shall we go. said sponge.
we can’t, said breadroll.
that’s right, said sponge, i just wanted to see if you remembered.
you do, exactly.
we don’t have to sit still though.
no. we can do a few things.
a thing or two. exactly.
we should carefully plan our next step.
think it through to make a fully considered decision.
that might be very tiring.
i think we should make a move.
but we can’t.
you said that already.
they went to the corner, hesitated, looked around. time to scratch our backs, said sponge. we keep moving that way, dynamically fast-paced, everything to keep the momentum going forward.
we can’t go anywhere, said breadroll, that’s the rule.
we don’t have to sit still though, said sponge, we do have options.
possibilities, said breadroll, we should consider them well.
we should go, said sponge, the other are gone, too. they looked around, the place was empty. i’d say, said breadroll, they’ve never arrived. or have left early, said sponge.
we can’t go just yet.
this would make old ladies jump out the window just like that on tv or in books, said sponge, but it wouldn’t happen in real life. old ladies are firmly seated and generally to squat to reach the window sill even.
unless there’s something to see, said breadroll.
shall we go. said sponge.
train people have closed the shutters. they are having tea. train people have apologised for any inconvenience caused and the train was cancelled due to poor rail conditions. there won’t be another one for a while but it’ll arrive shortly.
the doing of any thing in accordance with an authorisation under the train people act shall not be treated, for any purpose, as a breach of any requirement or restriction imposed by any other enactment or rule of law. says the train man and the others nod in agreement. not much we can do, says sponge. we can wait a bit more, says breadroll and is right about that. spot on, says sponge.
so much to say, and so little time, said sponge. he said nothing after that although he had the entire day to come up with something. so it goes, said breadroll, other people make old ladies jump out of windows with the stuff they come up with, and you? is there an old lady, said sponge, and these windows cannot be opened. health and safety. i see. but you see windows around here. no. there are some, but too low. would look silly to jump out. once an old lady tried to climb over the wall of a compartment in a public toilet. she had to be rescued. old ladies should stick with windows.
why are we talking about food so much, said sponge, is there something?
we are not, said breadroll, we mentioned the canteen recently.
a yes, the canteen. we didn’t mention it before. the perls.
says herr brekst, whenever i come i have a question and no answer ready for me. this is the state of thing and i will have to queue for an answer like anybody else here, if there are any left that is. is this queue for beetroot by chance? or chips? answers?
it is getting silly.
monday we have lamb, tuesday we have pork, wednesday we have beef. we have a selection of vegetables every day, beans, peas, potatoes, carrots, broccoli. no, it is beef on tuesdays and pork on the wednesday. right. we start again thursday, lamb, beef, no, pork and then beef. lamb, beef, pork. lambeef pork. its lamb again sunday, and we have pork on monday, something else, not always the same. two veg with it, we have to choose, so it’s beans- peas, potatoes-carrots, broccoli-beans, peas-potatoes, carrots-broccoli, and then we have to start again. we had some kind of jelly once but that was not repeated. they usually repeat. they made exceptions. fish. trout, salmon, cod, plaice, haddock, pollock, tiger prawns. mussels, less likely.
that was only posted internally, they never had it. somebody did not arrive. again.
we experimented with other sequences, chicken nuggets, turkey breasts, duck, goose. repeat twice, then skip for one week. nothing worked. there never was duck, not a bit. it would be the thought that counts.
and how did it go today? we have only started. i know, whatever, how did it go, any feedback? none. haven’t heard anything. was there something we were to say at some point. perhaps we missed the keyword. perhaps. or maybe. or that. we should discuss our keywords again. fix our tags. fix our tags, perhaps. metaphysical tags. karma keys. maybe they’ll tell us then.
final sentence: involving sponge and breadroll.
there is something we wanted to do, is there. usually there is, most of the time. what it was? something urgent, something we needed to do. don’t ask, we didn’t ask. something.
sure we lean out of the window instead. they tried. we take a seat. things we do today.
look an egg, running down the street. did we mention that before? we’re sure to mention it again. the egg, its racing down the street. eggs pick up speed on an even surface. should we catch it? don’t be daft, who ever caught an egg?
sponge had bread and toast, breadroll jam and butter instead.
