Tuesday, April 17, 2007

desert of knowledge

What do you come to the table with? - I have a weakness for double punctuation marks as you know; - the sky over the houses, but the stolen bicycle, that's also hazed; - storms off Guinea, as has been remarked to me - not in words - , welter on umbrella-stems.

- Now, this drink [an icy cider]. You haven't sipped from it yet. But the glass, you know. Funny thing about that glass, you can't say if it's clean or dirty.

- It's clean on the outside.

- No, you don't get it yet. Don't come at me with that way of extending familiar terms as if you are discovering something.

(after-image: nematode egg film)

What I mean is, the glass when in use is in a ceremony of transition. So are you; you're going to be drunk by the cider. During this ceremony the glass can't be called clean or dirty, any more than the barman can pluck it out of your hands; there would be an element of sacrilege.

- I like sacrilege.

Darkened hands flutter in a recess

- Like hell you do; - but you feel the need to say it, oh yes. A couple of minutes ago the barman (I hope) would have checked that glass and said to himself, Ah yes, here's a clean one for the thin gentleman's nasty cider. Time declines, we shrivel away. He comes by with a tray, you've left some dregs of course. Pick up the empties, he thinks without saying it. Dirty. Bung it in the machine. I don't particularly want to spell out the cycle - but one only sees it straight when in service: Dirty. In the machine. Clean. In use. Got that?

- Well, yes. And your point is - ?

- Like a shirt. These are service terms. Lay out a clean shirt. You put it on - later that night you take it off and then it's a dirty shirt. But it would be rude to describe your shirt now as dirty, while you're wearing it. Balzac perhaps would: painting you unfavourably into his story as shabby-genteel. The rest of us, we avert our eyes from the present minute.

Tea-tree shampoo filled up a stovepipe hat - chatter

- Something's coming to me, though. That's it, the Status Accounting field on configuration items. "In Use" is a status - a life-cycle phase - where you might not find clean and dirty helpful attributes from a service point of view: same with "Stolen", "Lost", and "Disposed". You'd only use it when the status is "Stored". "Delivered" is moot. Most people who take a decent sense of pride in themselves would wash a piece of crockery before first use. Even though you can't particularly see any dirt - it's a matter of rinsing away uncertainty. Clothes, too -but with a shirt that's also about shop-folds.

- So sarcastic! What about you? Do you take a decent pride, you scruff?

- My pride's different.

- You smell of bedrooms and your clothes smell of warehouses.


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