We took a late tea interval over the holiday at a local bistro. During a break in our conversation, I noted a pair of older fellows (yes, elder even to me) in the more comfortable corner chairs. They were engaged in heavy thought, which, due to the usual bad hearing that may accompany aging (What did you say? Eh?) grew rather loud.
They were arguing Nietzche. Gray stringy beards meant to compensate for high domes, thick glasses set high on ridged noses, teeth snapping, dressed in hopeless plaids three layers deep against the sixty degree temperatures outside, they went from genius to the abyss, peering in and edging deeper, until the abyss winked back at them.
In this case, the abyss was no slim crevasse, incapable of passage, but a yawning, apocalyptic chasm, with fire not far beneath. One fellow cheated, set to parry his adversary’s insights with the latest IPad in his lap. His opponent was holding a book, one book, one book only, and limited, then, for his advances, to that one book and his ability to think on his seat.
He was overmatched. At one point, he cited, aloud (very loud), a thought from Freud’s Man and Superman, which was fine, except George Bernard Shaw wrote Man and Superman, not Freud, and he was quoting from Freud’s Totem and Taboo, now debunked, but worth the read, anyway.
His opponent did not call him on his gaffe. Nor did I, so impressed was I to hear someone, anyone, stretching to discuss high thought. I was reminded of my days on old Pecan Bayou, listening to Roark meld philosophy, religion, psychology and sociology to arrive at his own personal blend of relativist caffeine. Oh, those were the times!
What’s that? Eh?
Why, yes, I am a dork.
Why do you ask?