the train people once almost crucified a chap for not having a ticket, some spotty faced fellow, youngish, plastic clad. the guy wasn’t a saint for sure, all knew that, but people felt the reaction was a bit too harsh. the train people said it was a normal industrial action. wordsback and forth and an argument ensued. it got nowhere but we didn’t get to her the rest of the story as a result. that’ll be it.
there was a time when some things worked out better than others. that’s all changed now and other things have picked up, while some things don’t work the best. the child made rattling sounds with the collection box, please sir, it said, for a pair of helping hands for the community.
we have to focus on the bottom line, said sponge, where holes are punched into poor people’s arses. the workers get punched for free, said breadroll, and the others are paid for. still, said sponge, when things are not going well for them they do require a helping hand to scratch an itchy hole.
they can make do with just the one, said breadroll.
you’re heartless, said sponge.
heartless perhaps, but breadrolls are the soul of the country.
one day sponge forgot to put the other arm on, the one he remembered but not a glimpse of thought about the other. these things happen in a life time you might rightly say. he could take a train for free, the train people said, but there were no trains running that day due to industrial action, some dispute because of something one train person had said to the other train person and it was the wrong thing or said something and it would have been the right thing had it been said to the right person, or nothing had been said at all, which wasn’t what everyone or some expected and to settle all that the trains would not be running. perhaps it was an argument between train man and train woman, some-one suggested. a committee was to provide answers.
sponge decided to catch a bus instead. they offered reduced fare, but no free ride. superior services and the wrong arm missing. sorry mate, the busman said.
sponge wondered if his obsession with public transport was a healthy one.
he spoke fondly of his brollie. how he forgot it one day and had to go back to the house, how he couldn’t find it at first and he looked in the kitchen, just to make sure he had explored all options, but it wasn’t there either, at least he couldn’t see it, so he went back to the sitting room, and, and after only a quick search, some swift browsing, as you might call it, while he thought he had to go and search in the kitchen again, under the old newspapers as it had just come to him that he hadn’t looked there previously, there it was, on the sofa, no idea why he hadn’t seen it before. although it didn’t rain that day at all, it would have worked for most types of rain, he said, urban rain of course. in the country they call them bumbershoots, hand carved and knitted they are, else the downpour would dent the farmer’s head. they call it just rain though.
those farmers, said sponge, are not like the peasants of old.
certainly not, the man said, but these bumbershoots can be very good. this brollie is very good, too. i try to bring it every day and most of the days i succeed although i do have to go back to the house every now and then. just like the other day, when i had to search high and low in the kitchen to no avail. i’ll remember next time.
in the morning sponge put on his arms. he put on his legs then. last, the head. done. ready to go. i wonder what happens next, he said. usually something happens.something, such as a knock on the door. a knock. coming, said sponge. i’m coming. he looked around. the room looked as always. another knock. impatient. sponge when to open the door with his elbow. are these your hands, the man said. he was the janitor’s helper, surely he was, the janitor had mentioned something about taking somebody on and collected money as well. are the yours, the helper said, and presented a pair of hands. i could do with some, said sponge, they are always useful. the hands were passed on, they fitted. thanks you, said sponge and closed the door. he would be late now, he thought, had he had an appointment of sorts. he left. there is a door after all, he thought.
evening time he returned, took everything off and fell asleep.
a man, mid-fifty, respectable appearance, left the house this morning, walked down the street and turned left. out of sight.
the story goes on but they wouldn’t let us know about, said sponge, surely not, which, in turn, is something we cannot speak about. the man’s family left it very late to contact the authorities. they wasn’t much they could do, in fairness, only clean up the mess. this, they did so-so.
she read a paper, her finger loosely tracing the lines. she smiled briefly from time to time and, more frequently, slightly shook her head in disbelief.
you’ll have to change that, said breadroll, people don’t do that in real life, shake their head and stuff when they read. they don’t participate, they know it is not something one has to do when reading. only in movies, maybe. that little episode is very advanced, i don’t think i can change it like that. besides, people generally enjoy the protagonists to show some animation, a human touch, even if it is not realistic. it is a symbol, it is the realistic power of irrealism. one describes thing in a way they are not to show what they are and why.
that makes sense, said breadroll, but it doesn’t really make sense.
the queue had moved, the were closer to the counter. hope we are in the right queue, said sponge. we’re almost there, said breadroll.
