On your Marx:

by | Oct 4, 2023 | Uncategorized | 1 comment

She appeared in the doorway of the café, the urge to hug her was irresistible. He stood up and pulled out a chair.

“You’re late,  everything alright?” He leaned over and kissed her flushed cheek.

“I want to jump off a building,” she replied, out of breath.

“That bad eh?” He said, taking his seat. He handed her a menu. She took it but lay it on the table, without looking at it. This is going to be tough, he pondered.

“Very. I hate teaching and I hate fourth graders,” she breathed, picking up a brown sugar cube. She held it up to her face between thumb and forefinger. As she examined it, like an ancient artefact, he observed her eyes. They were the colour of the tiny block of demerara which reflected in their huge curved surfaces.

His heart raced. He knew distraction was the order of the day. He’d seen that look before, she wasn’t here.

“Fourth grade? What’s that in old money?” He asked, crossing his fingers on his lap.

“What? Oh, yes. They’re nine or ten. Monsters” A tear formed along the bottom of each eyelid, distorting the image.

He knew sympathy would backfire on him like a car exhaust, so he carried on with his feigned ignorance.

“Ah, yes. Of course. Stupid of me,” he exclaimed, tapping his forehead with his still crossed fingers. Noticing this, he quickly spread them and raised his hand.

“You’re not stupid, you’re beautiful!” Her eyebrows curved down at the top of her perfect nose. The tear in her left eye burst out onto her long curved eyelashes and dropped onto the tablecloth, the other seemed to retreat into her right eye.

“You know you can’t put that back,” he uttered, nodding at the sugar. “Tell me about today’s lesson.” He waved the approaching waitress away with a tiny shake of his head.

“Today, we learned about Karl Marx,” she replied, placing the small brown object in front of him like a gift.

“You learned? Don’t you mean taught?” He popped the gift onto the end of his tongue and closed his mouth.

“Ewww, that’s pure sugar!” Another expression, of fake disgust, descended over her exquisite countenance.

“Yes, I’ll get worms,” he said, smiling and sucking on the cube.

“What?” She snapped, expression number four, his heart was about to explode.

“Never mind, tell me about Marx,” He swallowed the sweet mixture and washed it down with his, now cold, coffee.

She was coming round. It had taken some effort, but he almost had her back.

“Well, I didn’t know he was a Jew, and German,” She replied confidently.

“None of us are perfect,” he responded with a wry smile.

“That’s not funny, racist.” But her face gave it away. Her eyes lit up and a faint upward curve graced her plump, red lips. “People remember him for communism but he was essentially a philosopher.”

“Really?” He knew she was on a roll so he let her continue, his pulse slowing with his relief.

“Yes, he had many theories about human interaction. Although his name is a slur in the States, many of his principles have been adopted.” Her confidence was returning and he’d talked her away from the edge of the building.

“Exactly, I don’t think there’s a man in history who has been more misunderstood” He felt he could engage her now and continued. She watched him with reverence. “He was a pariah there but in Russia his philosophy was turnef upside down, inside out and made unrecognisable. Two extremes of stupidity from one geniuses theories”

“I don’t know about that,” she nipped her delicately pointed chin between thumb and forefinger and tilted her head.

“What do you think?” He breathed, resisting the urge to kiss her, there and then.

“I think I like him better today.” Her smile broadened.

Returning the smile, he continued. He was loving this. “Well, that’s big of you. An Egyptian liking a German Jewish philosopher. What next?”

Her face froze momentarily, expressionless. His heart froze with it; had he backpedalled? Then, suddenly, she burst into peals of laughter. Fellow diners turned to look.

“Go on, please. I see a follow up lesson here,” she enthused, rubbing her hands together.

“Philosophy is like walking a fine tightrope,” he responded.

“Tell me.” Her eyes drilled into him, thawing his icy heart.

“You’ve got to remember that those interpreting your theories are infinitely less intelligent than you. Therefore, they will only assimilate part of them.” He was the one on the roll now. “Hey!” He continued with mock surprise. “That’s philosophy!”

“That’s clever,” she answered.

“I just made…erm…thought that up,” he smiled.

“Yes, very smart.” Her look was that of sarcasm but deep down he saw something else 

“It’s a bit like religion, I suppose. People misinterpret or don’t understand. Or, worse still, take parts that satisfy their means and use them” He knew he’d sailed into choppy waters mentioning religion.

Her eyes narrowed and she scratched her earlobe, just below the gold stud. He’d talked her down and was leading her to safety.

“I don’t care. Marx is dead.” She said flatly. 

“Even worse. Who’d be a dead philosopher?” He replied.

“Exactly. I’m alive. I’ll enjoy my day.” This time, the smile that accompanied the remark, was warm and genuine.

“Now that’s a good philosophy. Simple, beautiful, and not open to abuse. Let’s call it Omneyism,” he said, returning the warmth.

“Omneyism! I love it! I love you!” Her face opened up like a wild rose in the morning sun.

“Hungry?” He asked, nodding at the menu.

“Starving! Let’s order.” She picked up the menu and lost herself in it.

Result! Thanks Karl!

1 Comment

  1. kenchildse3dc1bd91f

    Shows how much I knew about Marx I didn’t know he was Jewish. I often wondered communism was sometimes called a Zionist conspiracy.


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