It was the third night of the riot and we were bored. The first night of the riot we encouraged the rioters to loot, to smash things up, to vandalize the sacred, we cheered, clapped, we sang songs. The second night we attacked the police. We exchanged punches and kicks with the police. We threw petrol bombs, bricks, and darts at the police. The third night we talked.
Henry told us about the loss of his imagination. We listened to how Henry was coping without his imagination. He was surprised just how much he missed his imagination. Just when he was about to cry over the missing imagination a brick bounced off the window. Some one made Henry a drink. He smoked and sipped his drink. "Imagination is a machine and it must be used continually or it will succumb to rust and dwindle to nothing," somebody said and this caused much disagreement. Normally smoking would have been frowned upon but because of the riot and the fires nobody complained about Henry and his smoke. "Without imagination every undertaking is completed with rote," said Henry. This we found very interesting. May, Henry's wife interrupted Henry and told us how she had bought Henry a new computer to aid him with his writing. Henry was a writer. He had been using a pen and a notebook. Henry was very excited about the new computer. Henry took his new computer into his office and May hardly saw Henry. Days became weeks and weeks became months and May hardly saw Henry. Worried about her husband May did something she would never do - she entered the office. Before May went any further we decided to go up on to the roof top. The riot was hitting that crescendo that the waning light produces.
The flashing lights of the police vans and the cars and shops burning illuminated the roof top and so we could save on electricity. We sat around the fire pit. There was no need to build a fire. We drank and smoked and listened to the dogs barking, the police being officious, the rioters screaming. The police had the upper hand.
Henry said he was too embarrassed to tell this part of the story. We suspected he had not the imagination. All stories whether true or mendacious have our spin upon them. Somebody said, "imagination is memory altered." There was a big discussion about this theory of imagination springing from the well of memory. May came upon Henry watching pornography. She caught him in the act. Henry was sat at his desk. May was dumbfounded. Henry had his eyes open. May told us how she once caught her younger brother performing the same act. Her brother was on the bed and had his eyes closed. On the record player was Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro. The brother said the music inspired him. Each time the brother laid down upon his bed he created not only a new scenario but a world as intricate as The Iliad. Each act required a great amount of imagination, the brother journeyed through sequences as complex as any Hamlet, they contained always the Aristotelian beginning, middle and end.
We took a walk through the aftermath, the debris. The police had finally cleared the rioters from our door. A few small fires were still laying damage to our city. We watched a doctor attend to a fallen rioter. There was a hole in the rioter's head and it was bleeding profusely.
Wanting to change the subject May asked Henry how his writing was progressing. Henry confessed to not having written a word. May encouraged Henry to go into the bedroom and perform the act with his eyes closed with Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro. Henry tried and failed miserably. He couldn't even delineate the line of a protruding nipple upon a breast.
We came upon a small group of rioters that were determined to fight on. The police were three blocks away and so we attacked the rioters with bottles, bricks and sticks. We chased them off and attacked a fallen straggler. We beat him to a pulp. It is surprising just how hungry one gets attending a riot. One day some clever person is going to make a packet selling hotdogs and hamburgers during a riot.