On a train, a woman flicks her eyes to her left, bam to her right, back to her left, just to check that no-one can see her text message; “I offer $490 000.” A reply is stalled as the train passes through a dark tunnel, and says; “Done.”


What does this lady mean? $490 000 is quite a large sum to offer, where does she get the money? What will she do with it? What’s Done? By taking an intellectual bath with Barthes and his notion of anchorage of the situation; “the text directs the reader through the signifieds of the image (in this case the text of the situation)…towards a meaning”[1], I have deduced that this woman is probably buying property. Although from a different cultural persuasion, she seems to speak fluent English and would therefore be savvy with cultural expectations of this nation, yet I gather a hint of low-socio-economic status from her clothing suggests faux Prada with a mix of fluro visor and sunglasses. Property by the waterfront? The rest of her text, as well as her life as a text, is open for speculation, which I gladly choose to speculate over, because there is not much else to Flaneur about on the train, apart from hearing time pass,                   hush now! Listen.                   Time passes.[2]                       

I choose to be a sticky-beak and decipher this woman, her life and/as the text. Derrida notes the slippage of reality, that “if meaning was… always shifting and unstable, part-present and part-absent, how could there be any truth or determinate meaning at all?”[3] By stepping out of my luke-warm intellectual bath, I roll in the glitter of the kaleidoscopic world of fragmented textual reality, where everything is inconstant and indeterminate. 

For all I know, she could in fact be a velociraptor disguised as gentleman-caller buying waterfront property for an underground slave-trade.

[1] Barthes, 1977, p40

[2] Under Milkwood by Dylan Thomas, 1954

[3] Eagleton, 1983 pp111-125


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