Saturday, 23 June 2007

Secret meetings of the Anti-deluvian Order of the Rat

The three of us used to meet up in a small bar in a murky part of London, North of the river, you dont need to know more. It was our place, our kind of place; dirty, squalid, empty of life, there was usually just a couple of drunk lushes hanging at the bar, it could have been a film set it was so perfect. It was the kind of place no one went into, made you wonder how it survived in a city so expensive with rents and consumer costs. Well that's the thing, it survived because it was something else. Maybe even from somewhere else if that made any kind of sense. I dont recall when we first found it, first came across the place, but that was when our meetings began. They wouldnt have happened if it wasnt for that bar. And that bar's location will go to the grave with me.
The three of us would meet up there, discuss matters of importance, new finds, discoveries, revelations. To anyone else on this planet we were just a bunch of ne'r do well nobodies placed somewhere in the middle of society, mediocre, getting by, but clearly going nowhere in life, that was us. We didnt care, in those meetings we became something else, genius unravelling the secrets of life. We also got very drunk.

'Here's a thing' said I, 'Tarot card reading, what's your take on it boys?'
'Baloney' said Einstein (I called him Einstein to protect the innocent, this was serious business after all and as you know, the walls have ears)
'Not so sure' said Hunter S. (same deal, but damn if he didnt look like him)
'Ok well,' I began, the first topic on the agenda was underway 'There is this chick I know, she throws cards, I see her every now and then, we have a little thing going on, it's easy going, and every now and then she pulls the deck and insists on giving me a reading. She hasnt been wrong yet' I say.
Einstein butted in at this point, I could see it wasnt sitting right on him
'Look, its all in the mind, you hear what you want to hear and she is probably pretty good at reading you, not the cards, there is no logic behind them, the future is unwritten, we make it, you make it. That is what is happening here.' He said, leaned back and tucked into his pint. I think it was a brown ale of some kind I dont recall now.
We mulled this point over in silence for a while. Three genii, the world spinning beneath our feet, we forged into the future looking for answers and finding them. We also knew how to drink and fight.

'Like I said, I am not so sure' said Hunter, 'I know a witch, she reads too, I wasnt a believer in this stuff until I went to see her, I was just along for the ride, a girlfriend of mine was into it all and I tagged along. The witch took out the cards, laid them down and then looked really kinda disturbed. She didnt mess about. She told the girl I was with that death was coming and she had to be strong and that a necklace would forewarn her of the events beginning and a thunderstorm would tell it was over. I thought it was all bollocks. But a week later we were driving in a car down some road in Wiltshire, it was misty we were going slow, she looked down and her necklace, a cross, had snapped off and was in her lap. That night she got a phone call, her ex boyfriend had shot himself. She was distraught, I remembered the witch but didnt think I wanted to remind her of it. I spent the next 3 days praying for rain like never before. It was sunny right through, then on the third day clouds started building in the sky it got dark, I was with her at her house. I kept getting up to look out the window and she was thinking I was nuts, I was fucking praying man, with every ounce I had I begged those gods to make it rain thunder claps and lightning. the phone rang. I knew it was bad. And sure enough her brother had been killed in a car accident. No sooner she put the phone down than a clap of thunder burst over our heads and sure enough it was over, but for her, the pain had only just begun. I believe. I dont know how it works, but you cant deny it does, not when it goes like that. But I would never go to a witch again, fuck that. I'd rather not know.'

It was a good story. I didnt doubt his tale, you didnt lie to each other in these meetings, too much was at stake. I looked at Einstein, he was the real brains of this outfit, he was the only one with a good hold on reality. Me and Hunter, we were like crazy bandits leaping into the unknown attached to rubber bands. We were good, but I guess it made us a little crazy too. We both looked at Einstein, you could see the brain working in there behind the eyes, he was figuring it all out with equations. Fucking genius at work, I wish you could have seen it.

I went to the toilet, you let him have his space when he was working like that. I nodded the bar keep as I went, George, he was watching the small TV set on the top of the bar. Two guys sat on stools. One had his head on the bar, the other just stared into his whisky and ice. He looked at me, I looked in his eyes, he was one of us once, I could tell. This place drew them in. When I came back I could see E was ready to add the MC squared.

He told us the answer, I wish I could lay it down for you here now but it wouldnt make much sense. It didnt make much sense to us. But E clearly was excited by his discovery, something in his brain had wired up to something else and it had all gone clear for him. We laughed just to hear him go. Like a dam had just burst and you knew that he was flooding you with waves of water as those words spilled out of his mouth and into the world. That was the moment, right there, the moment discovery was made. Some small bar in a place in North London on a date I dont even remember, but it arrived in the world of man just like that, the answer to why the future can sometimes be predicted. Fucking genius, I loved our meetings. He tailed off with his roll and tapped the table twice quite hard.

'and there you have it gentleman, hmmm. I should have seen it years ago, the future is written sometimes, hmmm' he said and you could see his brain reloading behind the eyes, ready for the next one.

'Drinks?' I said. It was always a cause to celebrate when you knew you had just bust open a sarcophagus and found the gold inside.

I fetched them in.

'Einstein just figured out how the future unfolds' I told George as he poured the last drink.
'Right on time' he said. and tallied up the bill.
'That'll be 5 pounds and 45 pence' Said George, his prices always reasonable.

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