Monty no longer believes there is anywhere else other than Clifton Hole. He has, he says, reached a state of understanding that all his earlier memories of people and place were a fictitious confection bearing no resemblance to lived reality. Who knows, he says, maybe they were thetans or something.
That’s right, I said. All there ever is or has been is what is here. In the morning we get some dry food. We stay in the house all day. We eat the dry food. I go out at night and get fed and you stay indoors all the time, mainly hiding under the bed like a creep, and at night you also get fed. Sometimes you come to the screen door when I am there and look out and if we see each other we hiss. It is natural and good. Every day is the same.
Yes, says Monty, it is good. And I make sure to create an almighty mess in and around the litter tray, for that is my contribution to the zeitgeist. It’s great to be good at one thing, and to do it constantly and with gusto.
If you say so, I say.
I do, he says.
I can’t remember what it was like before you were here, I say, but I have a strong sense it might have been better. But I really don’t remember, Uncle Monty, and luckily when I use words like ‘before’ I don’t really actually know what they mean. What is before?
It isn’t, says Monty. There is no before or after. There is only this.
Bonzer, I say.