Friday, September 18, 2020

My Dinner with Brendan


Last night, my brother invited me to dinner. I have eschewed restaurants for the duration of this madness because I will not participate in the Kabuki nonsense of what someone called the stupidest 30 feet of your life: wearing a mask whilst walking to your table. But he suggested a local establishment, run by lovely people, worthy of support. Besides, he was buying.

Summer clung to the air like grim death, so they were able to offer us an outdoor table in the alley, with a view of St. Michael’s Cemetery.

Over dinner, my brother reminded me of that bit in 1984 where Winston Smith tries to figure out which of his neighbours will be spared when the authorities come. This one seems to love the Party, that one says all the right things, and so on.

Of course, Winston was mistaken. They came for everyone.

My brother and I are rather different people, each of us with our own gaps, but together we make a considerable man.

Reasoning in concert, we concluded that we are facing such a Winston Smith moment now.

As Lavrentiy Beria said, “Show me the man and I’ll show you the crime.”

Or as Sean Parker said (in the movie, anyway), “Whatever it is that’s gonna trip you up, you’ve done it already.”

Per Winston, I used to believe that being forced to say 2+2=5, with the full knowledge of all involved that it is a lie, was the point of the exercise.

Now I suspect you must be subjugated, forced to speak what is untrue, and then destroyed anyway.

You can wear a mask while driving alone, or raise a fist in obeisance to the new racial hierarchy, or declare that men can bear children. They are still coming.

If you know me at all, you recognize that I have made many mistakes, sometimes loudly and in public, but I am not given to rococo conspiracies or bizarre notions out where the buses don’t run. You probably consider me a man of moderate intelligence who happens to be extremely attractive (my eyes are up here, people).

I would rather gasp my last, asking my God, my God, why He has forsaken me than live on my knees with a mask on my face and a chip in my arm.

The choice may not seem so dramatic today, but this is the moment when we decide.

Incidentally, I had a green salad and rigatoni, while my brother had the soup and some kind of fish.