“The address is dot dot dot,” said George.
“No, it isn't, it's dash dash dash.,” replied Albert.
The two old gents sat on the bench outside Blackwoods Supermarket, gazing across the fields at the spire of a distant church. They knew there was a town over there quite different and separate from the town in which they always sat whiling away the hot Summer’s day.
Passers-by somehow proved that town’s other existence. They were not consistently the same passers-by so they must live at least somewhere else. They’d always be the same passers-by if they lived in the same town as the two old gents.
The times were ones when people didn’t travel far from their own home town – either because of a lack of money or due to rudimentary transport systems that worked irregularly. Different towns then were different countries now.
The two old gents were speculating beyond the realms of their usual gossip. Gossip became a bit tedious after many years. So they used to make things up. About imaginary places. Imaginary towns. Imaginary people. Waking dreams tossed between them as the day shone on.
Sometimes the imaginary people took off like semi-real existences upon flights of fancy. Often they became so very real to the two old gents, the existences fleshed out and became the new passers-by miming the people just conjured up by the two old gents as passing by.
Then the two old gents returned to gossip of the trivial and mundane. Then they perked up again with fresh flights of fancy. Except their vocabulary was not a match for their fancies. They interspersed their talk with 'dot dot dot' and 'dash dash dash' as a sort of personal morse code to fill any gaps. But, meanwhile, they were able to visualise the things that underpinned the dots and dashes, but whether telepathy worked or whether they visualised quite differently not even their telepathy could tell them.
“The address is dot dot dot," said George, visualising the road before he visualised the house. The road was indeed “Dot Dash Dot Avenue” and the house-name “Dash Dot Dash Villa” – and out from it came a figure made completely of dots and dashes that needed joining up into shapes as in a children’s dot-to-dot puzzle. He gradually made out a woman’s bits and bobs from amid the emerging squiggles.
Suddenly, he visualised his own eyes welling with tears.
“You know, I love her,” he said.
“Why don’t you go there, then?” asked Albert.
“I’m not sure of the address.”
“Yes, sad, that.”
“But do you know her name?”
“Dot. Her name is Dot.”
“Short for something?”
“Ah, I know her. You’re welcome to her. A flighty piece.”
Silence, punctuated by dry sobbing.
Written today and first published here