Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I Prefer the Sound of Laughter to Tears

I've just returned from a hot, humid and crowded Paris. After breakfast each morning Cecilia and I walked the beautiful streets and squares - some loud, some flowing with serenity - and we sat down when our bodies told us it was time. Usually it was in one of the wondrous gardens: Luxembourg or the Place des Vosges.

When we were hungry we stood on the sidewalk and looked at the tables where people were eating to see if the food suited our taste and pocket. We mainly drank white wine with our meals to match our light-heartiness. This usually enriched our conversations with residents or visitors who sat near our table. The girls were young, pretty and stylish and the women were attractive, tanned and walked in a relaxed, unworried manner to parade their pretty legs. Pleasure shone on their faces as if they alone had a secret they would not share with anyone. Paris filled my heart and mind with magic. A magic only Paris can summon while you reside in its bosom.

Two days ago I finished composing the closing movement of my "Concerto for Microwaveable Cauliflower Cheese." I used Swiss cheese hence the quaint gaps in the work. The premiere, held last night inside a constipated cactus bent over a deceased housekeeper, was a success. A success due to the absence of an audience or mice, and the sweeping power and delicacy of the microwave which breathed new sounds, new life into a nocturnal sky. The intimate novelty of hearing the work moved me more than I anticipated. Art should be fresh - esp. when food products are used - it should awaken the mind, the heart, the soul, and keep you in unstinting luxury until you are unmasked as a fake. 

Some days it is hard to think of a captivating title for a short story or a novel. I take the John Cage approach. The title of my next novel (also, my first novel) will be 72,846 - the exact number of words contained in the work. I'm presently working on  83,218 and only have 18 words to go. In fact, by the time you read this post I may have typed them. It is hard to gauge how long it will take when one is seized with the horrible fear of failure and internal tremors. I nearly forgot. The words in either novel are not in order, and require to be chanted by a yellow rubber duck inside a carafe of oakey and intense Tempranillo wine while slapping the last people on earth with a dead fish.

Reflections:  Neither the dark, the black streets, or windswept pigeon droppings, can conceal that a once sensual, glowing and moody face has descended to one that is sour, brooding and overweight. The face of my wife? my girlfriend? my dog?  No, mine.

Sometimes my new-old face is a blessing. I can now obtain a seat on public transport, a bicycle, a toilet, and be served drink and food promptly in a restaurant and sit with my 'one true friend' for companya manila folder. A manila folder that drinks too much, lies and tells stupid jokes in amusing voices. Unbelievably it is more interesting than most people I have met and pays its half of the restaurant bill. It knows when I do not want to talk and when I am deep in thought. It knows I prefer the sound of laughter to tears.