Tale from a Möbius Strip

strannikov

“Infinity is no more than half of the Tao,” Francesca whispered, but when Paolo heard her whisper, he asked her to repeat in Italian—“L’infinito e’ non piu’ meta’ del Tao,” Francesca whispered, but when Paolo heard her whisper, he asked her to repeat in inglese. 

“Infinity is no more than half of the Tao,” Francesca whispered, but when Paolo heard her whisper, he asked her to repeat in Italian—“L’infinito e’ non piu’ meta’ del Tao,” Francesca whispered, but when Paolo heard her whisper, he asked her to repeat in inglese: “Infinity is no more than half of the Tao . . .” 

Paolo good naturedly kept asking Francesca to repeat herself, Francesca remained all too happy to oblige Paolo by whispering first in Italian and then in inglese. And this was just their first night together, early in the evening, at that.

When we checked back nineteen days later, the conversation continued unabated behind the closed windows they share (a nameless perch they found just south of Firenze, who would want to leave?). Francesca is a sweet girl and everything, but her incessant doting on Paolo is best left private, I don’t fault their judgment here: such performance (more or less continuous even as they tend throughout their days to other activities of cooking and eating, bathing and dressing, flossing and flushing, washing and copulating, et cetera) to others makes for no engaging public spectacle whatsoever. Some things just never qualify as a subject suitable for public spectacle: yet how this aggrieves some persons in unobtrusive places, that is, they are to a man, to a woman astonished that a distinctive but odd private event simply could never rise to the level of suitable public spectacle. 

The moment you begin trying to make a public spectacle of Paolo and Francesca, Francesca and Paolo, Italiano inglese, English Italian, whispers and whispers, what do you have? You have repetition, you have redundancy, you have continuity as long as you care to document it: you have time, don’t you know, they’re still going at it this very moment, this is the very beginning of their thirty-seventh week together, but the private phenomenon remains no more the fit subject for a public spectacle than when the circumstance blossomed unaccountably just over thirty-six weeks ago. 

You may wonder about these two by now, but I say: let them remain busy where they are. Of course their circumstance is not suitable as a public spectacle, it fails to qualify altogether, it is not a proper entry, even though no one’s saying that it could be, not in Italian, anyway.

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strannikov has thawed just enough from the winter of 2013-14 not to be any more addled or stupefied by the present season’s cold than could be construed as “typical”. He has not altered his coffee consumption by one drop, but his coffeemaker is perhaps wearing out, and so a decision may be forthcoming. When not collecting wet mail from his leaking mailbox, he dispatches soggy correspondence with stamps nailed securely to their shredding envelopes.

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