Ren knows nowhere chic in Grayvington. He’s not sure there is anywhere chic in Grayvington, but then he’s only been here a few months. He tells the taxi to take them to the Cock Up, a fairly pricey cocktail bar.
At the bar Ren, who is a cocktail fan (or, as Miles says, a girl), sets about ordering the most exotic and expensive cocktails he can. An amused Hedley follows suit. Hedley is clearly keen not to talk about time or the philosophy of physics any more, which suits Ren, but then he starts going on about how right-wing Tony Blair is. Why, Ren thinks, are the Cambridge smoothies always so left-wing? Does the ghost of Philby still haunt the place? Ren nods and murmurs, bored, wondering how many Eastern European agents Beagle would happily condemn to death, like Philby did. Perhaps we’d better talk about time after all, he thinks, and gets Beagle talking about temporal parts.
‘The trouble I have with the idea of temporal parts,’ said Ren, ‘is what’s the relationship between them? What connects temporal parts, and makes them add up to a physical object?’
‘The relationship between them is a causal connection,’ said Hedley.
‘How is there any causal connection? Does the earlier time-slice of the object, call it X, cause the later one, Y, to come into existence? They’re numerically distinct things. How does X cause Y to come into existence?’
‘Well, Y arises out of X.’
‘What does that mean, though? On your theory there’s just one thing at t1, and another similar but numerically distinct thing at t2. And how can X causally affect Y anyway, if X exists at t1 but not t2 which is the only time Y exists?’
‘But how do you overcome the problem of temporal intrinsics? I was sober earlier in the day, now I’m drunk. Two incompatible properties. How can I have both properties? Is it that the properties I actually have are really being-drunk-in-the-afternoon and sober-in-the-evening?’
‘You mean the other way around.’
‘Do I? Oh yes, the other way around. Hic. But those don’t seem like the actual properties I have. I’m drunk simpliciter, not drunk-in-the-evening. And being sober and drunk don’t seem to be relational properties either, so don’t say what I have is the relational property of being drunk in relation to this Wednesday evening.’
‘I wasn’t going to say any of those. I agree they’re not satisfactory. You four-dimensionalists always bring up the problem of temporal intrinsics, and it’s not something I claim to know how to deal with. But I’m interested in what a prominent four-dimensionalist says about the relation between temporal parts. I can never get a straight answer to that issue.’
Ren had asked for it. A straight answer was definitely not what he got; Hedley rabbited on for half an hour with his views on this issue, until Ren managed to change the subject again. Ren wasn’t sure Hedley’s answer made much sense, but it was hard to tell as they’d been drinking so many cocktails. It was even harder to tell the next day, when Ren could remember little of it.
Last orders are called. ‘Are you not gedding a train then?’ said Ren. ‘Where you stayin?’
‘I was gedding a train. I’ve forgotten all about thad. Fug. Fug. Fug. I’ll have to gedza hotel room for the night. Shid. Hope I can still ged one at this late stage.’
‘You can crashz at my place if you wan.’
‘Is it fid for human habidation?’
‘Give it three more monthz and it won’t be, but I haven’t been here long enough to completely bacherlorise it yed.’
‘Do you have anything do drink there?’
‘Juss some beer and a bol o’ whikky.’
‘Will I have to drink out of a doothbrush cub?’
‘I’m not a complee animal. A number of glazzes exist, and some of ‘em may even be washed and located in clean cuberdz.’ Ren quickly corrects himself. ‘Relatively clean cubberds.’
‘Hokay, lead da way.’
The two ramsquaddled academicians stumble out of the cocktail bar and find a taxi, which takes them to Ren’s place. They are supposed to be men of wisdom, and sagacity would firmly suggest to them that they call it quits at this point, but they left her in their dust a while ago, so instead Ren opens the whisky and pours them two large glasses full.
They carry on like this until 2am, when Ren pulls out his spare mattress and duvet for Hedley to sleep on, and stumbles off to bed. His head has not been on the pillow for very long, and he is about to fall off a sheer sleep-cliff, when the door opens. Hedley enters, swaying. It’s hard to see what’s up because Ren only has the hallway light to see by, but something about Hedley doesn’t look quite right. What’s different? Ah, it’s because he has an erect penis sticking out of the middle of his boxer shorts.
‘Ren, loog at dis.’
‘Have you god an SDD? Better gedda doctor to loog at it tomorrow. I can’t diagnose id.’
‘It needs your addenshun.’
‘There’s some coddon buds in the bathroom cabinet, ged some out and tage a swab for the doctor. Nuttin I can do, I’m not qualified.’
‘No, I wan you to put it in your mouth.’
‘Cud it out, dude. That’s nod hygienic. Go way.’
‘Just give it a rub.’
‘You dirdy old basdard. Jesus Crize, stob wanging in fronta me. Fug ov.’
‘Ren, but you don’ uddersdan. I haven’t had a proba sdiffy for over a year. A year. God one now. Don wanna waste it. Wanna share it. Wid you. It’s my gift. For all the whiggy. And your marvellous companee.’
‘The neighbourz godda dog, go and fug that if you’re horny. I think ids a boy.’
‘He’z come to life cossa you, you should celebrade wid me.’
‘You’re ov ya fuggin head, just go away and led me sleep. Bazad.’
Without realising it Ren goes off the cliff, into a deep, deep sleep. Later on he is disturbed by dreams of the Beagle trying to bugger next door’s dog, which in his dream is a Beagle, though in real life there is no neighbour’s dog. Which is good, because he would struggle to look it in the eye again if there was. The dream goes on for an uncomfortably long time, as Hedley stumbles around in pursuit of the unwilling dog, his anniversary boner sticking out of his boxers which he tugs with one hand while he tries to catch the dog with the other. Thankfully he doesn’t ever succeed in having his way with the dog, but his pursuit is relentless, and Ren is fearful that at some point Hedley will become enraged and suddenly clamp his hand with frightening ferocity around the dog’s neck and insert himself into the dog’s behind.