This evening I went to a foam party in Marchmont. The party was held by Anna, an old friend of mine. Tori was there, and so was James from the JMC. Foam was billowing out of a funnel set up in the dining-room, and, by midnight, most of the apartment had been filled. Anna was trying to prevent the foam from getting into the bedrooms, and we had all been instructed not to open certain doors. The foam was up to my chin and I was struggling to keep my head above the surface.
“Can you pass me a canapé?” James asked. I tried to snatch one from the tray as it bobbed past on a current of foam.
“Where is your wife this evening?” Anna asked.
“Oh she’s here,” I replied. “Somewhere under all this foam…”
“I say, there’s an awful head on this pint,” somebody remarked.
“Someone is rubbing against my leg!” James cried.
“I think it’s the dog,” Anna reassured him. “Try not to get any of the foam into your eyes – it’s rather disagreeable.”
The conversation turned to the present banking crisis. Abstracted, I dropped out for a while. I had this odd daydream and, as they sometimes do, it drove the world away for a bit. Somebody at the party had mentioned seeing Marcin in the hall, and, presuming that he had been engulfed by a tide of foam, I had plunged under the surface to search for him. I nosed through the foam, through the assembled bodies, feeling anything that came to hand – knees, shoes, the corners of tables – blindly pawing over everything I encountered, rummaging for my lost friend.