Chuck and Bill on Darwin Day

In the morning, I found that a horribly complicated equation which mixed combinatorics, network theory and generalizations of Shannon entropy reduced to zero in a circumstance where I had guessed that might happen, which gave me the exciting feeling that I might actually be doing science.

In the evening, I went to meet Joshua, Expatria, Rebecca and Evelyn at the Redline bar for drinks and carousing. I misremembered the time of the meet-up, so I thought I had a while to kill, and consequently I idled down the street to the Harvard Coop bookstore — not with an intent to buy anything, just to browse. I found myself standing in front of their Shakespeare shelves, listening to the Baroque music being piped in by the bucketful, and I thought, “Holy Jebus, this is the very essence of highbrow and effete — and, damn it all, I love it.”

I picked up a book by Edwin Abbott Abbott, he of Flatland fame, on Shakespearean grammar, and I read its introductory sections until I figured it was time to head for the Redline. Stepping out of the bookstore, leaving behind all the testimonials on how the Network is changing everything, I saw a woman, homeless and shapeless under a once-pink blanket, sleeping or trying to sleep while the snow was beginning to fall. Take that as your allegory for Harvard Square, urban life, the twenty-first century or anything else which is too big for a single person to fix.

At the bar, I discovered I was late, arriving when the festivities were wrapping up: the winners of the “make an animal from pipe cleaners” contest were announced shortly after I sat down with Rebecca, Evelyn and Expatria. Joshua found our table shortly after I did, and a little while after that, Rebecca had to leave (supposedly to write her speech for Saturday), and another young woman arrived, one we hadn’t met before. She turned out to be an aspiring actress who was practicing an audition speech from The Comedy of Errors. We soon discovered that thanks to Dead Poets Society, everybody knew Puck’s final speech, and that we’d shared the same strange vibe the first time each of us had seen that movie and been older than the teenagers in it.

Let others have their Rapture: when I go mad, I’ll know the world will end with a speech in blank verse, delivered to a stage strewn with needless corpses, closing with a final rhyming couplet and the last flourish and exeunt.

After the party was done, I went home and had a midnight snack of sweet iambs.

5 thoughts on “Chuck and Bill on Darwin Day”

  1. To keep with the theme, on my way home I sat across a red line car from three girls discussing ART’s production of Julius Caesar. Apparently, it was pretty good. I remain suspicious, though, after having seen their completely wretched attempt at Romeo & Juliet.

  2. While I’d love to find some synchronicity-laden event linking with night’s Darwinfest, I have none. I DID, however, get a couple of odd looks from people on the T until I took that silly ring off. I suppose it’s a good thing I opted against bringing my scepter, orb, and crown home as well.

  3. Ah, sweet, dear Blake, if eschatology’s
    the stuff that nightmares make, the blindest seem
    en-Raptured by the thought that God will take
    them long before they sleep, perchance to dream.

    How dreamless are their dreams, that we should send
    the pocked lips of swollen sinners hence,
    how empty is their desert lust,
    that all the prophets, even Blake, forfend.

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