"No don't apologize. You're fascinating so do you think Senora Alcazar's right and we can't say for certain if there's right and wrong?"
"Don't listen to anything that woman says, she barely even believes herself. I can't tell if she just takes positions to start fights or is trying to justify whatever it is she does, be that selling guns or spending tax payer money."
Martine furrowed her brows "I feel sorry for her. It can't be fun to be that negative about everything"
"She could just change her mind. Anyway no I don't think that everything is relative. I think there's black and white, but that leaves room for a lot of grey area."
"And art? I already let you know I agree with Miss Castafiore. She's right about artists torturing themselves over
well a number of things, but mainly that we
I should say they aren't explicitly useful."
"Are you an artist yourself Martine?"
well yes. I'm a painter, but not a real painter. Right now I just make copies, I really have no style of my own. I've tried to create original works but I just stare at a blank canvass. I'm like a parrot who can only imitate and never offer up anything authentic."
Once again there was silence. But it was a good silence; the kind that didn't really need to be broken. Snowy scampered around looking under the seats and around desks hoping that something interesting would turn up. It didn't. Instead he was left to wonder why the carpets had to be mustard and maroon instead of some nicer colors. He had a theory (that he made a mental note to share with the French poodle) that airports were designed by people whose aesthetic sensibilities were so lacking that they couldn't work on anything else. The business community had solved the problem of these people by getting together and decide that they would all make airports so that people with a better sense of attractiveness could design other structures. It was Martine who broke the silence.
"Have you ever thought that white was a terrifying color?"
"Yes, when I was in Nepal. The most frightening things where giant white expanses in which you could go mad wandering in circles for days, left at the mercy of the insatiable White Goddess. But what made you ask? Have you ever been trapped in the snow?"
"No I was thinking of the concept of blankness, of nothing. People dislike darkness because they associate black with death. Death is frightening of course but nothingness is just as frightening. When I look at a blank canvas that I can't turn into a painting I think of sterility, of impotence, of the inability to create anything meaningful
"then she started laughing "I'm sorry that sounded so much better in my head
I don't mean to be so pretentious I just
when I was at art school, before I dropped out, we had a class that started at 12:00 and went until two."
"It was nice really but the whole reason for that was people would say more and be more honest when it was late and they were tired. It all became very..ah
stream of consciousness is the nice way of talking about it. I really liked it, I mean
I still don't think what I said came out right but
why should it sound so silly? Everyone has thoughts like that they just don't vocalize them so when they do it sounds strange."
Tintin snickered "I think that you have a very generous view of human nature. Don't expect me to believe that General Alcazar thinks about white being frightening because it represents nothingness and the failure of creative potential."
"I'm sure he does, to me he seems like a secret romantic"
"No. That man doesn't think, he just reacts. I take that back I've seen him trying to think and you could almost see the cogs turning inside his head. Or Carredias, the only thing he can think of when he looks at a painting is how much it costs and whether or not Onassis has one. Or Bianca, any train of thought she starts doesn't get out of the station because it gets interrupted by her wondering where her jewels are." Tintin was hoping that Martine would find this humorous but she just looked confused. He wondered if maybe she took the world a little too seriously to find levity in his remarks
or they weren't funny in the first place.
"You say the general doesn't think, but he must
"I mean that he mainly acts on instinct, he doesn't really think about the appropriateness or the consequences of his actions."
"Yes but what does he think about when not just reacting?"
I don't know
I suppose I'd say not much. I really think most people just don't think about things like that
" Tintin put the hand that wasn't holding Martine's to his forehead as he said this. Part of him wanted to say "nothing" but he couldn't quite bring himself to say it. He supposed that when it came right down to it you couldn't really know what was going on inside someone else's mind, but he felt that he could make very good guesses.
"Well why should they?"
"I don't just mean the colors, I mean about art as a whole, or god, or whether or not what they're doing is any good. I think a lot of people just get one idea into their head that works and they just leave it there."
"Well what about Carredias? You say that he doesn't think about art but he might have a lot to say about something else, and he must be very clever to have made all that money. Or Miss Castafiore, I thought that she was most eloquent
you still haven't told me what you think about art by the way." Prompted Martine.
"Your right I suppose. But Castafiore has to have some kind of answer about art she's an artist and I'm sure that reporters ask her about the subject and she has to have a readymade speech for them."
Martine shook her head. "It didn't sound like that to me. I'm always so desperately curious to know what it's like to be other people to know what they think about
"And I'm telling you I think that you'd be terribly disappointed."
"And I think that you sell people short" another silence descended broken by Snowy whimpering. He knew that the humans found sleeping at an airport difficult but he would be just fine if they stopped and let him curl up on the ground, thank you very much. Tintin got the message and asked Martine if they could go sit down. They managed this and Tintin was gratified to notice that they managed this while still holding hands. Snowy opted for a chair and got comfortable in the seat next to his master's.
"I'm glad I get to talk with you like this Tintin, it is so nice not to have to go on about the weather, it's so liberating to just say what one means" said Martine as she tentatively rested her head on his shoulder.
'But of course we're not saying what we really mean' thought Tintin 'actually I'm speaking in code more than anything else.' What he said out loud was
"I'm glad to talk to you as well"
"You still haven't told me how you feel about art"
"Are you still on your quest to understand the workings of other minds? Well to tell you the truth I'd never really thought about it, see I told you the answers would be disappointing"
"I'm not disappointed."
"I suppose both women had good points but I can't take either of them seriously, Castafiore's an opera singer so she has an axe to grind and the other one was just trying to wind her up. Why do people enjoy arguing I wonder, isn't human interaction already full of possible sources of conflict without trying to create them?"
Martine yawned "I couldn't agree with you more"
Tintin yawned in response, he could feel himself falling asleep. Then remembered something.
"Martine I'll give you one that you can't argue with. Joylon Wagg has never had an actual thought in his life"
Martine shuddered "I'm inclined to agree with you on that score."