Sunday, December 23, 2012

Mysterious Evaporation of Entire Day

"It is a leap year, Holmes, it is a leap year!" entered Watson, totally kerfuffling the neat arrangement of tools that had been placed in order to properly annotate note-taklng days.

"When did you first realize this? 2008?" said Holmes. "Or are we, my dear Watson, somehow magically in the future?"

Watson had been full of vim and vigor up to that point. He had been heated. He had been almost ready to explode, like a damned blimp -- now suddenly everything had become very, very cold.

"There is no reason to insult my intelligence like that, Holmes," said Watson, sucking in some chilly evening air. "I was only trying to set up what was going to be a very funny and elaborate joke."

A cackle was returned.

"But now that I see you don't genuinely appreciate my camaraderie, you will never know."

Another chilly cackle was returned, and then he, Holmes rose from a corner -- or at least what would be a corner if you were wearing 3D-heroin-glasses. "Someone has gone and lost a whole bloody day, haven't they?" he said.

"You have read it all in the news, then," said Watson. "I -- I had thought I would be the first to tell you."

"The news, Watson, is something written by a gaggle of news coveragists. Anybody can 'write the news'. It is an ambition for a two-year old. This, my good boy, is pure intelligence."

"I am going home, Holmes," said Watson, turning away. But then he stopped, and added, "I have waited years to actually have the foundation to say that, but now I am gratified, that Holmes -- I am going home."

Holmes shuffled some papers with his feet and pulled out the night's edition. "As I suspected all along, a whole day has gone missing. The big question now is where did it go?"

Of course Watson wasn't going home. Where would he go? He was a tertiary character at best, a rotund over-fed product of endless insipid wars at worst. "He is saying he has no memory whatsoever, and now he is making the bold claim that he is uncertain as to whether most people (you or I) are in fact legitimate consciousnesses at all. His case is very persuasive," said Watson.

Holmes peered out of his window at the matte quality of a brick in the wall of a distant building. "His type of cases are always very persuasive, Watson. Do you know what I really want to see, however?"

"There is something to see?"

"Even if you have no eyes through which to see, Watson," said Holmes, "you can see with the ears. Or the nose. Or of course the flesh. You can even see with your tongue, like a snake."

"Why, you venomous swine," rallied Watson. "Come Holmes, come out of it. Come out of all this drudgery and mish-mash of a life, and let us venture forth to discover how exactly an entire day can just ... disappear."

"Evaporate ..." mused Holmes to himself as he was slowly led out into the open world.

+Arthur Conan Doyle