8 The Leopard (and His Spots)

We’re into weird territory now, and I’m a little excited. My hold on reality—loose as it’s been (so as not to say non-existent) since early this morning—has just undergone one more lateral nudge. Whatever I’m clasping at now is clearly not what I’m used to. I can’t blame the Bloody Mary: it may have been perfect, but it was not nearly so strong as to give me hallucinations. Do Bloody Marys ever? Is seeing yourself as a youthful rendering in your current day environment a hallucination? Then again, is a somewhat trendy garden bar cafe restaurant in the currently fashionable part of Istanbul ‘my environment’? And what are they thinking of me in Kingston, Surrey, right now? Should I care?

I resolve, for the first time really today, to ‘deal’ with the situation. Right up until now, I have been essentially bewildered and in no small measure bemused by my overall predicament, but now it transpires there’s something I must do. This fills me with gloom quite as much as it stirs me. Ideally, I would do nothing. I would sit here and wait for it all—whatever ‘it’ is—to just go away. But conditions are no longer ideal. Whereas until a few minutes ago I was maybe disorientated but principally happy to just exist in a reality that didn’t quite make sense but that would probably, I surmised, explain itself to me in one way or another sooner or later, I am now deeply discomfited. And as the extraordinariness of my state begins to dawn on me, it also begins to impose itself on me with a meaning, a forceful declamation of purpose: it seems to be saying you are here precisely to confront your own younger self. And that is plainly absurd.

The angular waitress is nowhere to be seen and so I halfheartedly wave at a sweet looking colleague of hers who is and has been all smiles. He looks about twenty-seven-and-three-and-a-half-months and wears one discreet earring and a handsome tattoo that encircles his arm below a deliberately high-rolled shirt sleeve. He likes me, I think, but then at the moment I am quite likeable, and quite helpless, as I glance up at him and ask him what it was that the young man over there had eaten, offering him an innocent smile: before you interfere with your reality, check it.

He glances halfway over his shoulder and furrows his brow for an instant or two, and my heart sinks. There’s nobody there. I’m imagining him, I am losing control. Hah, losing control, I’ve lost it several hours ago, possibly several decades…

He slowly turns back to me and declares: ‘Kebab. Mixed kebab and salad. Are you still hungry?’ – ‘No,’ I reply, only now aware of how odd a question that must have seemed, ‘no, not at all, I was just wondering; it looked nice.’ This satisfies him, and from his expectant look I deduce that he thinks I will want to order something anyway, maybe another coffee? I pause for a moment and then say, as if that was the most natural thing in the world: ‘do you think he would mind if I asked him a question?’

Ahmed—I later find out is his name—cocks his head a bit as if to say ‘are you serious?’ but instead, with a still growing smile says: ‘There is no harm in asking a question.’ I am relieved, but not sure that he’s right, necessarily. Would that not depend on the question?

I feel I have caught myself on the hop and I order, somewhat on a whim, a mojito this time round and—sensing my window of opportunity close and the boldness in my adrenalin-fuelled heart wane—ask Ahmed to ask young me (without referring to him as young me, for obvious reasons) if he would join me for one, as I would like to, there being no harm in asking a question, ask him a question.

Ahmed seems to enjoy this task, one he has never, I fancy, been given before, and brazenly marches up to young me and asks me if I would care to join the gentleman over there for a mojito. To my unending surprise I say yes. But then I have always been good for a new conversation, even back then, when I was, or believe to remember being, naturally disposed towards caution.

As I sit there watching myself saunter over to me, I sense an overpowering surge of affection and care. God, I think to myself, if only I knew…


< 7 Love       {Vibe} >


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{Reflexion}

Old spellings. I like them. Archaic turns of phrase. Askewnesses, plurals. The Thisness and Thatness of it All: attributation, verbing & nouns. The Ampersand.

I like my reality. It’s not as if I’m married to it, I haven’t sworn allegiance to it, and it not to me, we are not, in that sense, committed to each other, nor in any other sense, I believe. But having been together coming up half a century, I paddle in the comfort of its familiarity, as in a hot tub that isn’t quite hot, merely warm. We do, I feel, know each other. So naturally, naturally, I’m irked when it deserts me; not upset, I don’t upset easily, nor do I anger; hardly at all.

Rhythmic repetitions. Is Y a consonant or a vowel, and why. Eschewing question marks.

Conundra.


< 2 The Sultaness

3 Memories of the Future: A Leak and the Edgy Etonian >


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Saturn

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Uranus

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Query

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{Connexum}

not the essay, just the idea
not the notion that everything is connected, that is not new
and not the question
how connected is everything
but the question
how
if everything is connected
is everything connected.

if things are connected
there must be something that connects them

and for many things that are connected
we know what that is
we can see it, measure it, build it, make it
we can name it:
the axles the shafts
the electric current the
data the code and the signal

but what about things that are connected and we
don’t know what it is that connects them
what about
quantum entanglement
for example, albert einstein’s
spukhafte fernwirkung
what about that?

there is no doubt that things are connected of which
we don’t know how this is
and
if things are connected
there has to be some thing that connects them
even if that is
a thing we have not detected
a thing we have not yet detected and so not yet given a name to
a thing we have not yet detected but may yet find
we can find

that would give us
three things in principle:
energy
information
and the third thing
the thing that connects things
for which we don’t yet have a name
but we have
maybe
names
for manifestations of it
the strong and weak nuclear forces
the electromagnetic force and the force of
gravity

what if these forces are to the third thing as
light sound heat motion are to the first (energy)
and as
data code and semantic content are to the second (information)
what if that third thing is a thing in itself
that exists and that is
as yet only
partly
understood

as humans we like sets of threes
trios, triumvirates, trinities
they give us a deeper reality

at first glance we seem to be living in twos
in the binaries of
male/female
plus/minus
hot/cold
dark/light
day/night
yes/no
1/0

but it only takes one thought to know
that
neat and simple as this looks and sounds

it is patently not our
reality
our reality
here too
needs a third component each time:

male/trans/female
plus/neutral/minus
hot/tepid/cold
dark/twilight/light
yes/maybe/no
1/anything in between/0

even yin and yang are not a duality
but a symbolic expression of the way apparent opposites complement each other as part of
the same

and this
is when it gets really interesting, when
dualities are not augmented by that which is in between
but are understood as the whole:

yin/same/yang

for which the quantum equivalent then could be
on/on-and-off-at-the-same-time/off

what if
we’ve always known this to be the case
and have expressed it in many ways
the elements of
the same the other and the essence
in plato’s timaeus
the father the son and the holy spirit
anicca, dukkha, anattā:
impermanence
suffering
non-self

what if that third thing
the essence, the holy spirit, the non-self
is
in principle
the thing that connects
everything

the third thing
the thing for which we don’t yet have a name but that exists and that
we most likely
will find and be able to identify, a

connexum?

10 Secrets, No Lies

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