the burden of possibility
Two important-looking clergymen prowl uneasily in the bitter platform cold. They are travelling down from Leeds to London. When the train arrives they sit on opposite sides of a reserved table in the quiet carriage. “Young mothers with chipped nail varnish,” the first begins, “fill themselves with cigarette smoke for a brief blank moment of satisfaction.” To this challenge, the other responds: “When you take your clothes to the laundrette you are reaffirming or celebrating your identity. Its components dance, spin, enumerate themselves in front of your eyes.” At this, they nod and smile; a slight milkiness, an opaqueness, passes across their eyes. Later that same night they’re collecting armfuls of dead roses from the expensive homes along the river in Chiswick. “Your mind unravels like a pullover as your driver explains to you the positions of the stars.” “Certain kinds of wear and tear reveal themselves. Every personality is prone. On the other hand its renewable energies become clear.” These two men have a uniform whiteness of hair the secret of which has been lost to the laity. Neither of them drink coffee. “It occurs to me I will probably never need to write, ‘He fell into the abyss of the nunnery.'” “And yet you never know.”
“Can you spare an old altar boy some change, Fadder?”
To what private God do these clergymen offer their prayers?
Miramon: neither the scope nor the scale of their devotions can ever be revealed. Not by me. Not at this end of the year.
Sure it wasn’t “abbess of a nunnery”? Those folk lead strange lives, Mike.
Happy new year, and all that.