Thursday

the consolations of philosophy.

as i am getting off the train to falmer (university of sussex), i walk past a girl reading alain de botton's 'the consolations of philosophy'. within a few mental bursts, a whole series of different 'conversation paths' (i think that's the rpg term) had been explored and yet i was only dimly aware of them. here, i try and excorcise them.


what actually happened:
i got on the train at london road. at falmer, two stops later, i got up from my seat and walked towards the doors. i noticed a girl was reading the book. she didn't seem to be making any moves to leave the train at this campus stop. we parted ways, it was a mutual thing.

variation one:
as i get on the train, i notice a girl is reading alain de boton's consolations of philosophy. great, here's my chance, i think: i stranger with a common interest!
"you know, that's one of my favourite books." say i.
"really? i'm not that impressed with it so far. it's all a bit obvious, isn't it?"
"m." i sit back and open screen burn. as i leave the train, i glance, but she doesn't.

variation two:
as i get on the train, i notice a girl is reading alain de boton's consolations of philosophy. top! i introduce myself.
"you know, that's one of my favourite books," say i.
"really? well, it's great so far. it makes so much sense, it's all so true, the things about happiness and accepting the inevitable."
"i know. i can't say it changed my life, but it summed up things i thought i knew but couldn't put my finger on."
"yes. great." she looks back to her book, i get out mine. she doesn't notice that it's by charlie brooker.
i get off the train at falmer, we make eye contact again, smile, and nod.
whilst quiet and uneventful, had we been on a longer train journey, who knows what would have happened?
2.5: we talk, but she has a job or something and lives in lewes and nothing happens

variation three:
as i'm getting off the train at falmer, a girl stood next to me by the doors is carrying the book. "oh wow!" i say.
...
we chat on the way to campus. it turns out we have other similar interests. i foister my number. she never calls.

variation four:
as i'm getting on the train, a mad horny woman grabs me, throws me into the toilet and forces herself upon me. i miss my stop and get off at hastings. i notice she has among her belongings a book i really like.

and in a way, this isn't just a story about the consolations of philosophy: the book; it is as much about how philosophy can console, especially when walking past a human reading a book you like and you don't have time to do anything about it, but you've plenty of time to think about it but can't really even do that because you're so damaged from working too late last night.

jeffry lewis would maintain to be postive, because maybe someone out there is writing something like this about me. i can't imagine why anyone would.

you can expect a remix of 'the girl in the kid a top' along these lines, or 'the girl with the salad fingers hoodie' or 'the girl with the brian froud lunchbox'.

what do you call a dress worn by faeries?
a froudian slip!
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