for one each – maybe more – but now we are lucky if we get one at all.
- OK so you weren’t being insulting, you were just being mental? I mean it just doesn’t make sense internally, even leaving aside the needless multiplication of entities. Why does my not liking some shitty poetry mean I have no soul? Do only the soul-keepers get art? Why do I like other art then?
- Yes it’s a fair point. My theory is that people like you learn to mimic the real humans because it increases your chances of mating.