Big men, big women, fleshy joyous creatures, always laughing, well maybe not always laughing, but full of their success and proud in a fleshy sort of way. The joy of the flesh. The pleasure of the flesh. Is there no end to it? Fleshed out – too much flesh for your own good. To flesh out, to flesh in, to portray the lineaments, to make clear the pain and crises of a long life. Big men, big women – they make a big splash, don’t they! They parade out on flat feet to the edge of the pool and jump; the two or three swimmers in the pool bob up and down, the water floods over the edge, soaking a towel or two and causing a frown or two amongst the sun-worshippers. Oh my God. It’s tempting to pretend that nothing has happened. Get on with the knitting. Read the paper. Turn the page of the novel. We’re on holiday. Look at the size of those two.
The question is, this questions hovers in the air, twisting trying to maintain some semblance of form: is this Dr Bomboka and his good woman. Floating mountains, side by side, on their backs, engaging in intense discussions concerning the likelihood of David Cameron being a real person and not the crazed vision of some Australian huckster.
Actually there might well be a further question at this point: what does it do to a person to be surrounded by money and power and at the same time to be morally craven and craving ever more money and power. What does it do? What is the process? Could you tell me Dr Bomboka? No, sorry he’s much too busy. Years of Yale and Oxford and Lacanian analysis has done it for him. If the stories are to be believed (and it has to be stated quite clearly that none of these stories have any reliability – they have built in unreliability, rather like political parties which we believed ought to be based in some real world only to discover and rediscover in some endless cycle of disillusionment that they merely make it up as they go along).
Dr Bomboka, Dr Bomboka could I ask you a question? Sorry to break into your conversation.
I’ve swum out and am bobbing up and down like a miniscule plastic duck, a yellow one, next to these big important people.
Were you, how can I put it, were you big, I mean not so much physically, more socially, were you important . . . and your wife, do you prefer partner, I’m sorry I didn’t mean to upset you, just that I was curious about the sort of status that you were born into. Back in the old country. I don’t know exactly what country it was but I understand it was . . . somewhere in Africa . . . OK . . . perhaps we could talk later. I know, I know you’re discussing important stuff.
You see how it goes! Fleshing out can be a dangerous project. How much do we know about anybody? Even those we live with. No wonder the security services like to have everybody on their radar screens. You never know.