July 17: a tumescence

A small (how to call it?) tumescence has been discovered in the house. It started with a feeling that something was not quite right, then an odour, an unpleasant whiff that hit you on the landing at certain times of the day. Then one of the lodgers tracked it down. It was under a patch of old rug that hadn’t been changed when the new fitted carpet had been laid, just an old bit that went round where the bannister and the top of the stairs created an awkward shape. Anyway, the… what are we calling it?… tumescence was there. The first lodger, Orly, didn’t know whether it was meant to be there or not. He just left it. Then one day he exchanged a look with Tegel which needed no words. And independently of them, other lodgers had words and managed to track the source to the landing. Now quite a few of the lodgers had noticed it, though when the matter of the tumescence was brought up, Tegel and Orly, as well as many of the others, found ways of not really registering the issue of the tumescence, mainly by the use of abstract nouns which said a lot while saying really very little. Until one day Tegel decided to bring up the issue of the tumescence over breakfast when all the lodgers were present. One or two of the lodgers thought it was wounded and needed assistance of some kind, but others left the breakfast table as soon as this idea was mentioned, saying that it was a historical inevitability that this tumescence would heal itself. Tegel said it was a minor excrescence in the project that they had set themselves. He used the word project a lot. When the idea of the project and its historical inevitability was evoked, many of the lodgers shook hands and agreed to have breakfast together on a regular basis. And so they began to have elaborate breakfasts together and ignore the tumescence. It wasn’t actually till a long time after that some of them decided to give it a name, at first a secret name because Tegel and Orly did not like the use of names, but then even they understood that the unnameable had to be christened. They called it Grexit.


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