I have known Stan for some time. I met him in the park when he was walking his dog, Elvis, and we hit it off straight away. We meet up every so often and go to concerts or lectures at the University. It is the ideal relationship, unbedevilled by consummation. I know that Stan is up for more but I am not. Why spoil a perfectly good friendship with a fumble that might or might not do the trick? Anyway I think Stan is a wanker, he’s got that look about him. Many men these days see masterbation as a kind of holiday, a chance to let go without having to answer for it. I leave him to it. Sex is something Stan and I don’t discuss.
Stan and I share a sense of proportion that borders on the OCD and a profound interest in the way numbers underpin what we blithely call reality. Stan in an eminent scientist or was until he retired. He was even offered a knighthood for the work he did on the connection between alcohol and breast cancer but he refused it in his grumpy left-wing way. I like that. He’s a man of integrity is Stan, for all his strange ways.
When we are together he talks about things that make my head spin. I often wish I could record our conversations as he patiently explains the theory of multiple universes and the shortcomings of the Cartesian co-ordinates. Unusually for such an eminent scientist, Stan is also, like me, a liberal in the ancient sense of the word. We are both into number, geometry, music and cosmology and the links between them. As he says they all speak the simple language that maps our universe. We both love the feeling that revelation brings. Together on our walks we often draw in what Stan calls ‘the shadow of reality’, which highlights with startling clarity the invisible patterns in the air that can be translated into something meaningful. As Stan says ‘you can count on numbers!'( to be continued)