Tall Dialogue (A Pocketful of Icing) – Issue 22

TWO FRIENDS, GODAIMIR and DIDU talking about the project of putting icing on the wall as a warning to the next generations.

D: How much did you contribute to the flour, eggs and water?

G: Fifty years, man, boy and other.

D: What’ve you got to show for it?

G: A pocketful of icing.

D: Is it really full, your pocketful of icing? And what are you going to do with it?

G: Well, there’s no cake for the likes of me (us even), so I can decorate the wall.

D: Yes, indeed, but we should have seen the only option of the icing on the wall.

G: We did. We just didn’t even want the crumbs. All we did was serve those cheffing and blinding their way to success. We made do with ants in our pants activity. Hence your own name.

D: We must have been of the plain variety, then?

G: Of course, but the self-raising only made the same cake. It was the cutting of the cake that mattered.

D: So what about the icing?

G: Sugar. Manufactured sugar. Still made by the likes of us.

D: How come we’re left with just the icing?

G: The vagaries of distribution; it is everything. And ownership of the means by the mean. We had, we have nothing because we owned nothing of the means. So, what we did say meant, indeed still means nothing. We merely bought the confectionery for immediate consumption. The owners took the cake…

D: …not the biscuit !?

G: Crumbs, what a wit!? …(those as well), and kept the largesse to themselves. We made them all, they owned them all, and we bought them all, paying at least twice the price for each small slice.

D: And they just owned?

G: Yes. They owned the means, we bought the end (product). Though it was us that made them all: cakes and owners.

D: Well. That puts the icing on the … if we had, that is.

G: You forget, I’ve got a pocketful.

D: A pocket full?

G: Yes, that as well.

D: What now?

G: Spread it on the wall.

D: And then?

G: We work at dying.

D: For how long?

G: Who knows, it could be forever.

D: How long is that?

G: Could be a lifetime.

D: That long. (pauses. the sound of his mind ticking over.) How long is that exactly?

G: No one knows for sure. We do know it’s the shortest and longest time.

D: Well, that’s put the icing on it, and no mistake. Political Science. Isn’t it great?

G: Not quite yet. Should we eat some of it first?

D: I’m not hungry. For food at least. And I’m still thirsty for knowledge.

G: When did you last eat?

D: Yesterday, when I ate my words.

G: A sumptuous feast indeed. Did you eat all your adverbs, like they told us?

D: Certainly did. They were superlative.

G: You always did like your movement, didn’t you.

D: Oh. You’ve dropped a question mark.

G: It’s OK. It was only rhetorical.

D: Nevertheless, it’s a pity to waste any question mark?

G: Alas, you’re right. It’s all we have left. Oh, except the icing.

D: And maybe our dignity? What are you going to do with it?

G: Nothing I want to keep my dignity in tact.

D: The icing you dunderhead.

G: Oh. Put it on the wall, of course. You galoot.

D: Of course, you Gobshite.

G: Now, let’s not become clichéd.

D: You’re right. You were always a wiseacre. But are you not going to eat some of it first?

D: But I don’t know whether I’m talking out of turn here…

G: You are, as usual.  Funny thing is, I’m not hungry anymore. Especially after just swallowing my pride in the face of such eloquence. You know what a big portion that was to me.

D: Indeed. It’s what made you a great man. Are we right now. We know our cues and when to pee? Then all’s right with the world.

G: Made me great. Past tense. I am not still here. Unless you aren’t…

D: …aren’t what?

G: Here. Ah but that’s absurd. We’re here and it’s good we’re relaxed but must we talk of each other in the past tense?

D: At least we can remember each other. It used to be so easy to forget.

G: Yes, but now in this refreshing silence it is impossible to forget. Thank Christ for the memories.

D: It’s always there. In our minds. It was just hidden.

G: Yes. By the icing. The confectionery.

D: Ah, the icing. What are you going to do with it.

G: Give it to charity, perhaps?

D: Do they have cake?

G: No, but they never stop wanting icing.    (Exeunt)