Samuel Beckett and the Moon
By sean mcnulty
Sammy went to his window and there on the street was Brendan typically ravaged by drinking hours and typically untouched by stillness.
He went down to let him in, best to take him off the streets.
‘They kicked me out of the Two Maggots, Sammy, my boy,’ Brendan roared upon falling in the front door. ‘Bloody bastards, the lot of them.’ Before going any further, he remembered to wipe the soles of his shoes on the floormat at the entrance. However drunk he was, Brendan always aimed for politeness in Sammy’s company.
Once inside, they went to the kitchen and Brendan sat down at the table while Sammy put some coffee on.
‘I was reading about this Chinese poet today, Sammy. Li Bai is his name. You know?’
Sammy nodded and smiled. Even though he found Brendan incredibly tiresome these days, it was true the man constantly surprised him.
‘The mad bastard loved his wine. Poor blaggard was so drunk one night he killed himself trying to grab hold of the moon’s reflection in the Yanksee river, fell in and drowned himself dead.’
Sammy sighed, and shot a look of insight at Brendan.
‘Yeah, I know what you’re thinking,’ said Brendan. ‘That’ll be me one day. Thought the same thing myself. So I took a walk down there along the quays to try and put myself in Li Bai’s slippers. Got up on one of the ponts down there and looked into the Seine. But I couldn’t see the bloody moon at all, only my own sludgy reflection looking back at me. Then I got sick.’
Sammy smiled once more, and began pouring cups of coffee.
‘I’ll tell you, Sammy,’ said Brendan. ‘However much I try, I just can’t get a clear fuckin picture.’
They drank coffee into the night together, and talked very little.