'That's a good cup of tea,' he said to himself, his gaze drifting to the summit of Barone Hill, watching it it sink in and out of the low, drizzly cloud.
Tartarus sat back on the bed, resting his head against the headboard and sipped again.
I wondered what he was thinking about, so I asked: 'What are you thinking about? Are you not happy?'
Tartarus groaned and plonked his tea mug down on the bedside cabinet.
'What is WITH you? Why do you always assume that I'm THINKING about something deep and meaningful - like being HAPPY?!'
I blinked. 'Because I'm always thinking about something, and it's usually about getting myself happy.' I ventured.
'Sometimes....sometimes, inside my head is like this....' he motions a flat line like a redundant heart monitor with his hand.
Then, showing a sudden flash of insight, he added: 'Inside YOUR head, it's like this,' and he changed the flat line motion to a sine wave that undulated wildly like a growing tsunami.
'Basically, when I'm looking out the window and saying that my tea is nice.....all I'm thinking that my tea is nice and am looking out the window.'
I took another sip of my tea.
'Right. So let's get this straight. Most of the time, you're like 'dddaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah' I make the flat line motion and drawl a single note monotonous tone. 'Empty head?'
Tertarus nodded vigorously. 'Yep. AND, when I'm doing something, I'm only thinking about the thing that I'm doing, NOTHING ELSE. When I'm washing the dishes, I'm washing the dishes and that's ALL'
My GOD, this is revolutionary, I thought. I could trade Tartarus in for an Irish Wolfhound and be none the worse off. Apart from the tea in bed, obviously.
But after a moment or two' deliberation, I felt massively jealous. I'd pretty much give my right arm to be as single-pointed and focused as he is - it's what Buddhists' spend their lives aspiring to. I have a mind that jumps around like a box of fleas.
Tartarus stands looking at me with his mug of tea, giving me The Look.
'Right now, I queried, you're looking at me and you're thinking ............?'
'I'm just standing here thinking nothing. I'm just daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh' he motions the flat line.
'So you're not standing there thinking that I'm a bit of a disappointment, or you'd rather be out on your bike, or....it's just.........flat line?'
Tartarus nodded happily and took my tea mug. 'See you downstairs.'
Good Lord. I might be living with a Buddha. Or a dog. God or Dog. One's just a backwards version of the other....