See the majesty and the horror of the universe

David Loughrey
David Loughrey
David Loughrey found a diary in the street this week, and thinks it holds lessons for all of us. He has decided to publish the excerpt below for the benefit of the Dunedin public.

Diary of a Dull Man

Wednesday, August 23.

Today I walked to town, and it was cold. I got most of the way down High St before realising I hadn’t worn my gloves, and my hands were cold. Luckily, they were in my bag, so I got them out and put them on. I find dealing with accessories oppressive.

Thursday, August 24.

I noticed this week the days were getting longer, with more minutes of daylight, both at the start and the end of the day.I checked the newspapers and calculated there was an extra minute or so at the start of the day, and at the end, every day.I told the young lady at the local shop, but she turned and walked away as I was in the middle of explaining the matter.I felt that was very rude, and it coloured my evening somewhat.

Friday, August 25.

This morning, while tying my shoes, by mistake I managed to tie a double knot I could not untie.

My original intention was to tie a bow.I was unable to remove the shoe, as the knot was really quite tight, and in the end after hurting my eyes quite badly by squinting as I attempted to untie the knot, I was forced to use the good scissors (my mother gave them to me before her unfortunate demise) to sever the shoelace.

Ocean Beach, viewed from the St Clair end. Photo: Stephen Jaquiery.
Ocean Beach, viewed from the St Clair end. Photo: Stephen Jaquiery.

 

All in all it took me a good 10 minutes, and I was late leaving the house, meaning I had to rush to work.I was slightly late, something that put an unfortunate hue on the rest of the day.

Saturday, August 26.

Today I realising the label on my shirt had been sticking out.I had been scratching my neck, and had been quite irritated by that for much of the day.

When I took my shirt off in the evening I discovered the culprit, and couldn’t help thinking if the label was attached at the bottom as well as the top, the problem might be ameliorated.It was a small thing, but it bothered me that in this day and age such matters were still unresolved.

Sunday, August 27.

A quiet day, with no visitors again, so I checked the bus timetable on the lamppost near my house, then noted when the buses were on time as per the schedule, and when they were late.The buses were noisy and smoky, and the sky clouded over, resulting in quite a dull mood.

Had spaghetti for tea, and considered having custard as a treat, but decided against it.

Monday, August 28.

I think I have a bunion.

Tuesday, August 29.

Last night I had a dream.

I walked towards my front door, but it didn’t look like my front door, it was more a restless effervescence, a shifting mass of bubbles, and in each I saw the reflection of the Earth from above with swirling violet oceans that wrapped around the planet before exploding into tiny droplets that drifted into space.

I looked closely at a bubble and found myself falling forward, down, down through the atmosphere, the winds stinging my eyes and making a balloon of my shirt as I tumbled headlong and screaming towards what appeared at first to be Dunedin.

However I landed, miraculously unharmed, in the middle of an endless plain that smelled of cinnamon and caramel, where the ground was neatly carpeted and easy chairs were placed every 10m, stretching out into the vast infinity.

There was a strange humming noise coming from one of the chairs and I found myself sitting in it, wearing only my underpants and one blue slipper.

Fires began to roar to my left and my right, aeroplanes began to crash around me, their broken wings and flaming engines hurtling across the carpet before the sea began to rise and sweep across the land, tossing upon it huge ships that listed and sank with screaming sailors clinging to their bows.

I looked to the sky, which was hissing terribly, and saw the stars come together and the clouds drift slowly into place to form an enormous florid face with eyes made of suns that stared deep into my soul and seemed to speak to me from their nuclear cores.

"Look around you," they said.

"See the majesty and the horror of the universe.

"Witness the conundrum of infinity and the vast emptiness of space, birth and death and joy and suffering.

"Observe it, be in awe."

The fires raged, the aircraft tumbled from the heavens and the floods surged across the plain while sunset and sunrise glowed red and orange as the world spun on its access and the face slowly faded from the sky, calling out as it shrank from my vision; "The wonder! The wonder!" it cried.

Wednesday, August 30.

Today I bought  some scones from the supermarket, but they were dry.

I sat in the park to eat the dry scones but it was overcast, and I wondered if it might rain.There was a nice view but I’ve seen it a million times, and frankly, it made me feel rather dull.

Comments

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