Amelia and an unnamed person, who is probably called William, are picnicking. They’ve decided that they’ll leave the conventional plane of existence by drawing near to each other. The minimum safe separation is half a meter or so. Part one is here.
I was silent.
Sorry, what was that?
I didn’t say anything.
You’re thinking runner-up thoughts,
but it’s time to say goodbye
to your peanut butter and cucumber sandwich,
to the woman with the umbrella and the tiny dog.
I didn’t know that we were in a race.
What if we just dream about another world,
or make it up?
Come close, she said, it’s time to go.
Are the rainbow lorries chirping oddly,
a pentatonic scale?
I don’t think so, nothing’s happened.
What about the wine? I thought it was cab sav.
It was always pinot noir.
Let’s try once more, closer still.
A chance of sunset weather, a shower in the park,
monotremes and probabilistic raindrops
that searched for refuge before they turned to puddles.
Under an umbrella, a tiny dog was yapping,
pretending to be solid.
On the lake, the fire lilies sent their parachute seeds aloft,
swept upward in convected heat
from the ardor of their own combustion,
and above the trees, selected moons were rising,
emitting waves of matter.
At antinodal crossings, the buds of nascent universes blossomed,
but outlined dark against the Olber stars,
the N-whales were waiting.
Their mighty maws extinguished every fiery possibility,
a reminder that I had to put the rubbish out,
that everything’s forever finite,
forever as it had been.
I dreamed last night at Byron Bay, sifting bones on Shelley Beach.
I met a monster made of mirrors
who quantified my life, its meaning in the mist.
But I don’t recall a single word.
I should have taken notes, a precis in the sand
beyond the high-tide mark.
Célia stifled a yawn. A fascinating story.
Although I’m not called William, and I never was,
I’ve noticed that we’re speaking English.
Quite surprising, for preternatural beings.
Some similarity with our earlier life’s essential,
or else the link is purely the proximity of words,
of which we aren’t aware.
Yet the commonality might be mere coincidence,
in a multiverse of peanut butter and cucumber,
an infinity of meta-sandwiches.
The last few drops of wine
trickled from the bottle,
heading for Célia’s lips.
Let’s travel to another universe,
I’d like a different name.
- I have never tried a peanut butter and cucumber sandwich and have no opinion on the taste, or whether they exist.
- Olbers’ paradox— N-whales are one possible, albeit unlikely, resolution.
- A little Hofstadter feedback.
artwork forever finite (detail above)