Scraps of text
30 March 2006
The cable guy is coming tomorrow, to fit me out with corporate accessibility; so I have to make myself - or, more specifically, my home - fit for the corporation.
Actually what this means is making vague gestures at bringing order to some of the worst chaos, where they're going to have to run their cables along skirting-boards that have been hidden for ten years behind bookcases that have gradually become swamped with too many books and more, all the accumulations of clutter that can be stacked on top of books or squeezed between or in front because there is just nowhere else for them to go (well, where else do you put a plastic clockwork owl, or a variety of old lighters & matchboxes, or a tin of paperclips, or...?).
So here I am listening to Tom Waits (Rain Dogs, since you ask - sangalonga Gun Street Girl and are now into Blind Love, so Union Square must've gone past all unnoticed - ain't it weird how that happens? I was probably singing all the way, and have forgot it instanter) and shuffling books around, trying at least to reach a condition where there is nothing on the bookshelves except books that can be whipped off quickly and stacked up somewhere else, and I'm on the edge of opening a bottle of wine to see me through it although I'm going out in an hour and ought not to drink beforehand, and I come across a piece of paper, a paragraph that I have clearly written, sometime in the last ten years. I have no idea when, or why, or what it meant; all it is now is writing, the pure thing. And as I will never find a use for it now, and because writing is for sharing, because it's communication or else it's nothing (and because it no longer communicates anything to me except its own self), here it is:
'At first she was warm, and welcome. Then she was all-encompassing: all, that is, except for a slim, bitter thread of myself that still wished she was somebody - oh, some body! - else.'
That's all. I do kind of like this about myself, that I scatter fragments of my creativity meaninglessly about me as I go. Sometimes I wish that I followed through more often, finished more - but hey, then we wouldn't have the fragments, the tease of them, shards of everlost tales. Somebody is going to have such fun, going through all my papers when I'm gone; there are scraps like this all over. Unless they just pitch all my papers into a skip, of course, unwanted and unread. That could happen too. Maybe I'll cybersky them all as I come across 'em, chuck 'em into interorbit and get them out where something might seed something else, sometime...
Meanwhile, when I've done this and that and the other thing, I have to go down to Baltic to hear who's won this year's Northern Rock Foundation award (large sums of money, three years' support for a writer in this region). We have our speculations, but all we actually know at the moment is that it isn't me. So I'll go and drink strange cocktails and chat happily with friends, because I will know almost everybody there, and I will cheerfully congratulate the winner and commiserate with all my other friends who are losers as much as I am, and in short I will smile and smile and be a villain, because there will still and always be this slim, bitter thread of myself that thinks it should've been me.
© Chaz Brenchley 2006
Reproduced here by permission of Chaz Brenchley, who asserts his moral right to be identified as the author of this work.