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Showing posts from 2013

I Have a Rendezvous with My Literary Agent

Today I had lunch with my literary agent. On arrival she had misery painted all over her face. The maitre d' was kind enough to provide a face flannel to wash it off. Though a slender spirited creature my agent tends to be remote and vague. She has a tendency to walk on all fours when a conversation becomes exciting. For her, I play the fool. To her, I am a fool. C'est la vie.

'Well, what can I say?' She looked perplexed and started tossing shrewd and short comments in the air and catching them in her mouth. 'Your short novel has no plot, hurried syntax, and the title, It's Hard to Debate Anything at Length While You're Unconscious, is unengaging, let alone disconcerting'. I asked if she believed I would ever have a book published? She thought seriously and replied, 'Published is a big word.' She smiled. 'The only avenue left is to translate some of your work into English, even though you believe it already is.'

Her words overwhelmed m…

The Big Bang . . . Almost

I'm looking at the sky in clinical fashion.It appears extremely high. I am a small figure and often confused. An article in a science magazine arouses within me a potpourri of wonderment, menacing anxiety, and a sense of extreme lightness. The article states that the entire universe was smooth just after its birthbillions of years ago. An extraordinary assertion. Billions of galaxies and billions of stars. Suddenly I feel profoundly inept. Nothing new, I assure you. But how do "they" - the highly cerebral elite - "know"? 
Apparently through light emitted 370,000 light years ago after the Big Bang. I don't recall hearing the explosion but I recollect hearing a neighbour's dog barking. I'm sure the Noise Abatement Society was inundated with calls from individuals suffering from physical and mental distress. How my neighbour's dog fared is anyone's guess.
I can't decipher if there is a human being or an animal in my home when all the ligh…

Don't Worry About Things You Will Never Know

In 1492 Christoper Columbus landed in the Caribbean mistaking it for India.As proof of his discovery he returned with a chicken masala meal for one, a singing snake, and a ventriloquist named Americo. The Europeans became obsessed with discovering civilisations, places, and practices in existence for thousands of years. They became fond of sailing, and the 'World Cruise' was born.

Although agriculture had been practiced in central and southern America for thousands of years, the Europeans showed the indigenous peoples how to make more food than they could eat. And also how to make a profit. The Europeans soon discovered that guns and swords were unnecessary to control the population. Smallpox, measles, and the flu were faster and didn't involve night raids. Silver from the mines was a driving motive of Spanish colonization. It helped that the Spanish Conquistadors had an unpronounceable name and looked like Cubans.

The slave trade proved a valuable lesson to the Portugues…

Tell Me The Truth About Love

I remember we had passed each other during the interval. After that moment I never grew tired of looking at her. We shared a love of the theatre, classical music, literature and poetry, and an enduring interest in writers and writing. Following the performance of Mahler’s Fifth we met at the embankment, and talked and laughed as the lights of the city danced breathlessly on the river.

When she smiled with her lips slightly parted I thought that any woman would be envious of her. She wore a black dress and her mass of wavy black hair tied up. Her beauty was indescribable. She exuded a social and cultural confidence to which I felt I could never aspire. We said nothing about our past, or present, relationships.

I adore Mahler,’ smiled Kirsten. ‘I feel I’ve been on an epic journey ... His obsession with death is evident, even to me. Then the triumph, the wonderful pinnacle of the final movement.’ Her gaze transferred to the boats dancing in rhythm on the water. ‘He was obviously passio…

Groundhog Day at the HR Department

The inner sanctum of the HR Department. The midday sun beats through the windows and lights on two individuals.

'Peter, you're great.'

'And so are you, Selina.'

'Not as great as you, Peter.'

'You're still great, Selina.'

'Do you think so? You're not just saying I'm great because I always say you're great?'

'I mean it. You're great.'

'That's great. Here's Mary. Mary, you look great.'

'Well, thank you. You both look great.'

'Not as great as you, Mary.'

