Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Deflowrence Nightingale

Okay, so why is it that guys keep on asking me to be the first guy they sleep with? I don't mean constantly, but today it happened a third time. Statistically, there's definitely an imbalance.

Speaking of statistics, did any of you guys know that Florence Nightingale made significant contributions to the science of statistics? It seems that she was the first person to widely use graphical representations of stats. Seriously. She was the first woman admitted to the Royal Statistical Society. She's the Mother of the Pie Chart. She called it a coxcomb.

I'm envisioning a mystic play entitled "Nightingale", about this woman. Hypochondriacally consigned to her bedroom for over 50 years, through the veil of her four-poster bed she receives dignitaries: ministers, mathematicians and militia, as well as her passionate friend Mai Smith, with whom she wrote she shared a relationship "like two lovers". She has visions of God, and through numbers believes she has seen the face of God revealed (yes, she said this); a white light of digital information shining on the bedroom walls, and slow, ecstatic, Einstein-on-the-Beach-like chanting.

And counterweighting the pure whiteness of her world, she dreams of her work in Crimea, of the shitholes, the dysentery and diarrhoea and battle wounds, the beggars in India for whom plans universal healthcare, the society parties in London which her mother and sister try to drag her to, the messiness of the politics which she refuses to participate in directly.

She plays the ghost behind the machine. How does it end? I don't know.

Obviously I'm delaying the production of real monuments to the human spirit. Urg, I wish my publishing grant would come through.


Terry said...

Fuck that. Who's the twink you're gonna deflower?

Ng Yi-Sheng said...

I don't kiss and tell except in meatspace, darling.