Thursday, June 07, 2012

We 2 kings

May & June are peppered with Catholic holidays, and today was one. Bang Thursday and no work. I decided to take a walk and couldn’t think of a good park so I went down the road to the cemetery. It’s the best possible park, huge and fabulous with trees. Sometimes a person goes by; most of the time not. I chose a bench among the many insects and birdsong and sat reading for over an hour: Fernando Pessoa’s The Book of Disquiet, which says in section 404 -

To wrap the world around our fingers, like a thread or ribbon which a woman twiddles while daydreaming at the window...
Everything comes down to our trying to feel tedium in such a way that it doesn’t hurt.
It would be interesting to be two kings at the same time: not the one soul of them both, but two distinct, kingly beings. 

To be honest, though, I was on a relatively open path, and worse, I was looking at the back of headstones, and I hate that. It’s like sitting in a restaurant with your back toward the door. If you’ve ever seen a mafia movie you know that is a mistake. So I set out for a more sheltered bench and switched to Little Dorrit, in which Mr Clennam asks, 

“The name of Mr Tite Barnacle has been mentioned to me as representing some highly influential interest among (Dorrit’s) creditors. Am I correctly informed?”
It being one of the principles of the Circumlocution Office never, on any account whatever, to give a straightforward answer, Mr Barnacle said, “Possibly.” 

This was the funniest passage so far, not least because of that name. And so, though I am not truly able to be two kings at once, reading two good books on one afternoon in pleasant weather did give me the feeling I could be two distinct, kingly beings, both, at the same time.


Kathleen said...

You in a cemetery reading two books makes my day!

SarahJane said...

Now this cemetery is more than 170 acres big, and more like a forest than than anything.

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