Neu! Boots Are Made For Walking DAY TWENTY-FOUR – Fiona Moore

In the middle of a discussion about walls and Brexit

We started debating the flavours of Wall’s
Neapolitan – strawberry, then vanillla
and either chocolate or pistachio,
depending on whether or not they stand for
the Italian flag. Not that my childhood
memories are about its taste but rather
a cold creaminess, generically sweet –
the flavours were just a descant, an extra
joy floating above the rest and a choice
of which one to quarry out first. Something
magical lurked in the block: the boundaries
between stripes weren’t visible like a drawn line
but a concept arising at the end of
green, say, and the start of white. How did they
make the bands stick together so neatly,
without blurring? Part of the pleasure of
eating was that it went with this thought,
never voiced. Would anyone still know
how to do that? To find out, you might search
in a factory archive: rust-stained filing
cabinets stuffed with typewritten pages
of industrial secrets. But the factory
has probably long closed and you’d have to
visit some gleamingly international
HQ which would refuse to allow you in.
At last you’d find the retired supervisor,
now proud of the stripes on his front lawn,
who’d explain the recipe and show you
photos of the production line before
they sold it for scrap. Whatever the process
and flag or none, it’s impossible not
to keep reverting to the state of things,
for example that parties of the right
would split over what the third colour should be
and how high the walls, though they’d all agree
the world’s not melting. So how was it done:
an invisible, taste- and textureless
ingredient glueing each join or a certain
property infusing the whole? Or they dropped
each frozen strip into place and pressed them
lightly together. It could be that simple.  

Fiona Moore swims and walks, reads and writes; helps edit The Rialto, blogs at Displacement.  Her pamphlet Night Letter (HappenStance) has just been shortlisted for the Michael Marks Awards. 

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