The Notetaker: On hosting a Dinner

The Notetaker: On hosting a Dinner [B 44, Delhi, June 2021]

A dinner invitation addressed to me in red, bold ink lay on my desk. An unnamed voice, who could not commit to its attendance, commanded me to host a dinner. The names of the other guests were inscribed in inks from different eras: Karl Marx, Borges and Fernando Pessoa. I felt sure that the other guests could not read my name, it was barely legible to me. 

I set to lay streams of red screaming for revolutions for Marx; long, contemplative silences for Pessoa; and, maidens of indiscriminate forms singing the songs of the sirens for Borges. 

At the strike of the hour, the three appeared. 

Pessoa lamented on the fragments which made him a factless autobiography, and taking stretched out time to speak, almost in whispers, said, ‘I realise now that I’ve failed, and it only surprises me that I didn’t foresee that I was going to fail’. Borges murmured to the maidens of the indiscriminate forms, ‘in this world, beauty is so common’. 

Marx sat in the corner, soaked in red and announced, ‘history repeats itself, first as tragedy, then as farce’. 

Another strike of the hour, I wondered for a moment as to what my role might be. 

I turned the invite over to realise I am just a foot soldier,

but a notetaker.