The window was open and there was a breeze. We were speaking very slowly, almost drunkenly. Our words seemed to rise toward the ceiling. The air was light and sweet. The words we spoke did not seem particularly ours; although we said nothing remarkable, the words surprised me at times. It may have been my hunger that accounted for these feelings.
“What’s it like to weight three hundred pounds.”
“It’s like being an overwritten paragraph.”
“They should get you a larger bed.”
“I don’t mind the bed. Everything is fine here. Things are going very well. I’m glad I came. It was good thinking. It showed intelligence. The bed is perfectly all right.”
“Does the silence bother you?”
“What silence?” he said.
“You know what I mean. The big noise out there.”
“Out over the desert you mean. The rumble.”
“The silence. The big metallic noise.”
“It doesn’t bother me.”
“It bothers me,” I said.
I was enjoying myself immensely. I was drunk with hunger. My tongue emitted wisdom after wisdom. Our words floated in the dimness, in the room’s mild moonlight, weightless phrases polished by the cool confident knowledge of centuries. I was eager for subjects to develop, timeless questions demanding men of antic dimension, riddles as yet unsolved, large bloody meat-hunks we might rip apart with mastiff teeth. Nothing unromantic would suffice. Detachment was needed only for the likes of astrophysics, quantum mechanics, all painstaking matters so delicate in their refracted light that intellects such as ours would sooner yield to the prudish machine. There was no vulgarity in the sciences of measurement, nothing to laugh at, to drink to, to weep about like Russians guzzling vodka and despairing God a hundred years ago in books written by bearded titans. Bloomberg and I needed men, mass consciousness, great vulgar armies surging dumbly across the plains. Bloomberg weighed three hundred pounds. This itself was historical. I revered his weight. It was an affirmation of humanity’s reckless potential; it went beyond legend and returned through mist to the lovely folly of history. To weigh three hundred pounds. What devout vulgarity. It seemed a worthwhile goal for prospective saints and flagellants. The new asceticism. All the visionary possibilities of the fast. To feed on the plants and animals of earth. To expand and wallow. I cherished his size, the formlessness of it, the sheer vulgar pleasure, his sense of being overwritten prose. Somehow it was the opposite of death.