the woman read a paper. a cup of coffee on the table. cold coffee, unfinished by somebody. occasionally the waitress came over to ask, was she, the reading woman, finished with it. no, the woman said, i’m still drinking it. she continued to read. calmly.
how’s it going. so, so. don’t think much of it. we hadn’t had much in the way of meaning so far. a few headings, some cryptic mutterings, not much so far to look at. a sponge and a breadroll should be able to do more and make a difference. not a word about the miserable and afflicted but many publications ignore them, just too unpleasant. there are, of course, popular miseries, which go well with the crowd, which the crowd can relate to, not too much goo, no oozing sores, that wouldn’t be good, the children would ask questions. most, however, are not of that type and plain uncomforable, understandably one does not want to hear about it.
but there is chewing gum on the pavement. yes there is, plenty. but that’s a daft thing to say. you could find something in it though.
if you think you’ve been here before, you’re right, said sponge, but it won’t help. the end of the platform is just its beginning. you’ll take it from there; you’ll move on.
the setting of the train station’s shopping mall provides an impressive backdrop for these words. it was an ordinary shopping mall. shops and drunks and security staff. time drawn to thin lines, ringing in the breath of the passer-by. lashings, beatings, joy and sadness. bitterness.
bitterness adds negativity to the setting, said breadroll, though people ought to be positive. about things and stuff.
a young father of three was shot at after a party, a gathering of sorts, and a head wound appeared as a result. the entire head fell off shortly after, leaving a nasty stain on the carpet. many witnesses felt reminded of the recent warning by the government not to hang on to threadbare carpets. he had already lost part of his leg, and walked with the aid of prosthetic limb (which went missing ever so often) and a chinese prostitute (who always brought it back). wonders, reckons and reasons are out and raving to see if his head will be replaced by a plastic bag, as some say, or a nice cup of tea in the local pub, a solution favoured by most. a woman, who described him as a lovely chap, said he had to have part of his leg removed following a court order not to leave the room before certain issues were settled. offally does not need stories like that in times like this, said sponge, never did. sponge pouted. the man beside him did not. the contrast still did not make for a great picture. sponge always looks big in photographies.
we’ve seen the horror, said sponge, the horror. that line we had to quote.
exactly, said breadroll, war on horror, the terror of war. very sombre. i recall offally.
offally was an awful mess, said sponge, still is. can’t put your foot anywhere there, it’s all covered in shit and goo.
whatever metaphor we come up with, said sponge, it’ll pale in view of the obvious and strike fear into the heart of the uninitiated. herr brekst, back as back can be, was asleep, fast. he didn’t react. won’t react. said breadroll. never really does this day and time. i remember, i saw him doing it. if you can’t trust your eyes, said breadroll, how good is your memory. better i suppose. suppose not, said breadroll with a finishing gaze. oh fate, said sponge. big words were never their forte.
another repetitive day, breadroll asked.
no, said sponge, it must be a trick. you asked for it, said breadroll. i think we had exactly the same episode before, he said. feck off. piss off. swear words. dirty language. lead your outlets to propel you further. good british ways of telling some-one to bugger off.
let your droplets propel you further, very elegant.
outlets, they said, it’s outlets.
i know, code for droplets. trust me.
evolution has equipped train people very well for whatever they are doing. whatever it is, they excel in it, word has it. they meet to discuss, and resolve without hesitation. they sell tickets in anticipation of oncoming trains. sponge wants to buy a ticket. train people now will be able, in a position so to speak, well trained and with a mandate to perform this very service to the general public. sponge here is lucky, you could spell that out for him, to be able to receive this service.
possible hickups aside, sponge will soon be the proud holder of a valid train ticket. he will also be permitted to apply for one on behalf of breadroll.
so there will be a meeting of sorts, sponge inquired. thank you for inquiring, the train person said, but i regret to say that we’d like to keep this confidential. it’s commercially sensitive. he emphasised commercially to stress the importance. it’s important so, said sponge. very, the train person said. i apologise for the inconvenience caused, if that helps, as a matter of policy.
the train person, a flimsy man with thick red brushy hair, got up from his chair and turned to go. you’d be better off getting a bus, if they was one, he said.
i’m afraid nothing will happen, sooner or later, said sponge and then said nothing. i couldn’t say why, but definitely, nothing will happen, we just don’t know when. so, there is this feeling, somewhat stuffy and dark, but definitely there. i told you know, you can quote me on that.