Part Two: Plato’s Socrates
“Socrates said writing would be the death of memory, which is ironic really, considering that he’s only remembered because Plato decided to put pen to paper.”
Sometimes he’s in a genuinely good mood, and we have interesting conversations. I’m not always on the receiving end of a self-talk that would make Donald Trump or Nicklas Bendtner come out like the lion from the Wizard of Oz or Neville Longbottom (early in their respective stories).
“Fair point, and, actually, I really like that. Can I use it in my blog? I think it’s a great bit of thought” I chirp back, on this occasion very grateful for his input.
We were running, but as I’m wasn’t using physical breath to produce that statement, I didn’t really need to worry about it. Sure, it took conscious effort, but as most of my training takes place at ‘conversational pace’, there’s a lot to spare. With an irony that would be sadder if I wasn’t so willfully solitary, I rarely have anyone else to talk to on most of my runs, so the conversations are often of this nature.
The conversations are often of nature, too, and I tend to feel happiest when I’m running through trees and forests that remind me of my ideal of home: peaceful woodland, clean air and soft paths.
“Don’t you mean our blog?”
“If you had a blog nobody would read it, you’re just a voice buddy.” I reply, more playfully than in anger.
“Isn’t every writer just their voice, and what they choose to express? Plus, you need me as much as I need you.”
More rhetorical rhetoric. He’s right too, unfortunately. I couldn’t deal with having nobody to bounce ideas off.
“Is this going on the blog?”
“No, it’s too weird, people wouldn’t get it.”
“Right you are sir. Maybe if you let me talk more people would understand it.”
If I let you talk all the time we’d both be screwed, I pondered silently, trying to play for time before remembering he was probably reading my thoughts again.
“Are you gone?”
I laughed, despite myself, or in fact, because of myself (my self, him? Never mind).
“Did you just say silence? How are we supposed to convey that on paper?”
“Maybe use a different font. Here’s one for you. What typeface did Cicero use?”
“No idea. Garamond? Comic Sans?”
“Not even close. Times Old Roman.”
“That’s terrible. Okay, time for bed, see you in the morning.”
I thought some more.
“Let’s make a deal: if I get up at 2:30 to take a piss, you have to keep quiet.”
“What do I get out of it?”
“Well, if you do it every time, I’ll sleep better, and maybe we’ll get to go to the European Cross country championships.”
“I’d like that. Does it mean we can properly call ourselves an international athlete?”
“Yeah. For real. Deal?”
“Okay, but you’ll have to start tidying up memory lane, I want to try out my new bike, and I’m tired of dodging piles of unfinished stories.”
“Seems fair. Where shall I put them?”
“I’ll just make some room over here…”
Some files start moving around precariously.
“Careful, that looks important!” I shout anxiously.
To be continued…