Jorge Luis Borges, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, David Foster Wallace and Roberto Bolano walk into a bar. They order drinks and arrange their arses on stools. They begin to talk about time.
Time, says Borges, you can’t beat time: it limits all things and makes all men ridiculous. Ahh, says Solzhenitsyn, we can wait out time, we can outflank time and we can lick it. Doesn’t matter says David Foster Wallace, eternity is all the time everywhere, every second is infinite and we can replay it in slower than real time. Fuck you all, says Bolano, time is all we get and we’re wasting it now and he downs his drink. He waggles his glass wantonly at the barmaid.
Into this bar wanders Tom Waits looking suitably shabby and unimpressed. He takes a spot at the bar and orders a drink with his eyebrows. The drink appears almost instantly and the barmaid leans over the timbers to look into his eyes. She leans forward even more and kisses him. They begin mouthing and pashing like there’s no tomorrow. They begin to struggle for breath so intense is their liplock. Eventually the barmaid, almost suffocating, pulls away and adjusts herself to suit the new possibilities of her life.
Tom takes a drink and wipes his mouth with his sleeve. He looks curiously at the four blokes at the bar and says watchya doin’? Bolano, embarrassed, looks away. David Foster Wallace is noting down the ingredients listed on his beer bottle on a napkin and hasn’t been watching. Solzhenitsyn starts to arrange his words, gets flustered, starts again, lifts up his head, takes a deep breath and looks to Borges. Borges sighs, and then says, we were discussing time.
Time! says Tom grinning a maniacal and toothy grin, time’s just memory mixed with desire.