An irregular, irreverent, post-modern account of the surreal, the ordinary, and the bizarre happenings on and around the Felia lavender farm in Crete

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Schrodinger's Cheshire Cat

Gilbert sipped his coffee through a straw, no steam rose. Lighting another cigarette in the diurnal merry go round of smoking he looked up and across the millpond expanse of Lake Kournas, out across Georgioupolis to the Gulf of Almiros. The sky was cerulean. The sea was turquoise and flat. The light, clear and strong. Th weather had finally turned. He felt good and bad both at the same time. Physically he was a young man again but that meant that he had had another disturbed night. Dick Detective had come looking for him last night. This morning he did not sniff. The three of them had come up to the Empire cafe to warm their bones through in the sunshine and to gaze mindlessly at the reflections on the sweetwater of the lake. It was too early for the pedaloes to be out - the trippers would arrive soon enough but for now they simply sat. They had met Voula and her family as they arrived but now they sat apart. His head was abuzz.

He despised Dick and detested his visits but ... But the aftereffects were good and the mysteries were gradually unravelling themselves. He knew now that Dick meant him no good but he was not afraid. Dick's obvious pleasure in his plight bothered him not - it was, if you like, to be expected. predictable, ineluctable: a force of fictional nature in fact. He had been very careful not to let on to Dick that he had begun to fathom things: that Dick's disclosures delighted him. And so, as Kelly talked of her siblings and her work and her flatmate and her new boyfriend and her mother (Gilbert's first wife who had recently followed their own example and moved abroad effectively orphaning the three daughters) he was busy piecing together bits and pieces of Dick's narratives in some background partition of his whirling grey (and we must assume white) matter.

It niggled him that neither the Jill woman nor Finn had responded to his emails. It was, he admitted to himself. the weekend and surely most people had better things to do with their weekends than answer weird emails but still it niggled. Could they not appreciate the urgency of his pleas? What urgency? There was no real rush was there? His head was a little muzzy from lack of restful sleep but he was on top of things and was enjoying this time with his daughter - probably the longest stretch that they had spent alone together in her life. There had always been the other girls around until now. And twinship, he acknowledged, was an awkward and a heavy cross to bear as well as being a blessing. Never to be truly alone. Scarcely within his imagination.

Meantimes the sun had warmed Abby's bones through and she was chatting happily with Kelly while her own background processor was engaged in similar unravellings to his. She had less to work with but she had seen the emails go out and so she had a good idea of what was going on or at least of what he thought might be going on. She found his "working hypothesis" absurd. Absurd but not impossible. She too had followed some of his online bookmarks to the sites about quantum mechanical theories of texts and had even checked back through his online postings to determine whether he had adopted his new signature (a googolplex of quarks without a single lepton) before or after he had started those investigations. Before: it transpired. As Alice would have said - curiouser and curiouser - or was that the cat? No matter. The Cheshire cat or the one beloved of Schrodinger? Did it matter or did it anti-matter? That indeed might be the key question. And what the hell was Hamlet doing in here with that ridiculous parody of a cigar? Nice try but no cigar? Where did that come from? Where was it going? might be the better part of the question. For valour? A VC?

He drove them home up by going up into the mountains and down again like a well trained chauffeur. Enjoying the poppies and the chamomile that lined the edges of the road. Ignoring the thistles while he could.

(to be continued ... )


  1. Madness has a peculiar relish. I can savour it. Can you?

  2. a man after my own pickle - brinjal or lime is fine by me

  3. I'm still waiting for the next course of this fine meal you're dishing up!