Friday, May 10, 2013

Mistake, marble floor and thinking

Portrait of the artist by mistake.

Hard to believe but a new kitchen floor in somebody's apartment in America is given as a reason for not drinking red wine.  The floor is made of marble and if a bottle were dropped  on it, it might leave a stain. The people in question, not close friends of mine, I hasten to add,  don't drink wine preferring beer so perhaps it is just a polite excuse. In the unlikely event of an invitation I make a note to leave the Ch Lafitte at home, and bring Budweiser instead.

I once long ago when very young asked someone the foolish question, what are you thinking about? A penny for your thoughts? Never again. I am reminded of my foolishness  this morning when I wonder what is going on in my  own head at the moment. I immediately realise why such questions are not only out of order but technically  impossible to answer. It's like demanding of someone what is happening under his feet, or shouting over the side of a boat into the ocean, what's going on down there?


Roderick Robinson said...

Pain, lack of warmth, impending poverty, reaction to some recent cultural novelty, the passage of a beautiful woman, a continuing state of embarrassment and a million other external events may well be colouring your thoughts at that moment in a predictable way, leading to a quite banal response - but even then, were a score of your experience to be written out, it would resemble a fugue with n voices, where n is any large figure.

If you were in fact day-dreaming at the time (a rare state which posits a mind not directly influenced by what is going on around) the fugue with n voices analogy still applies but - and here I take an enormous, risky, existential leap - the nature of the voices might be broken down into two categories: remembrances and possibilities, the latter much shorter than the former, and usually incomplete.

Given that I am briefly in a strange state of mind myself, yearning for an impossible change to my past that would be as unlikely as having dinner out with Virginia Mayo, I feel it appropriate to adopt (briefly) an academic turn of phrase: say what is wrong with this proposition.

Marble floor. In the days when you and I were nobbut lads, the West End used to offer entertainments called revues, series of short sketches, interspersed with songs written specially for the revue. Alan Melville was a specialist in revues and in one of them included a song "We're terribly Home & Garden at number 56." The verses were an elaboration of interior decor changes that were gradually making number 56 uninhabitable. Leading to the punchline: "We actually live at number 58." Which may the case in the people you refer to. But the list of prohibitees would need to be expanded: people inclined to vomit, to bleed, etc. I think the apartment might be on Central Park Eas but its owners probably occupy a hovel in Hamtranck, Noo Joisey.

Unknown said...

Sigmund Freud on the one hand and Marcel Proust on the other might have given a fuller response. In their absence I am grateful for the lucidity of yours.
Its Washington in fact.