Leave: A Conversation Overheard On The 210 To Golders Green.

'Who was it who suggested that the opposite of war
Is not so much peace as civilisation?'

      Michael Longley

 

Stan: ... Fuck you. I'd barely seen you for years, then when you did finally show up you wanted something. Everything. So I play your game, follow your rules. And then you tell me I've disappointed you, tell me I've ruined everything.

Ollie: Well fuck you too and your backward ways. Fuck you too in your hatred of anyone not like you. Your ignorance has cost us all.

Stan: Pot. Kettle. You've always hated me: your contempt's been slicing the skin off me all our lives. I am Your Other. So just eat your quinoa and shut up.

Ollie: I don't get it. They say you're thick, poorly educated. I've defended you. But it's true. Why else would you try to destroy us?

Stan: I could be both or I could be either. Which is it? Thick? Poorly educated? Thick and poorly educated? I think you have to decide. And then you have to take responsibility for your decision. Is it genetics that makes me like this? Free will? Is it economics? Culture? Class? My neurology? Psychology? Environment? Luck? Which of your inventions are you condemning me for being influenced by?

Ollie: You... You surprise me sometimes.

Stan: You never surprise me. You're allergic to surprise. Surprise and uncertainty.

Ollie: Bollocks. We just speak different languages these days. Maybe we always did?

Stan: No.

Ollie: No?

Stan: Yes.

Ollie: Bloody hell. You're all id.

Stan: Aaaaggghhhhh!

Ollie: See?

Stan: You're all superego, if you want to play that one.

Ollie: You've hurt me. All of us.

Stan: And that's a bad thing?

Ollie: I don't know. Yes. Making people feel bad is a bad thing.

Stan: How did the moneylenders feel that day Jesus smashed their stalls up?

Ollie: What?! Bad I suppose.

Stan: And did it do any good?

Ollie: It depends. Did it shame them? Yes. Did it change them? It probably made them more angry, more sour, more willing to rip people off.

Stan: Exactly. They were changed. And they were offered an opportunity. And the temple never quite looked the same.

Ollie: Nothing here will ever be the same again. People are scared.

Stan: That's true every day. Every moment.

Ollie: OK. You win. You win. There's no point to this.

Stan: There's no end, so there are no winners. And there never was a point, just the ones we each wrote into our own stories. 'Your whole life, like a sandglass, will always be reversed and will ever run out again.' Nietzsche. See? I'm thick. But I'm not poorly-educated.

Ollie: At least we have that in common.

Silence

Quinoa?

Stan: No thanks.

To be continued...