Sam & Deli meet at the entrance to their university | Sam arrives early every day to chain smoke roll-ups | trying to beat his previous record of 7 in the space of 15 minutes. It is winter. The threat of snow builds in blue cumulus | beautiful perm-like renderings.
Sam: “Deli | how’s it goin’?”
Deli: “I’m alright Sammy | how about yourself?”
Sam: “Can’t complain. Bit knackered. Got lashed last night at The Scholar. You read the poem?”
Deli: “You mean Pale Fire?”
Sam: “Yeah! It was well easy | finished it proper quick. Odd that we had to read a poem for our contemporary fiction class though | come to think of it.”
Deli: “Can’t think why eh?”
Sam: “Na. & y’know i can’t be arsed with reading forewords & introduction crap & forrrrrrget (he swivels his head round the r) about notes at the back of the book. That’s why I picked fiction. I like to form my own ideas. That Kinbote whatsizname? Sounds like a robo-wizard or summat. Sod that! Couldn’t find any other poems by that John Shade | bit old fashioned for me | bit full of himself | but good nonetheless. & i don’t usually like poetry. It’s a bit pretentious.”
Deli: “Ah yes the magic word of the retarded ‘good’. Maybe you can affix a ‘really’ on the front of that & reeeallllyyy (she says sarcastically) do the genius of Nabokov justice. “Old-ie world-ie” “ro-bo wiz-ard” “can’t be arsed with fore-words & notes at the back?” (She says this in a thick dull tone trapping the air round her palatine raphe | breathily punching outward with each syllable in hyperbolic mockery of him.)”
Sam: “Huh! Why?”
Deli: “You realize don’t you that Pale Fire is a novel. Kinbote’s foreword / introduction & the glossary are fictional. They tell a story. It is an experimental narrative device | it urges the reader to investigate & speaks volumes about the deranged protagonist Charles Kinbote.”
Sam: “Oh…shit. Egg on my face. I thought Kinbote was some critic or summat.”
Deli: “Y’know | since you shaved yer ‘ead | i think you got a lot thicker | y’Jack o’Spades.
Let me get a look at you (she grabs him by the chin) yes! Your jaw is actually looking a little slacker & your gait more Neanderthal-like. I recommend you grow your hair back Sam | keep that meaty processor of yours insulated.”
Sam: “Bloody hell Deli a butterfly at this time of year. Crazy that is. Global warming’s doin’ that. Nature’s all in a mix up.”
Deli: “It’s not just nature.”
It starts to snow.