This is the solar maxim, we are told.
But how can each and every scientist
turn out wrong? Ben Nevis turns out to be
a mere one thousand, three hundred metres.
Retirement age is no longer sixty-
five. There are ninety-nine point three pennies
to the pound. “Something unexpected is
happening on the sun.” But why does no-one
know? When my old battered car turned out to
have a failing engine and a lieing
milage, I told everyone. Even those
who didn’t care: the post-lady knew
that it had done fifteen thousand K, and not
the supposed ten. My cleaning woman’s
vacant expression told me I had said
too much. But this is the sun: everyone should
care. There are just a few small sun-spots,
its face is otherwise clear. Maybe I
should try its cleanser. Maybe if I, too,
fell short of expectations, then, someone,
somewhere, would notice. My solar maxim
could be now, and I could let it pass me by.
Then, perhaps, somebody would take detailed
readings, and make notes on an expensive
notepad with a black and gold fountain pen.
Maybe, then, I would have a photo in
a paper that a few hundred people
read. Maybe then I would be somebody.