Mo is painting.
Or, tonight, digging.
He’s painting holes into the landscape on the page, a painting of craters receding into the distance.
“I guess that’s what love is, isn’t it?” Says Cat. Cat always says that kind of thing.
Cat owns the window sill, though Mo owns the flat.
Mo adds more black to his palette “You can say anything’s what love is.”
“It is though, you know? You’re painting holes on a page as if they’re actually holes. Same way as when you think you see an emptiness inside someone else – you’re adding something to someone. In your head, you know? If it’s you, and you’re empty – then there’s really nothing there. You know? But if it’s you telling someone else – that you have, you know, an emptiness… Then you’re telling them to add that to you.”
Mo half listens.
“How is that at all like love?” he said.
Cat’s tail swishes. In the apartment opposite, a lone clarinet player strategically infuriates the block with broken cyclic melody.
“Because you paint holes onto people. You think they need something, but you’ve just added it to them. Then you paint yourself filling those holes, keeping them full, you know?” says Cat.
“Well you’re wrong about this painting.” Says Mo.
“Why is that?”
“I don’t want to put myself into any of these holes.”
Besides the brush, there was a silence. And clarinet.
“You fill my emptiness, Mo.”
“I love you too, Cat.”
Cat thought about this for a while, purring. He seemed to come to a realisation.
“You do fill me, Mo.”
“We established this. You too, Cat.”
“That’s just it Mo. I’d estimate you’re about 30% of me Mo. At least.”
Mo painted the foreground holes darker. More risk?
“And you want me to say I have a similar percentage?” says Mo.
“Let’s assume you do.” Cat dropped to the floor lightly and began to pace, lighting a cigarette.
“Ok.” Mo sniffed – he didn’t like it when Cat smoked inside.
“So if I’m 30% of you, and you’re 30% of me… And I know that about you… Then you’re 30% of the part of me that’s you. And I’m 30% of the part of you that’s me… And so on with the parts of those parts.”
Sometimes, Cat made Mo’s head hurt, and not only with tobacco smoke. Mo gently settled his brush, frowning with concentration.
“Don’t you see Mo?” Cat gazed at him with large, bright eyes. “It means love is recursive. It’s its own kind of consciousness. It can only be divided into more of itself.”
“Sounds like earthworms. Can you smoke at the window, rather?” says Mo, sponging excess water off the page.
Cat leaped back up onto the sill. His attention turned outside onto the street, studying the people, who were mostly ignoring all the other people.
He wondered how they never bump into one and other.
The clarinet grew louder, more improvisational.
Admittedly, it got a bit better every day.