Saturday 3 October 2020

At One with the World


   Keats and Chapman were ensconced in Neary's, the evening had been long and Chapman's demons were beginning to give voice, 'The problem is no one thinks about the big things anymore!'

   'I do' said Keats, 'It's your round'.

   'I mean philosophy!'

   'Oh' said Keats, 'It's your round'.

   'Everyone talks about causality, all they want to know is why did the chicken cross the road...'

   'Not me. It's your-'

   'but no one wants to know about the very core of things. For instance, what happens if the chicken is run over? Eh?' Chapman pressed the tip of his index finger hard into the varnish of the tabletop before them. 'What then? What happens if the chicken is so forced into the tarmac that it becomes indistinguishable from the road itself – no one one thinks about that!'

   'Some do. It's y-'



   Chapman saw that his rhetoric was falling on deaf ears and so, to Keats' audible relief, he stood up and signalled for two pints of Guinness. And seeing as he was up, he continued on to the gents to clear not so much his bladder as his head. 

   As he stood, gently swaying, at one of the monumental porcelain stalls that lined the wall his gaze settled on the copper piping that led down from the iron cistern perched above him. He had faced the piping countless times, but had never before appreciated the subtlety of its contours. He scrutinized the brass elbows and tees that enabled it to repeatedly ramify and permit water to sluice each stall. The copper and brass had been polished for so many years and with such assiduity that each bled seamlessly into the other. So close was his inspection that he slowly tipped forward his forehead coming to rest against the tiles above the stall. The cool of the ceramic spread through his skull, he closed his eyes and slipped into a reverie. He heard an echo of Keats' quip about henology and it made him smile and he felt his head merge with the tiles, and the wall, and everything.