Tuesday, June 12, 2007


"Come in, quickly," the Communist whispered conspiratorially. "I've got something to tell you."

"What is it?" I asked.

"The thing is," he said, "there are two girls here for the chemist assistant's job. And I can't remember the name of the second one. It's most embarrassing."

"Don't worry about it, Dad" I said. "It's a dream. It's the drugs you're on."

"So where has the first girl gone, then?"

"She hasn't gone anywhere. She was never here. It was a dream."

He thought about it. "Well that's a pity. I could remember that one's name. I'll just have to tell the second one that I don't know hers."

"The second one's not here either."

"Oh well, I'll give the job to the first one then."

"No - - oh, never mind. I'll draw the curtains."

The sun streamed in.

"So is it night then?"

"No, it's morning. Look at the sunshine."

"Hah! Your mother said it was night. She's got it wrong, hasn't she?"

"That was a while ago. It was night then."

"So is it night or morning?"

"Morning. Look at the sunshine coming in."

"Well if it's night time, it's really bright."

"No, Dad, it's morning."

"Your mother said it was night."

I changed the subject to one that I knew would get his attention in spite of the drugs.

"Emily's learning about Stalin for her history exam."

He brightened. "Stalin? I'll tell you about Stalin!"

I waited. But he was asleep.

Tragedy can be very funny, as Samuel Beckett well knew.


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