A cold day by the Thames with an old friend

The best stories don’t have to be told. The best stories are all implied; they’re grounded in universal experiences and rely on the casual assumption that the audience will fill in all the blank areas. This is such a story:

A cold day by the Thames with an old friend.

That’s all we need. We can imagine the rest, and even though each of us will almost certainly imagine something different, we’ll all be imagining the same relaxed, comfortable feeling. It doesn’t really matter what Seldon and Matthew actually did that day. We know whatever they did was agreeable and pleasant enough. Matthew stands patiently, unhurried, while Seldon composes the photograph, and even if Matthew is saying to himself “Come on, take the fucking picture already” he’s saying with tolerance and affection. Because that’s who he is and that’s who Seldon is, and that’s what old friends do.

A cold day. By the Thames. With an old friend. It’s a good story, isn’t it. Worth re-reading.

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