© Chris Port, March 2011
(Marty is gazing in awe at Dr Horquine’s whiteboard. It is filled with dense equations. Dr Horquine approaches, frowning, as if to say “Yes?”).
MARTY: (To himself). Oh gosh. Oh gosh that’s good. Brilliant... Wrong, but brilliant.
DR HORQUINE: (Irritably). Wrong? What’s wrong?
MARTY: (Pointing to a symbol). Here. There’s an error in the third stage. You’re almost there. (He grabs a marker pen, rubs out a symbol with a squeaky finger, then slashes in a correction). There. That should put you back on track.
DR HORQUINE: (Glares at the correction as if it was a shit stain on his sofa, then peers at it, then gazes in awe at it. He turns to Marty, uncertain now). Who are you?
MARTY: Now that’s a good question. I wish I knew. I did. But I think I’m having some kind of breakdown. Well, either me or the universe. I don’t know who I am anymore. I was hoping you might be able to help?
DR HORQUINE: (Glancing back at the equation). I’m sorry. I’m a bio-physicist, not a psychiatrist. I can refer you to one of my colleagues if you like?
MARTY: Thank you. But it’s your expert opinion I’m after. Would it be correct to say that you don’t believe in God?
DR HORQUINE: Yes. That’s correct.
MARTY: Can you say precisely what it is you don’t believe in?
DR HORQUINE: No. That’s not the way it works. You’re asking me to describe something that doesn’t exist.
MARTY: Thank you. That’s what I thought.
(Marty turns to leave).
DR HORQUINE: Wait a moment. Is that it? Is that all you wanted to ask?
MARTY: Yes. You see, I wasn’t sure if I was right. To be honest, I’m still a little uncertain. But isn’t everything, eh?
DR HORQUINE: Perhaps you should talk to a theologian?
MARTY: Oh I have. They can’t describe what God is either. But they’re very certain that they believe in him. Perhaps description is the key? (He turns to go, then turns back). Doctor, you surprise me.
DR HORQUINE: Oh? How so?
MARTY: You’re a profound atheist. To you, religion is insanity. Why point me in the direction of madmen?
DR HORQUINE: (Smiling gently). I thought you might be able to help them.
MARTY: (Smiling back). God moves in mysterious ways. Doctor, could I ask a favour?
DR HORQUINE: You can certainly ask.
MARTY: If you ever come up with a Grand Unified Theory, try to include an equation for humour. Nothing warps the universe like a good sense of humour.
DR HORQUINE: I’ll do my best. A pleasure to meet you, Mr…?
MARTY: Gull. Marty Gull.
(They shake hands).
DR HORQUINE: Until we meet again, Mr Gull.
MARTY: We won’t. Unless you’re very wrong. Goodbye Doctor.
(He grins at the whiteboard and leaves).