'Do you think so? You're not just saying I look great because I always say you both look great?'

'No. You look, and are, great, Mary.'

'That's great. Here's Maureen. Maureen, you look great.'

'Do you think so? You're not all agreeing I look great because I always say you three always look great?'

'No. You look, and are, great.'

'Never complain if someone says you look, and ar…

An Intimate Encounter with Décolletage

It needs to be saidthat I am compelled to greet some days with a gaunt face and heavy-lidded eyes. Sometimes my sense of the past, which lies buried in uncertainty and incompletion, pokes out and demands attention. It confirms what I discern: I crave a fresh start. No foot dragging for a day or two, at least. If the silence is unbearably painful I shall manage the chaos with unconscious humour. I've subtlety managed it before, though not for long.  

My wife tells me that I - sorry, we - live in a decrepit one bedroom semi-detached house. The only excitement entering our existence is by the back door: a brief violent storm, a mouth opening to scream, or a neighbour recalling their time as an FBI agent when they were disguised as fish to catch draft dodgers disguised as wood thrush.
Our living room wears a weary tragic expression. I look at my wife who is sitting slightly hunched. Her face is contorted and tight with anger. She was beautiful once -a pale complexion, fine full lips …

The Sex Appeal of Victorian Furniture

This afternoon I dropped off to sleep on the living room floor while absorbed in writing an enlightening entry in my diary. I'm damned if I can remember what it was. I believe it may have constituted throwing photographs of my wife on the fire. An activity, I confess, which makes me smile with great pleasure and satisfaction. My wife (unknown to me) was pacing to and fro, closely watching, her soul in torment, flinging her arms in the air, madly chanting, 'People with lively minds! Little tin gods, each and every one!'
I woke up in the presence of something that wasn't there when I fell asleep. I couldn't touch my left leg below the knee. In fact, I couldn't see it. I'm heavily encased in a partition wall constructed while I slept. Suddenly my life has become absurdly difficult. I need to use the bathroom and the culprit of this inextricable deed (my soon to be ex-wife) has vanished from the house like a comet on some passionate adventure with a femme fat…

The Illusionary World of the Professional Politician (PP)

'He knows nothing; and he thinks he knows everything. That points clearly to a political career.'
George Bernard Shaw
Imagine that a group of friends or lovers or, heaven forbid, relatives arrive at your home unannounced. Do you welcome them with a lie, or tell the truth? "Frankly, I'm tired and exhausted, and each and every one of you love and hate yourselves, and each other, with equal veracity. You dishonour and threaten the rest of society with your insincerity, cynicism, virtuous morality and false judgments."

Mind you, I could be talking about professional politicians (PPs). They do tend to speak unnaturally, and make fools of themselves with their endless meaningless speeches and rabbit-hole opinions, which I find imperceptible, and avoid at all cost. Their eternal scrambling for status, one-upmanship and hierarchy comes at the cost of gaining an enlarged sallow or salmon coloured face. Furthermore, they grow capacious emotional armpits which ca…

Fidelity, Infidelity and Soupe à l'Oignon

The woman approaching me looks barely thirty. Her beauty shows no sign of vulnerability. Indeed, her persona of radiance and happiness exudes a bold piercing intelligence. I decide to play along. She is tremendously elegant and dressed in a grey melange trouser suit.

'Have you heard about the Dead Sea?' she enquires, gently stroking her auburn hair which softly drops to a fringe on to her forehead and sparkling brown eyes. 
'Heard about it, I went to the funeral.'
The sales representative smiles, half closing her eyes. She starts to talk about nail care and produces a Dead Sea Nail Buffer. When she asks me to hold out my left hand I willingly comply. As she holds my left wrist and concentrates on my thumb nail we talk and laugh. I study how she moves, smiles and converses to capture another buyer for 'that perfect nail care collection.'
'How does that feel?' she asks.
'I have entered apainless and distant land. My thumb nail feels and looks h…