Friday, July 11, 2008

P. Fellows's Apartment, VII

Journeys are very often understood to be something more than just a trip – some sort of depth of experience is implied in a journey, and oftentimes even some sort of revelation. In reality, however, journeys often turn out to be little more than romantically titled trips. Or at least that’s what P. Fellows believed.

P. Fellows himself had never been on a journey or a trip. In fact, he only rarely left his apartment. What’s out there, he’d ask, that I can’t discover inside of here? When people began enumerating the various things that could not be found inside his apartment, P. Fellows would raise a finger to his lips and make a harsh, sibilant sound. The person, silenced, would look at P. Fellows, who would then explain, That is not so, my friend, you simply haven’t been inside of here for long enough. The person would snort or roll their eyes in response, and P. Fellows would nod confidently, certain that his refutation of their claims about a more abundant and richly diverse external world had made apostates of them all. This was rarely the case.

In one instance, however, one of his visitors thought that perhaps P. Fellows was right; that perhaps one could discover all that the world had to offer right inside this one (very cramped) apartment. Show me, he said to P. Fellows, show me all that you’ve learned in here.

P. Fellows takes a moment to look over his humble acolyte before he begins shaking his head. No no no, that isn’t it, P. Fellows says, that isn’t what I meant at all. His head continues to shake for some time. This is my apartment, so of course I can experience all the world within it, but not others. You must find your own apartment before you can stop your silly journeying about.

He finishes this brief lecture and looks once more over the man standing in his apartment. Run along now, P. Fellows says, I’ve had enough company in here for the day. The man turns and leaves without saying a word, and a smile breaks across P. Fellows’s face: my apartment, he thinks, for him – the idea of such a thing!

No comments: