We Didn’t Sit in a Cafe and Talk about Our Lives

By | 1 July 1998

Well I’d been out there and I’d done stuff, and I didn’t meet anyone – or, if I did, we didn’t sit in a cafe and talk about our lives, but then, maybe I didn’t even go out, and maybe I didn’t do anything – maybe things did things, or maybe nothing happened, or everything did – everything did everything, though not simultaneously, but at anytime, or out of time, so maybe I was here or there and things were happening, and other people and other things we re doing things or not doing things – for instance, maybe I did something, and then I didn’t, maybe I walked down the street and picked up a plate, then I stepped on a twig, and then someone in Holland – maybe one of my cousins – picked up a paint-brush and painted nothing, or painted a trap, or a wing or a plate – he might have picked up an acorn and eaten it – he might have chewed it till it became a fine mash, then spat it into his hand and squished it into a hole in the wall, or into a bottle-top or a shell. He might have broken off the end of that shell and put it into the mouth of a suckling kitten. Maybe things were exploding everywhere, or, maybe not exploding, but constantly and dramatically changing. I might have walked into the street, when suddenly the floor beneath me dropped twenty metres and the building across the road leapt into the air. Peter, the guy I work with, came up to me, and maybe I didn’t even recognise him at first because his face had stretched and his mouth was still back at the cross-roads and it took a while for his words to reach me, but then he said let’s sit in a cafe and talk about our lives, so we were in a cafe and I said yeah, well, this and that’s been happening, and he said something about pillars – so many pillars in this cafe – but what about your life, I said, and he just laughed, he laughed and laughed – what was that funny something someone in the Gilbert and Sullivan Society said? oh yes, that’s right, now I remember, but on the subject of his life, he said, yes, it is sometimes like that – a horrible thing, horrible, horrible, but it’s also good cause that’s how we like it.


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