Thursday, 29 December 2016

A Silent Scent

an anonymous Naked Lunch inspired illustration

(another) one of those nights.

the sort you have when you are re-treading old ground, not sure if it's your own footsteps or another's coming up the hall of time, treading water in the dusky light of an oil lens mind.

the sort of night when she is nothing more than a lingering memory and the silky salty taste of tar and drink, a scent on the air where the slats over an open window filter particles of possible worlds into the slipstream of an endless, timeless moment. 

one of those nights when you know you have been here too long but the movie is still about to begin just like it always was.

the phone rings, distracting me from working. it's her agent asking me to meet, sounds flustered. I find myself halfway down the hall throwing on a borrowed jacket and i find myself, waking to a world softened by the creamy prosaic. 

Ahead the music of the cities background charms seduce me through its streets until i find myself again knocking on her door, how many times, there's no counting. 

A bolt slides with a clunk and I'm drunk enough to boldly step inside. Trouble is this is not the same room as before, something has changed I can't quite place my finger on it.

It is so tempting to edit this and describe that as being a Silent Scent on the air ... changes the meaning significantly. At what point do you decide the language is worth more than the intended meaning of the story, engaging with the ancient rite of sacrificial accuracy a blasphemy to some, nectar to others who sup of the hedonistic delights, smoke rising from feelings to illuminate the night in colours of a hidden twist, not to be missed if you have a heart for it and yet a poison to those born of day and drinking light.

A writer and an agent perchance would make these choices together for the vitality of a text, irrelevant to ninety-nine percent who happen upon this text but oh so damn critically important at that frozen moment of self-acclaim regarding repute and skill as a developing word worker narcissistic with inevitable self comparison to the role all writers assume, illustrative of challenges they go through.

People hate that level of decision making and writers are notorious for it. Just write the damn book says everyone in the industry and fans alike. The sort of fan which jams in its slow spin from a ceiling, stirring up air like a trawler dredging a sewer which once used to be the sea of promise.

When it gets to that stage of head-up-its-own-ass self-indulgence the very best thing to do is delete the text and free the words and concepts for some other future aspirational initiate to find and reform, the way they always do.

Can't do it though because right now this very moment the attachment is still so strong. When you can not tell if it is the best or very worst thing you ever wrote or read, that is when to shut the lid and step outside and put the thing to bed.

When a writer begins writing about writing, it is no longer valid, it has become an indulgence, the trap all writers face eventually.

And there she lay, the change upon her quite beautifully evident. Surrounded by black ink stain of words and letters melting into the carpet, furniture, clothes, her body face down on her favored rug, still as dead.

In her hand a pistol and her last novel dis-arrayed around her, a long and detailed suicide note apparently, a story worth reading.

The agent aghast had missed that one vital clue only a lover would know. The pistol loose in her open right hand upturned. The dame is not right handed.

So begins the first chapter of A Silent Scent, a penny dreadful abandoned before all Hope and followed by the sound of a paper being torn from a typewriter, crumpled and thrown into the heap surrounding the waste paper basket in the corner of a staling room.

Another swig from the bottle and another take on the matter entirely.

words ©2016 Ordo Octopia

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