Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Alan Baker - The Book of Random Access (58)

The process of filling in the bay had been going on for one hundred years. The reduced market for egg-hatching machines and spittle-cups made the change necessary. Whatever its appeal, Malmo is full of funkiness. People don't usually hang out in restaurants till late in the evening and it can be hard, thus, to track down a decent meal after dark should you get famished in the wee hours. The taxi took me down a dark road, far away from where I wanted to go, finally leaving me at a deserted hotel with no obvious way back. I had no choice but to climb the steps to the poorly lit lobby. Death is no longer enshrined in taboos. What was this hotel? My reflection in the doorway revealed to me my true self: a bipedal primate mammal, anatomically related to the great apes but distinguished by a more highly developed brain, with a resultant capacity for articulate speech and abstract reasoning, and by a marked erectness of body carriage that frees the hands for use as manipulative members. Famished in the wee hours. Burnt out on the trail. Not using my modem (I get no dial tone). A haunted man. Then she uprose, the only rose for me. She didn't understand me, nor I her, but that made things more interesting. She knew that the moon influenced the cycle of the tides. She circumnavigated the globe, she shook my pockets loose and took me home to meet my life. My hands were freed as manipulative members.


Texts quoted:

The Encyclopaedia Brittanica on 'Death', 'Human Being'.
Tourist brochure for Malmo, Sweden.

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